Sunday, November 27, 2016


The Invasive Species
by Frankie Bow

Author Frankie Bow’s wonderful characters in The Invasive Species have been changing during this and her previous four books in the series. Each character’s relationships to the others are evolving.

The Invasive Species: (Professor Molly Mysteries Book 4)
File Size: 855 KB
Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (April 30, 2016)


Professor Molly Barda is thrilled to be included in a grant to investigate attitudes toward biotechnology. But she immediately finds herself embroiled in the deadly fight between big biotech and anti-GMO activists. When Molly and her best friend Emma Nakamura stumble onto the scene of a brutal murder, they realize that everyone has something to hide–and there are some questions you don’t ask.

The Professor Molly mysteries are the first campus murder mysteries set in Hawai

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Would You Plug In the Printer?

Printin' it old school Like my protagonist, Professor Molly Barda, one of my ongoing concerns is preparing my students to be employable in a brutally competitive job market. Employers can afford to be picky, and some of their screening techniques can seem downright diabolical. For one employer, it's not enough to require a specific degree or a minimum GPA.
The problem, he says, is that today's college grads are helpless and annoying and come to him with a huge sense of entitlement. To try to find the kind of employee he needs in his company, he does a simple test during his interviews: After a candidate has made it through the interview process, he or she is asked to perform some simple technical task on the computer. Very simple, but with one little trick built in to the situation: they are asked to print out the results of their task, and to bring it to the interviewer within 20 minutes. And the printer is always unplugged.
I'm not sure I would pass this test. I'd wonder if the printer was unplugged for some safety reason. Still, I see what this employer is saying about screening applicants for initiative. What would you do? Would you plug in the printer?

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.
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Frankie Bow writes another great book with layers and layers. 
The title means so much more than I anticipated.

Molly and Donnie are married but she still struggles to give up her independent lifestyle.
She may be spending more time with Emma and Pat than she does her husband. Of course, having Davison home on break may account for some of that. He is as irritating as ever, with the addition of special dietary restrictions and his constant advice giving. If only he would find a woman his own age to spend time with. 
Be careful what one wishes for.

Molly's focus is on achieving tenure. Is she willing to do "whatever it takes" to secure her position?
Is she ignoring Donnie enough that he is looking elsewhere for more? He keeps trying to push her to spend time with her step son rather than ask for more together time as a married couple.

I think you will get more from this book if you have read one or more prior in the series but it can be read as a stand alone. There is local dialogue and situations continued from previous difficulties. Enough information is given to help the reader understand, if not feel the extent of Molly's discomfort.

Bringing together domestic complications, amateur sleuths and a journalist who feel more qualified than the local P.D., did I mention a murder (or two?) a controversial topic that affects the entire community and Molly's contentious bid for tenure. And perhaps a few more elements.
This is a mystery and more that will make you think.

I accepted a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
The characters and relationships are developing with each book in the series.

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