Would you rather be fired or face criminal charges? Dana Richardson faces that dilemma in her new job at a state university in New England. A research center, which reports to her, is falsifying data to help industrial clients meet federal pollution standards, and the last woman who tried to investigate the problem died under suspicious circumstances.

Why a New Protagonist?

This is a tale about "smart" men with uncontrolled egos and strong senses of entitlement. They've ignored minor laws and regulations so many times that they can justify major crimes. These men just happen to be professors and leaders at a state university in New England.

The woman protagonist for this story needed to be brassier than Sara Almquist and to have more inner demons. Hence, Dana Richardson, a tall redhead from Texas who left her previous academic position for questionable reasons, leads the investigation of irregularities at State U in She Didn't Know Her Place.

SHE DIDN'T KNOW HER PLACE makes you think:

  • What is the real purpose of science education? Is it to produce a more technically skilled workforce? Is it to make all our citizens more aware of potential strengths and limitations of science? Or both?
  • Is a mystery, like She Didn't Know Her Place, a form (hopefully a fun one) of science education?
  • How important is honesty in science? EPA, FDA, and other government agencies depend on reliable science to set and monitor environmental and health safety standards. Do you think examination of picky details in laboratories helps protect your family against environmental pollutants or dangerous contaminants in drugs and food?
  • Before you read this mystery, had you ever heard of the Animal Welfare Act, export control laws, or conflict-of-interest regulations?
  • The red tape of regulations, politely called regulatory burden, costs universities and businesses a lot of time and money. When do regulations become redundant and counterproductive?