death by diplomaby Kelley Kaye, Kelley Kay Bowles

4.5 Stars

Publisher: 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.

My Review: Emma Lovett is a “Southern Bell” who left her philandering husband and South Carolina behind to become an English High school teacher in Pinewood Colorado. She meets up with Leslie, a smart-mouth, feisty divorcee who is also an English teacher. She takes Emma under her wing, introduces her around, warns who about parents and staff she needs to be careful of and generally show her the ropes.

Emma makes it through the first couple of days and when she arrives at work early one morning to prepare for classes, she stumbles upon the dead body of the kindly custodian, Melvin, in the office. The detective assigned to the case is not very smart, so Emma and Leslie decide they need to solve the case on their own. They sneak into the school at night and run into an intruder and get knocked over, luckily with just minor injuries. When they stumble upon another dead body, they begin to have second thoughts about their exploits. A second storyline deals with a scandal that is changing grades for athletes which they also end up getting involved in.

Of course being a cozy mystery novel, there has to be a love interest and there is one for both of the ladies. Emma meets up with the special investigator from CHSS and Leslie has a younger man who she is keeping secret. There are some quirky characters in the story as well as a lot of Shakespeare quotes that remind me of my high school English classes. A great read for cozy mystery readers.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.