No End to Trouble
(St. Polycarp School Mystery Book 3)
Author: Marianna Heusler
Category: Murder Mystery, Cozy
Suitable for: All Ages (see Parent’s Guide)
My Rating: 4 Stars
Format Read for Review: Paperback copy provided by the author in return for an honest review.
Description: There seems to be no end to the troubles at St. Polycarp School and two teachers always seem to find themselves in the middle of it. Becoming suspects themselves they can’t help but try to solve the crimes to clear their names. The bodies pile up and a psychopath torments the staff by sending threatening letters and stealing important items. The clues point to one terrifying possibility, the killer is in the school.
“I can’t believe that this is happening again! It’s like this school is cursed!”
In Short: If you like clean murder mysteries then this is a must read. The story is fun and entertaining and keeps you guessing until the end. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the mystery genre and although this book worked fine as a standalone why not check them out in order.
“You know, I’ve been thinking.”
“Always a dangerous thing.”
Pros: I liked the two women sleuth characters. Mrs. Hopwood and Mrs. Johnson are two tenured teachers and best friends. They like to put their nose into things even knowing they are risking being fired or worse. I thought their characters were endearing and their personalities provided humor to the story. The whole cast was diverse and interesting. The characters were well developed and there were a few suspects with good motives.
Let’s talk about the mystery. The characters investigate who killed the cafeteria lady, Bertha while other crimes and weird things continue to happen. We aren’t even sure if Bertha was the intended target or if the killer will have to try again. The mystery is very interesting. You can only really speculate until you get the full picture at the end. The book started with a murder of a man in a parking lot. I kept that in the back of my mind as the story progressed. I wondered what it had to do with Bertha’s death, but we aren’t really given any information about what happened in the beginning until the very end. In the end all the connections are made and the culprit is revealed. I did enjoy the ending quite a bit even if the killer wasn’t who I thought it was. The story was a fun ride with a lot of interesting details and comedy along the way. The perspective switches from person to person to give you a wide view of the story and I really liked that. It felt like I was watching murder mystery TV. Reading this has definitely made me want to read the rest of the series. It was a good standalone and past books (and crimes) are referenced but nothing is revealed to spoil those previous cases.
“Mrs. Johnson loved her best friend dearly but no one could ever call Mrs. Hopwood flexible.”
Cons: This book would benefit from editing. (First Edition 2015 paperback and kindle versions.) At one point I think a character was in two places at once. There are some typos, wrong words, and missing words. It could be a tad distracting but still overall very easy to follow and a good story.
“Everyone knows the best way to kill someone is to make it look like an accident.”
Parent’s Guide: There is murder with some brief (non-descriptive and non-gory) violence. Some language. No sex. Overall pretty clean.