Amateur sleuth and harried high school teacher Amanda Pepper returns in A Hole In Juan, a delightful mystery by mainstream novelist Judith Greber, writing under a pen name. Herself a former English teacher, Greber-as-Roberts brings s real sense of classroom intrigue to this story of Halloween pranks gone haywire.
Itís almost time for that spooky holiday in the city of Philadelphia, but for Amanda Pepper, teacher at Philly Prep, a school for kids with less than stellar academic performances, the tricks are starting early, and with a sinister sense of more than your typical holiday pranks. When a rigid and unpopular schoolteacher is hurt in a terrible chemistry lab explosion, Pepper suspects that it is more than just an accident, especially after a series of other strange mishaps and occurrences - some of which she herself has been the victim of. In fact, sleuth that she is, Pepper suspects some of her students are hiding a deep, dark, and possibly dangerous secret.
As Pepper tries to make sense of the escalating intrigue, she enlists the help of her charming PI husband, C.K. Mackenzie, and her goofily adorable nephew Pip, to solve the mystery of who is behind the more-than-mischievous pranks. And time is of the essence, for rumor has it something big, possibly deadly, will go down at the big Halloween party just days away.
This is a fun read, filled with humor and charm, and the mystery keeps you guessing even as Pepper stumbles over clues, misses the obvious, and eventually realizes just how dangerous the situation is. Unlike some of the more violent and gritty mystery novels, this breezy offering is for those who prefer instead a lively and entertaining story filled with characters you can root for and have fun watching as they discover whodunit right before your eyes.
Amanda Pepper makes teaching, and P.I. work, sound like a barrel of fun, laced with danger and a hint of menace, and peppered (pardon the pun) with just enough suspense to keep you wanting more.