In ""Death of a Department Chair"", protagonist Miriam Held recounts the events of the previous fall when she was suspected of killing Isabel Vittorio, the chair of her department and her former lover. The controversial and contrary Vittorio was, at the time of her death, attempting to block the hire of a brilliant African American female professor. Already under siege for her attempts to increase diversity on campus, Miriam is forced to defend her reputation and her life. As she searches for the truth, Miriam amasses evidence that leaves few friends and colleagues free from suspicion. Both a classic whodunit and a witty satire, ""Death of a Department Chair"" dramatizes how communities can create the very climate of mistrust and paranoia that victimizes them.