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The debut of Philly Prep English teacher and accidental sleuth, Amanda Pepper, (and of C.K. Mackenzie, homicide detective) won the World Mystery Convention's "Anthony" for best first mystery.
When the body of a colleague is found dead in Amanda's living room, she has to clear herself of suspicion—and make sure she isn't the next victim as well. And all she's got as a clue to the real killer's identity is a locket shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh.
Amanda Pepper is a wide-eyed and overzealous young Philadelphia schoolteacher who debuts in a not-very-mysterious mystery, the first in a series. Returning home from school, Amanda finds a friend has been murdered in her living room. Always in the right place at the right time (later, she happens upon a second body in much the same way), Amanda is up to the task, and ultimately solves the mystery with a few clever deductions. She also conveniently solves the problem of her personal life by falling in love with a charming detective with a Southern accent and a solid background in English Lit, who has been assigned to the case. Although there are a few glimmers of wit, this mystery is chock-full of predictable plot turns, and is peopled by stock characters who are not enigmatic, interesting or vivid enough to launch a long-lived series. Mystery Guild selection.