Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Foul Play at the PTA by Laura Alden

Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Signet (first published May 25th 2011)
0451234081 (ISBN13: 9780451234087)
primary language English
Once again, the PTA meeting at the Tarver Elementary School can be  a hostile and dangerous place. After the latest meeting, one of the most loved and respected members, Sam Helmstetter, is found strangled in his car. Beth Kennedy, local bookstore owner and secretary to the PTA, is dumbstruck. Who could possibly want to murder Sam? What could be the motive? Everyone loved Sam!

As if this isn't worrying enough, Beth has an employee problem and needs more help. When Yvonne breezes into the store and almost magically breaks up a cat fight between the town's two nonagenarians, Beth hires her immediately even after hearing about Yvonne's past. She was finally pardoned after being convicted on a murder charge.Gossip in a small town runs rampant and after word got around about Yvonne's past, some parents in the town feel that her proven innocence is meaningless and that they want Yvonne gone. Or else!

With parents protesting her bookstore and no business to speak of, this is just the impetus Beth needs to start looking into the murder herself, find the real killer and prove Yvonne innocent after all. Beth's best friend Marina does her part in helping to figure out the crime and when she thinks she knows who the real killer is, she and Beth try to get incontrovertible proof. But how? Will it put them in danger? The scary thought is that it could be someone from the PTA. If they don't find the killer, Beth's fragile employee, Yvonne, will be the town pariah and Beth's business will be done for.

This is one series where I really like the two main characters and their friendship. Beth is the serious one and Marina is a little more off-beat,quirky and spontaneous. Marina brings Beth out of her shell. They play off each other well with realistic banter. Makes for some fun puzzle solving!

Foul Play at the PTA is the second book in the series. Murder at the PTA is the first. I read and reviewed that one last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. A well paced and constructed mystery made this cozy fan one happy reader. 4****

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by the author, Laura Alden in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Thanks for the review. Love the artwork on the cover.

  2. This sounds like a fun book! The PTA can be a political place.

  3. although I am not a huge cozy fan,I am tempted by the fact that it is only the second book in the series.Sounds like a nice summer read, when my brain is melting a bit.

  4. I could think up a whole list of people who would encounter foul play at the PTA!!! Sounds like a totally fun read!

  5. What a great review! I really enjoyed the first one and agree they are well constructed.

  6. I completely believe the premise of this series. PTAs can be very deadly places/groups. This one sounds like a good one - how can a guy everyone loves be killed - have to know the answer.

  7. Our school calls it a PTO instead of PTA but I think I will avoid being active ... it sounds like a dangerous place!!!

  8. I can't think of anything scarier than the PTA. brrr.

  9. Oh, this sounds so good! I haven't read a cozy in a while and am now dying to after reading your review! They are so much fun!


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