Southern transplant Emma Lovett and best friend/colleague Leslie Parker can hardly believe it: it’s Emma’s third year at Thomas Jefferson High School, and in addition to an amazing year with boyfriend Hunter Wells and Leslie’s brand-new love interest, they’ve gotten all the way through Homecoming with no one dying.
At the end of October, Emma finds the strangled body of Charlie Foreman, one of Leslie’s favorite nemeses. And the first clue implicates Leslie in the crime! To make things worse, Emma’s feeling a little oogy: tired, dizzy, and something’s up with her eyes. What’s going on?
All Emma and Leslie are trying to do is find new methods for teaching the youth of America, hopefully using lessons from The Great Bard—their hero—William Shakespeare.
But someone has a different idea: more schooling in murder.
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Review by Sandy Penny, author sweetmysterybooks.blogspot.com When Charlie Foreman, a not-so-well-liked coach, is murdered, Emma's Shakespeare-quoting friend, Leslie Parker, becomes a top suspect. Leslie and Charlie's ongoing prank war is legendary. Even though Emma is having her own set of medical issues, including vision changes, she's determined to suss out the killer and prove her friend innocent, much to the chagrin of Carl Niome, chief detective of the Pinewood Police Dept. When Emma starts getting threatening notes and phone calls, she goes beyond her fear to valiantly pursue the murderer. Turns out the coach has more than a few enemies and secrets, and Emma means to bring them all to light. But someone wants to shut her up. It's a leisurely-paced cozy mystery set in a school with a principal who skateboards down the halls, and he's not the only quirky character. This gets a little more serious than the other books in the series but still manages to keep the humor flowing. As an avid reader and lover of language and literature, I like the clever word twists and Shakespearean quotes.
High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis. Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder. But suspects abound. The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student. Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.
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Poison by Punctuation had every element a good story should have. An intriguing plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. Piaras The Book Review
Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends. Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest. As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.
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“This entertaining romp down memory lane comes complete with stereotypical faculty, students, apt quotes from Shakespeare, and baddies enough to please any lover of the American Cozy.”
--Frederick Ramsay, Author of The Ike Schwartz Mysteries
Listen to an audio excerpt of Death by Diploma