All's Well That Ends

Gillian Roberts, Author Ballantine Books $23.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-345-48021-7
Roberts brings her Amanda Pepper series to a satisfying close with this 14th and final installment (after 2006's A Hole in Juan), in which the Philadelphia English teacher cum PI-in-training investigates an apparent suicide as she and her criminologist husband, C.K. Mackenzie, prepare to relocate to New Orleans. Manda's friend Sasha Berg doesn't believe that her stepmother, Phoebe Ennis, really killed herself, so she asks Manda to look into the circumstances around her death. Phoebe, married five times, may have been the victim of Merilee Wilkins, an angry business partner who blames her for the failure of their pet shop and her own marriage; Dennis Allenby, Phoebe's obnoxious son; or perhaps a date found on the Internet. Another murder in Phoebe's home (put up for sale) heightens the stakes. Roberts weaves in lively classroom scenes, as the studious, witty sleuth also draws on her husband's detecting skills and a student's dilemma to arrive at a surprising solution to both crimes. Having earned her PI certification with flying colors, Manda makes a graceful exit, bidding Philly Prep-and her fans-goodbye.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2007
Release date: 01/01/2007
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