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Title: Murder at the PTA
Author: Lee Hollis
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Page Count: 336
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Desperate Housewives meets Murder, She Wrote, in Lee Hollis’s new mystery series, where a housewife and a female private eye solve murders together in their small Maine town!
Someone is trying to turn Portland High into a school for scandal with a gossipy website called Dirty Laundry. The latest target of ruinous rumors is newly elected PTA president Sandra Wallage. After a heated meeting with outraged parents, Sandra runs into fellow school mom and private investigator Maya Kendrick, who’s discovered the person behind the website. But when the women storm into the venomous gossip columnist’s office they find a lifeless body—along with a confession.
Although the police rule the death a suicide, Maya suspects an injured party hung the Dirty Laundry creator out to dry. Maya already has a PI partner—but she’s pregnant, and sonograms and stakeouts tend to conflict. So when Sandra volunteers for a crash course in sleuthing, Maya accepts the help. But as these unlikely partners study the clues, a killer plans to teach them a lesson . . .
Murder at the PTA by Lee Hollis is the first book in the cozy Maya and Sandra Mystery series. As with most cozy mysteries the Maya and Sandra Mystery series is one that has a fully solved murder within the book so it can be read as a standalone if choosing to do so. There will be of course character development that carries over from book to book if reading from the beginning.
The Maya and Sandra Mystery series is a little different than your average cozy in the fact it has two lead characters and changes the point of view between them to give both sides to the story. Sandra Wallage is a housewife and the PTA president that is married to a scandalous politician. Maya Kendrick is a private investigator that has a huge workload with her partner being pregnant and close to giving birth.
Sandra’s husband is the latest victim of a gossipy website called Dirty Laundry outing him as a cheater. As Sandra is trying to pull herself together from the news she runs into Maya at the school and wonders why she is there so she follows her. Both women then discover the body of the woman running the Dirty Laundry website and find themselves caught up in just who killed her.
After beginning the Maya and Sandra Mystery series I thought to myself this is going to be one that is either a hit or miss with readers. The series is a cozy with some humor but along with having two characters it’s also a little different in being a little darker than your normal cozy. Personally I did enjoy the changes to the norm and liked reading this first book of the series. With one character your regular joe jumping into investigations and the other a trained detective I found this a great combo and look forward to returning.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
LEE HOLLIS is the pen name for Rick Copp, a veteran Hollywood screenwriter who has written for numerous television series, including The Golden Girls, Wings, Scooby-Doo, Teen Titans, and Barbershop. He is the co‑writer of The Brady Bunch Movie and has written a number of novels under his own name. He also produces, writes, and stars in the hit web series Where the Bears Are. With his sister Holly Simason, he co‑authors the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktail Mysteries book series using the Lee Hollis name. He lives in Palm Springs, California.