Professor Meg Adams is guilt ridden that her student Heather is killed because she’s doing research on John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, “Barbara Frietchie.” Why is she murdered? Because her research will overturn the reigning scholarship in Civil War poetry. But a vital piece of her work is missing and assumed stolen by the murderer to further his own ends.

Among the suspects is Heather’s ex-boyfriend who’s into garroting as foreplay. Another is her snooty, ambitious history professor.

But there’s more intrigue afoot. Meg feels honor bound to butt into the investigation, much to the dismay of the cop assigned to the case. Meanwhile, Meg’s best friend observes a growing attraction between the two and tells her to make a play for Lieutenant Tall, Dark, and Handcuffs.

“A well-crafted mystery, a tragic death, sympathetic heroine, and a good-looking cop! Shot if You Must leaves nothing to be desired for avid detective story readers. The writing gets out of the way of the story, which is compelling on multiple levels. The characters are interesting and believable, and the plot has a nice turn at the end. I especially appreciate the villain done in shades of gray. Not easy, that. Good job, Pam!” ~ Cynthia T. Weinmann