Death Makes the Cut

Janice Hamrick. Minotaur, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-00554-0

Hamrick’s winning sequel to her 2011 cozy debut, Death on Tour, finds French and history teacher Jocelyn Shore preparing for opening day at James Bonham High School in Austin, Tex. Alas, the first day of school she’s greeted by sobbing students, who lead her to the tennis shed, where her friend and fellow teacher, tennis coach Fred Argus, is lying dead on the floor amid scattered tennis balls. While the police investigate, the principal asks Jocelyn to temporarily take over the tennis team. Meanwhile, Jocelyn is under pressure from her tour guide boyfriend to join him on a trip to Italy, but to accept would mean the loss of her teaching job. Determined to expose Fred’s killer, Jocelyn adds sleuthing to her already hectic schedule. Credible characters and a realistic look at school politics bolster the fast-moving humorous plot. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (July)
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