Death by Diploma (Chalkboard Outlines) (Volume 1) by Kelley Kaye ~ 2016

Emma Lovett learns more than she ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

Author: Kelley Kaye
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC  (February 23, 2016)
Publication: February 23, 2016
Pages: 235
Language: English
Jacket design: Streetlight Graphics
Author photographer: Just a friend who enjoys quite credit and to whom we give thanks

"This book was provided by Kelley Kaye in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."

4 Stars

Kelley Kaye
What a crazy Cozy Mystery!

Loved it.  This cozy novel is perfect for the inquisitive teen who might enjoy seeing/reading what you learn in English/Writing class.

Ms. Kaye's delightful satirical prose is spot on, folks.

Emma Lovett, this strong willed young lady leaves her gallivanting husband for Pinewood, Colorado and a refreshing new start.

A new start all right, a chapter in this young lady's life in her pursuit of a rewarding career in sharing her knowledge to these sprouting high schoolers in Literature at Thomas Jefferson High became a crash course on amateur sleuthing.

Me? I would have left the matter to the cops (no matter their flaws) but, oh no, not Emma. This zany story is great -

Emma's second day into her career as a teacher, as a teacher Hannah! she imagines telling her childhood friend, was a doosie.  Sporting an accidentally self-inflicted black eye, she gets to work early and discovers Melvin McManus, the school's janitor -  a man so deeply in love with his lady - murdered.

He turns out as my favorite character.

Leslie Parker, head of the English department and a woman who could quote Shakespeare on a dime in any particular moment, explains to Emma the history of Pinewood's finest.  In particular, a detective by the name of Carl Niome (he's in charge by the way folks lol).  What a hoot he is as a character.  His sidekick Costello teams up nicely for him as a partner, but, at any rate, Emma and Leslie become the amateur sleuthing heroines for this tale.

As they construct a clear concise plausible reasoning series of steps - including imagining any other factors that might flaw it - they persevere and deliver justice from Melvin to the Reader in a fun read.  Emma and Leslie are a great duo.

Their suspects range from all the obvious ones to ones you might not even think of, like, the lady Melvin is so in love with?  What?  No?  Wait.  Emma's new love?

What about Leslie's mysterious beau?  Well, there are others: the librarian Edward Dixon, the football coach, the social studies teacher, dear Reader the list goes on ~

As they cross off their suspect list, I imagined these two had to have read up on Nancy Drew.  Will they find the killer before the killer finds them?

A real no page-turner as we meet the characters, though, it picks up and becomes cozy once the murder is committed and the sleuthing begins.  The plot twists develop well and are coherently smooth that adds the backstory to the book, which needs kudos mentioning.

Ms. Kaye attempts to convey Emma’s southern accent by using “ah'm” for I'm and “ah”for I.  The first few mentions of this pronunciation were fine, for me since this read is told from Emma's POV, it became a bit redundant and distracting as the pages turned, reader's will disseminate the use naturally as they enjoy the read.  I would have had the use 'peppered' throughout the chapters.

The mystery element stayed true and the ending is wrapped up nicely with an air of satisfying continuance, which is needed knowing this is the beginning for Emma and her future endeavors.  A new start in Pinewood, Colorado?,  Oh a resounding yes!  As I read, there was an air as if I were in English class in an enjoyable way.

Question: The internal story of an old love lost to never be rekindled - will that go any where in the series?

Great characters, great mystery, great weekend read.  Thank you Kelley.

I recommend; with one of your favorite drinks and a comfy spot - you will have a fun read.

Death by Diploma trailer

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Here's where you can get your fingers on Death by Diploma:

  •  Amazon ~ Paperback $11.99 ~ Kindle $5.99 USD

About the author ~

Kelley Kay(e) Bowles

Kelley Kaye taught High School English and Drama for twenty years, but her love for storytelling dates back to creating captions for her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created around her Barbie and Ken—whatever the case, the love’s been around for a long time.

Kelley is married to this amazing man who cooks for her, and they have two funny and wonderful sons. She lives in Southern California.


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Enjoy my interview with Kelley Kaye

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