At the Central Police Station in downtown Detroit, Captain Douglas reviews the notes from the professor case in Ann Arbor. That’s what everyone is calling it around here: “The Professor Case.” And although there’s no crafty murder involved or a searing tale of unforgivable-ness, there’s something really compelling about a respected woman going off the deep end. It’s not every day you hear about a woman dragging a giant cross out of a church that she just blew open with a gun. Sure beats processing endless drug citations and reading about the next round of budget cuts.

Douglas has a sharp mind and a baby tooth for an incisor. He reads the timeline of events and interview answers from neighbors, Father Duling, and Jack. This isn’t his jurisdiction, but he told the detectives he’d do what he could to help. He got his start as an Ann Arbor officer and is quite familiar with Mae’s quaint neighborhood.

He picks up his phone, dialing the head investigator’s number. “Captain Douglas, from Detroit. Say, let’s keep the media in the dark from now on about the professor. If she’s become interested in television, she’s surely seen herself on the news by now. If she thinks we’ve forgotten about her, she’ll be more likely to visit another church.”

The investigator agrees. “Will do, bro.”

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Jack is an arrogant clarinet player.

Mae steals Communion bread.

A Midwest drama with magical realism and thriller elements, The Clarinet Whale exposes family demons and confronts the uncomfortable histories between a professor and her student.