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Publisher's Summary

The headmistress of an exclusive private school for girls has been found murdered in her office. When professor Susan Lombardi learns that her friend John is the prime suspect, she sets out to clear his name, but her research uncovers some troubling secrets about the school's faculty and students. And soon it becomes clear that John is not the only one with a motive for murder.

©2004, 2011 Carole B. Shmurak (P)2014 Carole B. Shmurak

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Average Customer Ratings

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Great mystery!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is a clean listen with a great ending. My review is not a synopsis of the book, but rather my opinion of it. I have listened to other books by this author and narrator before and enjoy their style. This book is original and has some humor. It is a standalone listen and part of a series. I was provided with this review copy audiobook at no charge and have voluntarily written this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This is a very interesting mytery novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Deadmistress to be better than the print version?

This was a really interesting quick listen little mystery. It felt like it wasn't the first book in the series. It kept my interest from beginning to end.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel. I can honestly say she does a great job keeping the energy of the character and makes the story move. She has a great feel for Susan, with a nice pace and tone throughout the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • Middlesex, VT, United States
  • 03-28-16

Deadmistress - Promising But Lacking

The premise of this story was promising but the execution left me saying too frequently "What the heck?" Although there was no real reason for the protagonist to play investigator and although everyone told her to leave it to the police, she continued to investigate the murder of the headmistress at the girl's boarding school where she had worked several years ago.

There were a number of suspects (some of whom were surprising...at one point the protagonist suspects a good friend for little reason). Some of the "suspects" appear to be thrown in with little regard to actual reasoning. The ending left a lot to be desired with a considerable amount of liberty taken as to what the local police would and would not allow.

The narrator was good although when the story reads "she sipped her tea" or "he chuckled" the narrator mimicked the sound which I found a little irritating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 03-13-15

A quick, fun mystery

What did you love best about Deadmistress?

While being vague to avoid spoilers, I would say the way the confession of the killer was got. It was quite novel and actual fit well with the setting of the story.

The books itself reminded me so many of your mystery novels or shows - Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote, etc., mixed in with a boarding school movie/book - like Dead Poets Society etc.

The mystery itself was good, although not edge-of-your-seat engaging but it was something different.

Would you be willing to try another book from Carole B. Shmurak? Why or why not?

I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it. I'm not going to rush out and get book 2 in the series but I might pick it up eventually.

What about Barbara Benjamin-Creel’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed it, for the most part. She does a variety of accents throughout the book (including a brooklyn accent and something I would describe as Fargo-esque) as well as giving each individual character a different voice. A very good range and very consistent. Certainly helped engage the story.

One minor thing I disliked was the occasional sound effect. At one point the book reads "she took a sip of her drink" and Barbara added in a taking a sip sound effect. I know some people like htis sort of stuff but I generally don't. So one small mark against an otherwise really well done narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great little cozy mystery.

Any additional comments?

Nearly the definition of a cozy mystery. A smart, intuitive woman sticks her nose where is doesn't belong to solve the murder of her ex-boss. For the most part, this was a really good book. Easy reading and a nice ending. Kind of clunky dialogue, though.

I really liked the narration. I usually don't like female narrators because the pitch of their voice can bring me out of the story, but Barbara Benjamin-Creel did a fantastic job keeping it low key and bringing some nice characters to the party.

Great little cozy mystery.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dead Mistress review

What was one of the most memorable moments of Deadmistress?

The very first few sentences.

What does Barbara Benjamin-Creel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Unique, interesting voices to the characters - it's something you wouldn't get by just reading it

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It didn't make me laugh or cry, but I felt deep interest to listen to what would happened next.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining traditional mystery

When a much disliked headmistress of a posg girls school is murdered, teaching alumna Susan Lombardi is on the case (with the aid of her supportive husband - and some interesting others). This won't set the world on fire, but it's a good solid traditional mystery, and a pleasant way to pass some time. I will look for more in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Smart Campus Mystery

I really enjoyed this semi-short campus mystery and the series as well. I listened to Book 2 first so I was already familiar and comfortable with the main characters. It was a little like becoming reaquainted with old friends.

Susan is a very likeable, fun character and it made it all the more enjoyable to listen to with fresh ears. This was a light story, not too heavy which was relaxing. It delves into campus politics a little and leads up to Susan having tenure at Metroplitan University in Book 2. I loved the part of the story where she and the girls have the tribunal. That was a neat twist.

So overall this is shaping up to be a great series and I look forward to Book 3. Another thing that makes this extra fun for me is that I live very close to a large university steeped in school spirit. Great work by Carole Shmurak. And again wonderfully narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.

I received this audiobook foc in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A cozy little mystery ...

What about Barbara Benjamin-Creel’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed Ms. Benjamin-Creel's performance very much. I felt that she gave each character a voice and kept you interested in the story. Her pace of reading the book was good and kept the story flowing.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

As this book is under 5 hours long, I think it would be a great book to listen to in the car when you have a long drive or would be able to finish it in a day.

Any additional comments?

Deadmistress is a cozy little mystery set at an all girls school in New England. Susan Lombardi is a professor at a near by college but was on the faculty of the girls school not so long ago. After the head mistress is found dead and one of her former co workers is accused of the crime, Susan goes about trying to solve the case.

While I thought the mystery aspect of the book was solid, I did feel that it concluded too abruptly. It was almost like there was a page/word limit and all of the sudden the mystery had to be solved. Another chapter or 2 would have made it flow better.

I would recommend this book to my friends who are interested in shorter mysteries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Cute Cozy Mystery Set in Academic Setting

Any additional comments?

Deadmistress is a good cozy mystery written by Carole B. Shmurak. The story centers around Susan Lombardi who is s a professor at a Connecticut university who used to teach at an exclusive private girl's high school, Wittenbury Academy. After the unlikeable headmistress at Wittenbury is murdered, Susan investigates the death to satisfy her curiosity under the guise of helping to clear the name of a teacher friend who is the primary suspect.

Throughout the story, we are introduced to several interesting characters, including Susan’s accommodating husband Swash, her best friend, Elaine, and an adult student who holds a private investigator’s license, Mark. With the help of her posse and a few high school students, Susan helps solve the murder of the headmistress quite nicely.

Barbara Benjamin-Creel did a great job narrating. Her inflictions and tone were appropriate and she exhibited the right amount of “spunk” and cheekiness needed in a cozy mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed her reading!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful