With Friends Like These (An Amanada Pepper Mystery)

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9780345377845: With Friends Like These (An Amanada Pepper Mystery)

"Gillian Roberts is a mystery reader's dream come true." Lia Matera
By the Anthony Award-winning author of "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia," another Amanda Pepper mystery. Well-known Broadway playwright and TV producer Lyle Zacharias is throwing himself a lavish birthday party in his hometown of Philadelphia. Guests include his 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 none other than Bea, whose gift was fifty delicious, but apparently poisoned, tarts!
It's up to Amanda to clear her mother's name and find the real murderer . . . before he or she strikes again! But Amanda herself may be the next target! Who says teaching isn't exciting? With any more excitement, Amanda will have to retire before she hits thirty-one . . . if she lives that long!

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From the Publisher:

Even before I became her editor, starting with her third mystery novel, I was enamored of Gillian Roberts and the Philadelphia-set series she writes about schoolteacher Amanda Pepper. (The author herself was once a schoolteacher in Philadelphia, so she knows whereof she writes.) Gillian's debut, CAUGHT DEAD IN PHILADELPHIA, justly won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. And subsequent installments confirmed the promise of that first book. What's special about all the Amanda Pepper novels is Amanda's voice (i.e., Gillian's first-person narration): wry, commonsensical, and with commentary that alternates between compassionate and laugh-aloud funny. Maybe the best way to describe the appeal of Gillian Roberts is to quote another top-echelon crime novelist, Nancy Pickard, who says, "Here's the Dorothy Parker of mystery writers, laughing even when -- especially when -- it hurts, and giving more wit per page than most writers give per book." All I'll add is: don't miss Gillian Roberts!

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

From Kirkus Reviews:

Philadelphia's high-school teacher/sometime sleuth Amanda Pepper (I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, etc.) dutifully escorts her mother Bea to a 50th birthday-party bash--an event paid for by playwright-TV producer Lyle Zacharias, who wants all the important influences in his life at this party he's hosting at a small hotel. But those past relationships take on new significance when Lyle dies of poison after eating dinner. Bimbo-ish current wife Tiffany, having an affair with actor-guest Shepard McCoy, is underwhelmed with sorrow--ditto second wife Sybil, in attendance with her and Lyle's teenaged son Reed. Terry Wiley, a high-school pal whose work Lyle seems to have plagiarized and built a career on, is there, too, and the father-daughter team who own the hotel might also have had a bitter score to settle with the charming, satanic Lyle. Only aged Aunt Hattie seems truly grieved--as Amanda and her policeman friend McKenzie slowly pull together long-buried secrets to reach a tortured conclusion. The road there is a bit tortured, too- -through thickets of Amanda's sometimes witty but mostly self- absorbed meanderings. Blithe but bloated, and only sporadically engrossing. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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