I’m a sucker for stories about Colleges. I worked in the groves of Academia for nearly 40 years so I’m very familiar with the life-style of students and professors and administrators. My favorite story in The Darkling Halls of Ivy is “Rounded with a Sleep” by A. J. Hartley (aka, Andrew Hart) who is the Robinson Professor of Shakespeare at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The story revolves around the common dilemma of Senior Faculty who resist change and refuse to cater to academic fads. Hartley accurately portrays the pressures on administrators to make the College experience attractive to donors and student enrollment.

I also enjoyed David Morrell’s “Requiem for a Homecoming” where two friends meet and discuss a series of deadly events decades ago. Reed Farrel Coleman’s “An Even Three” delivers the powerful response of a professor to a student complaint. Ian Rankin’s “The Reasoners” explores an college group with a history of death associated with it.

If you’re looking for a solid anthology of mysteries with a College setting, The Darkling Halls of Ivy delivers. GRADE: B+


  • Foreword: Something to Skip — Lawrence Block – 1
  • Requiem for a Homecoming — David Morrell – 6
  • An Even Three — Reed Farrel Coleman – 17
  • Writing Maeve Dubinsky — Jane Hamilton – 30
  • Alt-AC — Warren Moore – 51
  • Einstein’s Sabbath — David Levien – 62
  • The Degree — Joe R. Lansdale – 79
  • Rounded with a Sleep — A. J. Hartley – 86
  • The Reasoners — Ian Rankin – 106
  • Noise Cancellation — Tom Straw – 131
  • Monkey in Residence — Xu Xi – 144
  • Bertie and the Boat Race — Peter Lovesey – 154
  • That Golden Way — Owen King – 169
  • With Footnotes and References — Gar Anthony Haywood – 192
  • Penelope McCoy — Nicholas Christopher – 205
  • Tess and Julie, Jule and Tess — Jill D. Block – 215
  • Why She Didn’t Tell — John Lescroart – 228
  • Foundational Education — Seanan McGuire – 238
  • Goon #4 — Tod Goldberg – 240

14 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #601: THE DARKLING HALLS OF IVY Edited by Lawrence Block

  1. maggie mason

    Lots of good names. I get emails from Block about his publications, but don’t remember this one. When was it published??

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, THE DARKLING HALLS OF IVY was published in May 2020. There’s a deluxe edition available from Subterranean Press.

  2. Patti Abbott

    I enjoy college-based stories too although you can spot an amateur in the groves by how big he makes professors’ offices.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, room size for professors is always an issue. When I retired, my corner office room–with a window overlooking the Atrium–became a battle-ground between the Business Department and the Sociology Department. The Business Department won, but there was a lot of hostility between the departments for months!

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Hey, thanks for reviewing this one, George. I’ve read (like you) a lot of Block’s anthologies, but this one passed me by totally. And, amazingly, not only does my library have one copy, but it is an ebook edition and it was available. Downloaded it at once.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, in his Introduction, Lawrence Block mentions that almost all of his writings (and that’s a LOT!) are available now in ebook format. There’s also a little joke on the back of the paperback edition.

  4. Steve Oerkfitz

    Lot of good writers here, I just got Block’s newest novel Dead Girl Blues which he self published.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, the paperback edition of THE DARKLING HALLS OF IVY is published by LB Productions. Lawrence Block now has his own publishing company!


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