Today’s Crime Cafe guest post is Maria Hudgins, who combines two of my favorite subjects in her fiction: travel and crime! 🙂

Her latest book is called Death in an Ivory Tower, which takes place in England. She’ll tell you more about that in her post.

Maria is doing an awesome giveaway of a copy of this book. Read more about the book and how to enter the contest below!

Now, without further ado, here’s my guest, Maria Hudgins!

Murder most Academic

What makes a great setting for a mystery? An English country house? A snowbound train? The Florida Keys?

I must confess that ever since I fell in love with Inspector Morse’s blue eyes, I’ve been a sucker for any story set in Oxford—England, that is. Oxford is intellectual, ancient, and, except for the occasional case of plagiarism, blessed with an extremely low crime rate. I’ve now visited the town about seven times for pleasure and to attend the lovely St. Hilda’s Crime and Mystery Weekend, held every August at (you guessed it) St. Hilda’s College. Murder most foul set against a backdrop of dreaming spires and medieval architecture makes an irresistible combination.

Death in an Ivory Tower, the fifth in my Dotsy Lamb Travel Mystery Series, is set in a fictional Oxford college. St. Ormond’s is much like Jesus College where I stayed while gathering information for the book. Jesus College, founded in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I, is the alma mater of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). For atmosphere, I asked for the oldest and spookiest room they had and I got one in the oldest wing of the oldest quad. I swear some of the graffiti carved into my fireplace surround was in Latin.

A sort of hobby of mine is Scotland’s King Macbeth. There really was a Macbeth, although he wasn’t much like Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Another favorite subject is poison. Somehow I managed to involve all three of these in Death in an Ivory Tower. I’ll give away a hardcover copy of this book to the lucky winner of the drawing, which you can enter by emailing Don’t forget to include your snail mail address so I know where to send it.


Maria Hudgins is the author of the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries and the Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries. She is a contributor to the Sisters in Crime Virginia Beach Chapter Anthologies, Virginia is for Mysteries, I and II and Fifty Shades of Cabernet. A former high school teacher of Oceanography, Earth Science, and Chemistry, she lives in Hampton, VA.


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