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Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Hennelly to Sign Copies of His New Book, 'Fatal Knowledge,' Feb. 21

Dan Hennelly, academic services analyst with Old Dominion's Office of Academic Affairs, will sign copies of his new book, "Fatal Knowledge: A Collegiate Murder Mystery," at noon Thursday, Feb. 21, at the University Village Bookstore.

With fictional Chesapeake Bay University as his backdrop, the story follows history professor and amateur detective Andrew Stanard as he sets about solving the murder of graduate student Jenny Biggio. With more than 30 years of study and work in higher education, Hennelly drew on his many experiences - and a few familiar ODU traditions - in creating the whodunit.

Hennelly was the recipient of a $1,600 grant last summer from the university's Staff Dream Fund. The grant allowed him to use iUniverse, a print-on-demand publisher based in Bloomington, Ind., to self-publish "Fatal Knowledge."

The ODU Staff Dream Fund was established in 2008 to help deserving employees realize a long-held dream. The endowed fund provides monetary awards and up to five days of paid time off for staff members to fulfill their dream - pursuing studies in an area unrelated to work, traveling to another country or visiting family far away, for example.

"Drawing on more 20 years of working in higher education, I began developing the setting of fictional Chesapeake Bay University and the cast of characters that populate 'Fatal Knowledge,'" Hennelly said. "My wife was a college librarian, recently retired from Tidewater Community College, so it was only natural that a pivotal chapter is set in the campus library."

Hennelly describes "Fatal Knowledge" as a "cozy mystery," akin to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series. His protagonist, amateur detective Andrew Stanard, stumbles before he finds his footing and solves the murder of CBU graduate student Jenny Biggio.

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