People often express surprise upon learning that I’m a psychology professor. That disbelief could be hurtful—if you cared what other people think–which I don’t. But I am curious. Is it unbelievable because I lack a tweed fetish? Sorry, jeans are infinitely more comfortable, although I often have to throw on something like khakis to appease my department head.
Perhaps I should trade my Okie accent for an Austrian accent? How do you say “y’all” in Austria? And then there’s my name. Maybe Ronnie Raven doesn’t have the same distinguished air of Sigmund Freud, but it rolls off the tongue a hell of a lot easier.
Freud was overrated anyway, what with an unhealthy obsession with his mother and the size of his you know what. I used to have “spirited discussions” with our department’s resident Freudian. It’s been seven months since we’ve had one, and I’m surprised to find how much I miss them.
Our Freud, a.k.a. Weldon P. Crutchfield, was a victim of murder. And while no one deserves to be killed, he certainly made that an argument worthy of debate. He had a mouth like a cannon, always shooting it off. And his actions were responsible for a thriving therapy business in our little neck of the woods.
I had the unfortunate accident of discovering his body. I’m still not sure if that discovery made me the number one suspect or if it was because I was reading Crutchfield the riot act before I realized he was dead. Regardless of the fact that Crutchfield was a boil on the backside of humanity, I like to think that I redeemed myself by solving the crime. Yes, I know I benefitted as well. For a time, the law wanted to put me in jail, and some of my colleagues wanted to put me in the ground. Let me tell you, I was sweating like a whore in church.
Did I get any acclaim for doing the job of our town’s lackluster detective? A good old boy who thinks spitting is as normal as breathing? Nope. No reward, reprieves from the collegiate dress code, or even any thanks.
Maybe that’s why I miss old Crutchfield. I didn’t have closure. Yes, you can still believe in closure and be a behavioral psychology professor. I’m living proof of that at Pursley University, better known as P.U., or for people eternally stuck in adolescence, Skunk U. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Texas.
If you know anything about psychology, you understand why Crutchfield and I were always at odds. The psychoanalytic claptrap that Crutchfield spouted was decidedly at odds with my own views of the workings of the human mind. I like to think of behavioral psychology as the Spock of psychology theories. It’s based on logic. People work with real data instead of what’s deep inside your head. Crutchfield liked to tell me that I was repressed. I liked to tell him that he was a pain in the ass. You can see why I miss that kind of exchange.
However, I don’t miss Crutchfield enough to want to see him again. Alive, he made me shudder, so I just can’t wrap my head around a dead Crutchfield. Do I see dead people? No, not as a rule, but it’s not for a lack of trying. I suppose that with a Cherokee and Irish heritage, I’m predisposed to believing in weird stuff. My friend, Terry, a drama professor at P.U., likes to tell people that it was all the drugs I took in the Sixties, regardless of the fact that I had barely entered the public school system by that time. Terry is also on the unofficial call list when campus hijinks are discovered, right after two fraternities that modeled their houses on Animal House.
Terry likes to keep things interesting for me. He knows that I have a low threshold for boredom with a history of moving on to new adventures. So far, P.U. keeps things fascinating; you would be amazed at the number of dead bodies that turn up on a college campus. And no, my interest has nothing to do with the hot too-young campus cop that keeps popping up on my radar.
You can read more about Ronnie in A Class on Murder, the first book in the new “Ronnie Raven” mystery series.
** K.B. Gibson is giving away one copy of A CLASS ON MURDER. Contest open to US residents only and ends November 21. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **
Meet the author
K.B. Gibson is the author of A Class on Murder, the first in her Ronnie Raven Mystery series from Five Star Mysteries. A Class on Murder has received favorable reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Gumshoe Reviews. It is also a pick at DearReader.com. The next in the series will be Death by Drama. Writing as Karen Bush Gibson, she writes non-fiction for children, with more than 30 books published.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.