Murder at the PTA (PTA Mystery Series #1)

( 30 )

Overview

A brand-new series in which murder is anything but elementary

After Tarver Elementary School's unpopular principal is murdered, PTA secretary and mother of two Beth Kennedy puts aside bake sales and class trip fund-raisers to catch a killer. And when members of the PTA become suspects, she realizes solving this murder will not be as easy as ABC...

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Murder at the PTA (PTA Mystery Series #1)

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Overview

A brand-new series in which murder is anything but elementary

After Tarver Elementary School's unpopular principal is murdered, PTA secretary and mother of two Beth Kennedy puts aside bake sales and class trip fund-raisers to catch a killer. And when members of the PTA become suspects, she realizes solving this murder will not be as easy as ABC...

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alden's leisurely debut introduces bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Beth Kennedy. The divorced mother of two is plagued by chronic anxiety, but when Agnes, the principal of her children's elementary school, is murdered, Beth digs up some courage and goes hunting for the killer. Given the task of cleaning perishables out of Agnes's home, Beth snoops around and learns of the seemingly staid woman's secret life, and Beth's list of possible suspects lengthens. Alden slips in asides on the difficult lives of Hmong immigrants in Beth's small Wisconsin town, the inanity of gossipy blogs, the hardships of being a single parent and business owner, and the importance of friendship. Readers will like the quirky characters and pop culture references but may chafe a bit at a pace so slow that three chapters go by before Agnes gets around to dying. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410436443
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 5/18/2011
  • Series: PTA Mystery Series , #1
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 454
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2010

    a great debut

    What a great debut novel. Meet Beth Kennedy, divorced mother of two who is coerced into running for PTA secretary by her best friend Marina. Immediately upon taking over the role as secretary, the controversial principal of her children's school is found dead, murdered. This light-hearted murder mystery will have you chuckling as straight-laced and honest Beth snoops while being prodded by Marina and when her family is threatened, Beth springs into action and a killer is caught. The witty conversations, the friendship and support and a little romance with the new guy in town made this an enjoyable and delightful read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    PTA MURDER

    Set in the small town of Rynwood, Wisconsin, about 5 miles from Madison, Beth Kennedy, divorced mother of two, runs a bookstore called Children's Bookshelf. You would think her days would be pretty full running her business and raising her children, but her best friend Marina thinks Beth needs to get out more, so she talks her into becoming secretary of the local PTA (Parent-Teacher Association). To increase membership grandparents and others in the community are involved and regularly attend meetings.


    I love it when murder mysteries take place in my backyard. This fictional town is just minutes from my real life school district. Every parent can relate to the characters in this book. We all want our children to receive the best education possible, but we are also concerned about our tax dollars too.

    This whole story, less the murder, I hope, could have taken place right here in my little community or yours. It is rare to have a principal, superintendent, or school board everyone likes, and like the story, our community is very involved in the school, the community is the school. Businesses donate computers and sports equipment, parents are involved in everything from tutoring, coaching, teaching, and volunteering anywhere needed. My community would be up in arms too if a principal proposed what this principal did, but thankfully it wouldn't escalate to murder.

    But that is why everyone will love this book, it takes reality that one step too far. There is also a little romance, humor and surprises that while not reported in the meeting minutes will make you smile, especially as the first goal is scored. This is a truly wonderful debut to a series I can't wait to see continue. We have both a new principal and superintendent this year and I hope and pray they don't take after Agnes.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Laura Alden provides an entertaining mystery.

    After getting an amiable divorce from her husband, Beth Kennedy wants a quiet peaceful life with her two elementary school age children Jenna and Oliver. Her best friend Marina believes Beth needs to get out once in a while. Beth, after listening t her froend's nagging, agrees to be secretary of the Rynwood, Wisconsin Tarver Elementary School PTA. The downside is that everyone in the PTA and at the school dislikes Principal Agnes Mephisto.

    She is a prude who implants ideas without consulting with the staff or the PTA. Her latest idea is to use an anonymous donation to build a new building, which leads to chaos as she chooses the shape and idea of what the edifice will be. A few days later Agnes is murdered and Marina, the creator of the blog WisconSINS, encourages readers to help find the killer. She receives a death threat so she and Beth conclude they have to find the clues that will identify the killer if they are to feel safe. Beth investigates eliminating suspects until the last one standing has to be the culprit, but she refuses to believe that person is a murderer; instead she tries again from a different perspective. This time she draws a different conclusion that feels right but the killer plans to stop her before she can talk to the police.

    Readers are going to appreciate this complex amateur sleuth due in large part to the main character Wisconsin bookstore owner Beth, who is a quiet pensive person preferring to remain in a rut but pushes herself for the sake of her kids. Looking for a murderer is not in her game plan, but single moms do need hobbies even those like Beth who are in hiding from life. Beth makes the tale work as Laura Alden provides an entertaining mystery.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    enjoyable!

    A good cozy mystery! Good characters, a little romance, very well written and a good ending!!

    I will look for more in this series....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    loved it!

    can't wait to read the next one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Just ok

    Just ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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