Murder at the PTA
By Laura Alden
Published by Obsidian
Copyright © 2010
Beth Kennedy is a slightly mousy divorced mother of two and a children’s books store owner in Rynwood, Wisconsin. Her best friend, who thinks she should get out more, tricks her into becoming the local PTA Secretary. Shortly after this, Tarver Elementary’s very unpopular principal, Agnes Mephisto, is murdered. In this small community news travels fast and everyone is anxious to know who has done what, and why. To help her best friend, Marina, Beth decides to investigate this crime landing herself in harm’s way more than once. Where the county sheriff’s office can’t seem to figure anything out, this momma bear will not only figure out who the killer is, but will take them down herself. All the while Beth will meet her old kindergarten beau, learn that a colleague is more generous with his time than anyone could know, and that the hated principal for all of her faults was still a good person.
Murder at the PTA is set in Middle America, suburban Madison, Wisconsin. The motives here are just a little different. There are no political intrigues, infidelities, or priceless objects as motives. Murder here is committed over a proposed school building project, but what about such a project could induce someone to commit murder? The answer while so simple is so well hidden by the author that it really comes as a surprise.
It does take some work to keep track to the numerous characters in this novel, and it also slows the reading down a bit, but they are so thoroughly engaging that the wait is worth it. This is a great first effort from Laura Alden and I personally can’t wait for more.