*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Emma Lovett lands her very first teaching job in Pinewood, Colorado. The southern belle transplant embraces her new life with much enthusiasm until the morning she goes to work early and discovers the kindly janitor dead in the school office. Convinced the police detective is incompetent she and her new friend, fellow English teacher Leslie Parker start an investigation of their own. And they learn more about their students, colleagues, and community than they thought possible.
Emma is a great character! Sweet without being overly so, intelligent, and a bit of a scaredy cat who wants to be braver, she probably represents the majority of women out there. Her friend Leslie is always so well put together, fierce and outgoing that she makes a nice contrast to Emma. Other characters are, well, characters and add depth to the story. I was pretty sure I knew who the murderer was fairly close to the beginning of the story, but there were enough shenanigans going on that I wasn’t concrete about my conclusion. My only complaint is the use of “Ah” for “I” because Emma is from the South. The use was not consistent, switching back and forth sometimes in the same paragraph. Either stick with the accent or don’t. The resulting mishmash here was annoying. Overall though, there is more than just a murder mystery in this tale and it makes for a rich and satisfying read.