It is a delightful mystery and schoolteacher Amanda Pepper is a cleaver, engaging sleuth, facing wry observations about life inside and outside the classroom.
This was pretty good, I have read many of these and I'm finding that I like Amanda Pepper less and less over time. The mystery is interesting but not too difficult to figure out, and we have learned the date for the wedding, which seems to be much too soon for Amanda.
Amanda Pepper, , Philly Prep English teacher extraordinaire, has gone pro. She and fiance, former homicide cop C.K. Mackenzie, are moonlighting as private detectives. Fearing her son has taken up with an adventuress, the Claire of the title hires them to investigate her prospective daughter-in-law. Somebody dies, but that would be telling!
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, Emmies mother-in-law to be, the ailing, autocratic Claire Fairchild, receives anonymous letters. They suggest, none too subtly, that theres 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.
Enter Amanda Pepper who, after completing her day of teaching English at Philly Prep, now moonlights as a P.I. along with C. K. Mackenzie, former homicide detective, current graduate student at Penn. The two of them are hired by Mrs. Fairchild to find out who the charming but evasive Emmie Cade really is. At thirty-two, the young woman has changed her address and name more often than some women change nail polish -- and deliberately or not, shes provided no clues or access to her past.
For Amanda, becoming C .K. Mackenzies investigative partner is an exhilarating change from the politics and problems of the new school term, and a welcome distraction from the ordeal of meeting her own prospective in-laws. Shes determined to prove herself an able investigator by ferreting out Emmie Cades secrets, but almost immediately, instead of looking at events of the past, shes forced to deal with the here and now -- including murder.