Monday, October 26, 2015


Publisher:    Berkley
Published:    July 5, 2011
ISBN:      978-0451234087
Genre:    Cozy Mystery
Format:  Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Beth Kennedy has her hands full raising her two children more or less alone, running her children’s book store and activities with the PTA.  Some days running the book store can be a bit trying when one of her employees takes off at the last minute.  When it happens yet again it is on a PTA meeting day.  After successfully moving this all important meeting to another date Beth has a moment to feel all is under control.  Not only was Beth able to put through a project near and dear to her, everything else seems to be moving along fairly smoothly. 

That is, until, she and her fellow PTA member, Erica find a third member dead in his truck.  Not only is Sam dead…the evidence is pretty clear, he’s been murdered.  What is so puzzling is that Sam was well liked by everyone.  There wasn’t a person who didn’t call him friend. 

On the heels of Sam’s death Beth decides that it is long past time she deal with her flaky employee, Marcia.  When Marcia demands vacation through the holiday rush Beth tells her it is time for her to go—permanently.  Short one very much needed employee Beth is delighted to hire Yvonne.  But Yvonne comes with a history—a history that includes being accused of killing someone in very much the same way Sam was killed.  Has Beth just hired herself a killer?

I wasn’t too impressed with book 1 of Laura Alden’s PTA series, MURDER AT THE PTA, but thought I’d give book 2, FOUL PLAY AT THE PTA a shot (pardon the pun).  I’m glad I did.  I got the sense Alden found her voice and delivered a much better read.  The characters were a bit tighter and more fleshed out.  The mystery was well done—who would kill a well-liked guy?  I particularly liked the strength we start to see in Beth.  In book 1 she was more or less a pushover.  In FOUL PLAY AT THE PTA she stands up to her ex as well as taking things in hand where Marcia is concerned.  I like the progression with her beau, Evan.  The romance isn’t a big part of the story, but adds some nice dimension to it.

Each book in this series is a standalone and Alden gives readers enough back story that they do not have to be read in order.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

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