Ex-patriot American Dorothy Martin, now married to a retired high-level English policeman, is nearing 70, but don't let that fool you. Her curiosity and ability to piece together bricks with very little straw remain ever young. "Sins Out of School" begins with a day of substitute teaching for a teacher who simply failed to show up and ends with bringing down a politician widely believed to be the next Prime Minishter.
The story begins with a Thanksgiving Celebration in the heart of a British Cathedral town. Dorothy Martin, American Chatterbox with arthritic knees and the new wife of former Chief Constable Alan Nesbit, is begged to fill in for a teacher during a flu epidemic. While doing an admirable job as a substitute teacher, she becomes aware of bit of oddness and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a very unusual murder case. Jeanne Dams does an EXCELLENT sense of setting in her cozy mysteries, and the detective work is plausible. The Dorothy Martin character with her wacky hats and nosy questions does get on my nerves just a bit, but I like her anyway. The religious angle to the book was well set out and quite interesting and the characters were ones the reader could care about.
Kristine C. reviewed Sins Out Of School (Wwl Mystery, 474) on
I am a Jeanne Dams fan, especially the Dorothy Martin series, and this book was no exception. Walking along with Dorothy thru her fictional English town and solving the murder, in this case, of a school teachers husband, exposes the reader to the charm of an English cozy in the style of Christie.
Just Deserts You can take her out of the country, but you can't deprive Dorothy Martin of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, even in merry old England. So this expatriate Hoosier is preparing a feast -- and, naturally, it wouldn't be a challenge without a crisis or two. A retired teacher, Dorothy gets her first serving of trouble when she fills in for a missing teacher at the local school. When it turns out that the woman is now the prime suspect in the murder of her husband, Dorothy takes in the couple's young daughter for dinner. The victim was a cruel man who used his warped view of faith to torment anyone in his path. His death was really a blessing for his wife and daughter -- but did one of them kill him? The answer leads Dorothy to secrets and lies, and into the cold heart of an evil man, and the surprising face of a killer.
You just cannot beat English country-side murder mysteries, the original cozies and Ms. Dams never disappoints. From our transplanted American heroine to the various village indiocyrcrancies she gets herself into I found a very likeable relatable woman. she not only manages to appreciate the difference in our cultures but completely wins over the villagers. Read all the ones you can get your hands on.