Chalkboard Outlines , Book 1
Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Print ISBN-13: 978-1-940215-62-4
Print ISBN-10: 1940215625
March 2016
Cozy Mystery

Pinewood, Colorado – The Present

After the end of her marriage a few years ago, Emma Lovett returned to school. She now arrives at Thomas Jefferson High School in Pinewood for her first teaching job just a few days before school starts. Inside her room she soon meets Melvin, the janitor, who reminds her of her father. Then Leslie Parker arrives with aplomb. Leslie is another English teacher, tall, blonde, self-assured, and full of Shakespearean quotes and other spontaneous quips. They are opposites except that Emma can hold her own in repartee. Leslie shows Emma around the school. Emma soon meets the coaching staff and Charlie, the head coach, whose suggestive talk and behavior crosses the line of propriety, and one set of pushy parents demanding Leslie change their daughter's B+ grade. Then within days of school's start, Emma finds Melvin's body in the high school office. Who would want to murder this kind man? She and Leslie start their own investigation since Leslie, familiar with the local law authority, doubts his ability. Along the way, the two make allies among the school's staff in their search, including handsome Hunter Wells, another relatively new teacher whose masculine attention attracts Emma.

DEATH BY DIPLOMA is a quirky comedy-mystery, full of odd characters. Everyone is a little off-beat starting with the main characters. Emma and Leslie become fast friends. While physically and temperamentally different, Leslie being forward and assertive and Emma less sure of herself. Both, however, are simpatico—divorcees sharing their love of word play and their determination to discover Melvin's murderer, which soon turns into two murders, blackmail, and hidden identities. Other staff members, students and their parents, share this eccentric but enjoyable individuality. What else could you expect in a high school?

Robin Lee