This is the 4th Amanda Pepper mystery - and I enjoyed it very much. I find the writing to be clever, even if the plot is sometimes a little see-through. There is always a twist or two to keep you guessing.
Any book that can keep you attention & have you smiling to yourself & chuckling out loud is a book to recommend to others!
Lyle Zachariias, a well known playwright, comes to Philadephia to throw himself a birthday party. During the party he drops dead, having eaten a poison tart. All the guests are suspect. Amanda Pepper, an amateur sleuth, looks for the guilty party. This is a discontinued library book,
Amanda Pepper, sleuthing high-school English teacher at Philly Prep, is dragooned into attending a birthday party for her mother's old friend Lyle Zacarias, a well-known playwright. Oddly, none of his guests seem to like him--more the opposite. But who caused him to drop dead in the middle of his birthday speech? Certainly not Amanda's mother, Bea, whose birthday tarts were both delicious and deadly. Naturally, Amanda cannot rest until her mother is cleared...
In spite of these reviews, I enjoyed her whimsy and humor more than usual....
From Publishers Weekly: Several chapters of inconsequential scene-setting precede the poisoning death of insufferable TV producer Lyle Zacharias at the 50th birthday party he has thrown for himself in the South Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. The guest list doubles as a roster of suspects. Those who see Lyle drop dead in the middle of his celebratory speech include his overprotective Aunt Hattie; his third wife, the pneumatic Tiffany, who may have been cheating on him; his aloof second wife Sybil, who thinks the only useful thing he ever did was father their son Reed; various show-biz types who have good reason to hate him; edgy Lizzie Chapman, the hotel's cook and caterer; and Bea Pepper, whose gift tarts turn out to have been the vehicle for the rare poison that killed Lyle. Bea is also the mother of amateur sleuth Amanda Pepper, star of three previous mysteries, including the Anthony Award-winning Caught Dead in Philadelphia . This time out, Amanda chatters her way to an improbable solution with the help of her boyfriend, homicide detective C. K. Mackenzie, in an annoyingly jokey and overelaborate tale. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I love the main character of this series, but this was my least favorite of the first four books.
Well know Broadway playwright and TV producer Lyle Zacharias is throwing himself a lavish birthday party in his hometown of Philadelphia, complete with current wife, ex-wives, friends, former partners - not to mention Amanda Pepper and her own irrepressible mother, Bea. Yet when Lyle drops dead in the middle of a speech, it appears the likely perpetrator is Bea Pepper, whose gift was 50 delicious, but apparently poisoned, tarts!
It's up to Amanda to disprove the obvious to the police. In the meantime, there's a jealous wife who thinks Amanda's up to no good, a student placing threatening notes in her mailbox, and a black pickup truck chasing her around the streets of Philadelphia. Who says teaching isn't exciting? With any more excitement, Amanda will have to retire before she hits thirty one.