Well-known Broadway playwright and TV producer Lyle Zacharias is throwing himself a lavish birthday party in his hometown of Philadelphia. Guests include his current wife, ex-wives, friends, former partners - not to mention Amanda Pepper and her own irrepressible mother, Bea. Yet when Lyle drops dead in the middle of a speech, it appears the likely perpetrator is none other than Bea, whose gift was 50 delicious, but apparently poisoned, tarts!
Book three in the Anthony Award-winning mystery series featuring Amanda Pepper, the resourceful English teacher at Philly Prep. Amanda is sorting books for a school fundraiser, when she comes across a book for battered women that contains a special and frightening message from its original, anonymous owner. Desperate to learn who donated the books, Amanda's search leads her to deliberate brutality and its cold-blooded consequences.
""she's game, but thick as two short planks""
After a tough year of teaching at Philly Prep, Amanda Pepper decides to go to Atlantic City with her friend Sasha Berg. Yet a beach vacation turns deadly when a bludgeoned corpse shows up in their hotel room - and Sasha is the prime suspect.
So Amanda hits the boardwalk to track down the real killer, chasing down clues around the surf and in the casinos, and discovering along the way that appearances are more than deceiving: They can be criminal and, sometimes, downright murderous....
In the City of Brotherly Love, nobody knows a thing about Emmie Cade, a young widow who “appeared from nowhere,” and in the blink of an eye was engaged to Leo Fairchild, a middle-aged bachelor with a fortune. However, as her marriage date approaches, Emmie’s mother-in-law to be, the ailing, autocratic Claire Fairchild, receives anonymous letters. They suggest, none too subtly, that there’s a great deal to learn about the mysterious young woman, none of it good, and much of it involving the violent deaths of the men in her life.
For English teacher Amanda Pepper, the champagne gala on behalf of Philly Prep's library is her introduction to the ultrarich Main Line society - an evening so extravagant that nothing can tarnish the party...not even a group of protesters outside burning the host in effigy. The Moral Ecologists, who vehemently claim that "reading pollutes the mind", will do anything to advance their agenda. And - when her affluent new acquaintances, Neddy and Tea Roederer, prove to be just as deceitful and violent - Amanda learns firsthand that the bluest blood bleeds just as red.
When Liza Nichols’ lifeless body is discovered in Amanda Pepper’s living room, the thirtyish unmarried schoolteacher becomes the prime suspect in her friend’s death. In an effort to clear her name, Amanda joins forces with the attractive detective assigned to the case, giving him advice and doing some unofficial snooping of her own.
"I see why this series is so popular in paperback!!"
Amanda Pepper, an English teacher at school for Philadelphia's filthy rich, is determined to teach the kids a lesson about the true spirit of Christmas. She intends to have them cook and serve a meal to the homeless, but unfortunately a powerful parent takes over, and the simple meal turns into a catered affair - topped off by murder. Of course, Amanda wants to solve the crime with her sometime boyfriend, cop C. K. Mackenzie. She's equally determeind to teach the the elusive killer a lesson or two, as well.
Barring the usual teenage pranks, all seems peaceful at Philly Prep, the private school in Philadelphia where Amanda Pepper teaches English. No doubt the money that appears to be missing from funds collected to aid victims of a catastrophic hurricane Down South will turn up. Probably the rumor that some of Amanda’s students have discovered the thrills of gambling is totally unfounded. In any case, Amanda has other things to think about. Her husband, private investigator C. K. MacKenzie, is struggling to help his Louisiana kinfolk reconstruct their post-hurricane lives.
"Very Enjoyable End to the Series"
No matter the season, the Philadelphia private school where Amanda Pepper teaches English is never a center of tranquility. But with Halloween and the annual Mischief Night party only days away, the hope is that nothing more than old-fashioned vandalism and pranks will take place. No such luck. Trouble erupts long before the witching hour, as the school is plagued by a series of mishaps ranging from the trivial to the potentially deadly - and most of which seem to center on a group of popular seniors.
Traditionally, Old Philadelphians keep a low profile. They associate with one another and leave life as discreetly as they have lived it. So Philly Prep English teacher Amanda Pepper, who thinks her only current problems are keeping her well-meaning family from hijacking her wedding, is understandably stunned to discover a perfect specimen of the species dying at the foot of the school's marble staircase.
English teacher and part-time sleuth Amanda Pepper is enjoying Philadelphia’s famous Mummers’ Parade - reveling in costumes that rival Mardi Gras and cheering for a brigade of ornately costumed clowns passing close by. Her festive spirit is shattered, however, when one of the costumed revelers sinks to the ground, and the amateur sleuth finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation in which the prime suspect is a fellow teacher at Philly Prep. Filled with feisty characters, The Mummer’s Curse will keep you guessing....
"Why switch narrators?"
This best-selling mystery series, from an Anthony Award-winning author, features a unique sleuth. Amanda Pepper is not the usual gumshoe; she teaches English in one of Philadelphia’s most exclusive schools. In a world of old families and solid wealth, Amanda’s cases test her wit, wisdom, and social graces. During a lively discussion of The Awakening at Amanda’s book club meeting, a member, Helen Coulter, vigorously denounces the main character’s suicide as cowardly.
Gillian Roberts’ witty, literate Amanda Pepper mysteries are irresistible. Following the adventures of Philadelphia’s finest English teacher/detective, the books crackle with humor and suspense.
"As always Gillian Roberts delivers a great mystery"
While teaching summer school at exclusive Philly Prep, English teacher Amanda Pepper feels a sense of foreboding. First, a reading of Romeo and Juliet activates some very strange chemistry. Then the computer science teacher begins receiving anonymous go-back-to-Africa phone calls. A young Vietnamese boy dies in a drive-by shooting. And late one night, outside a Chinatown massage parlor, student April Tuong is kidnapped. Random violence? Perhaps.
"This was a great mystery!"