Saturday, June 9, 2012

Plotting At The PTA-Laura Alden

Plotting At The PTA

Laura Alden

Obsidian, Jul 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451237491

In Rynwood, Wisconsin, single mother of two children, Beth Kennedy serves as the Tarver Elementary PTA secretary and owns the Children's Bookshelf. Beth provides a special delivery service to customers who cannot get to her store. She delivers an order to Amy Jacobson only to learn the acrophobic recluse died from anaphylaxis shock due to bee stings. Stunned as Amy never went out in daylight, Beth is further worried as her customer was found by the neighbor’s dog holding a can of bee spray.

Concerned about anomalies Beth visits the police Chief Gus Eisler with her theory but he thinks she has had some lucky success (see Foul Play At The PTA) so he blows her off insisting she is looking for a homicide when none exists. Still doubting the official cause of death, Beth is approached by Maude, a resident at the Sunny Roof Assisted Living Center, to look into the “accidental” drowning death of her niece Kelly decades ago. Most of the townsfolk believe she committed suicide. Maude and Kelly’s mom think she was murdered by her longtime boyfriend who dumped her. Beth assumes there was no homicide until she learns Kelly and Amy were best friends. As she goes around Rynwood seeking clues, a vigillant killer watches her closely just in case she gets too close to the truth.

The latest PTA amateur sleuth (see Murder At The PTA) is an engaging whodunit as the heroine knows her customers so well she finds deviations in the “behavior” of Amy leading to her death. The heroine treats her two cases as separate inquires until she finds the surprising link between the deaths. Fans will enjoy Laura Alden’s complex murder mystery thankfully without a recall in sight.

Harriet Klausner

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