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Caught Dead in Philadelphia Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1988


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amanda Pepper is a wide-eyed and overzealous young Philadelphia schoolteacher who debuts in a not-very-mysterious mystery, the first in a series. Returning home from school, Amanda finds a friend has been murdered in her living room. Always in the right place at the right time (later, she happens upon a second body in much the same way), Amanda is up to the task, and ultimately solves the mystery with a few clever deductions. She also conveniently solves the problem of her personal life by falling in love with a charming detective with a Southern accent and a solid background in English Lit, who has been assigned to the case. Although there are a few glimmers of wit, this mystery is chock-full of predictable plot turns, and is peopled by stock characters who are not enigmatic, interesting or vivid enough to launch a long-lived series. Mystery Guild selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Amanda Pepper comes home after a hard day teaching school to find an acquaintance dead on her hearth. All clues point to Amanda but she finds help in the guise of tall handsome police detective C.K. Mackenzie. Everything is in place for an excellent story. But the ending is a bit of a disappointment, the motive trite. However, Roberts (pseudonym of author Judith Greber The Silent Partner and Easy Answers ) has provided enough plot line and characterization to keep the reader's interest. JV
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (October 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345353404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345353405
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,029,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Crammer VINE VOICE on December 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third book I've read by Gillian Roberts but the first in the series -- I'm doing it backwards. This was still an excellent book, but not as polished as the two later books I've read. Still, Philadelphia "detective" heroine English teacher Amanda Pepper is just as likeable and funny from the start (although I think the books get funnier), and the romantic chemistry with Louisiana-born CK (in later books boyfriend and meets her as homicide detective in tihs book) is there from the start.

Amanda's involvement with murder mysteries begin when a rain-soaked part-time teacher at her school shows up first thing in the morning on the doorstep of her charming little colonial home. The ditzy visitor (she's an actress) is not making much sense, but Amanda has to get to work and leaves the jabbering woman (unwillingly) in her home where the soon-to-be victim says she's going to take a nap. In no time at all, as the reader discovers in the first few pages, she has been killed. The police at first suspect Amanda -- it was her home, she knew the victim, was the one who found her, and has apparently been telling some untruths to the witchy school secretary. Amanda is quickly drawn up into solving this murder, in part because it becomes clear quickly that her life may be in danger.

I am looking forward to reading the whole series. OK, maybe this is a series for literate women who like funny, gutsy women "detectives" with sexy boyfriends... but the writing is high quality and the plotting improves in future books in the series (in this one, I spotted the killer about half-way through the book, but then I read a LOT of mysteries and like to think I'm good at that.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first novel I have read by Gillian Roberts, and Amanda Pepper's antics prompted me to look for more work by this author.The strength of this novel is in Roberts' characters:Amanda, a likeable but meddlesome would-be slueth,Amanda's pushy mother and older sister intent to see her married off at the earliest possible opportunity, colorful counterparts at the local prep school, and of course the delighfully impossible detective McKenzie, who is identified with the initials C.K. and deigns to reveal his first name to Amanda, who is as determined to solve that mystery as any other. I hope to see more of Amanda's relationship with C.K. The plot was fairly predictable, although not trite. The ending was no surprise (except to the cops, who don't seem to be the brightest men in Philadelphia) but was salvaged because of Roberts' humorous telling and Amanda's wit. All in all, a good read and a series worth following. Amanda is the kind of gal who could get herself into all sorts of interesting messes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Mintah on June 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Caught Dead in Philadelphia was Gillian Robert's first mystery novel and an instant success. The story profiles high school English teacher Amanda Pepper, an attractive young woman whose life is turned upside down when a co-worker she barely knows comes to her for help, and is later found dead in her apartment. I could not figure out who the murderer turned out to be. Roberts writes in the first person with a lot of humour, although sometimes she overdoes it a little with the jokes. I will definitely be going back for more mystery novels featuring Pepper by Roberts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this entire book on a long plane flight, I was unable to put it down. That's rare in a book...I look forward to the rest of the Amanda Pepper series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fred Camfield on May 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first novel in the Amanda Pepper series. Most reviewers agree that it is not the best novel in the series, but it is an interesting plot, and it did keep me up late to finish the novel. The writing style is very good, and it is an easy reading novel. You can guess at the guilty party and the ending, but it is not obvious, even when the motive is revealed. As in real life, there are characters in the novel you will like, and characters you will hate.
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