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Plotting at the PTA (Obsidian Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Laura Alden
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Good thing Beth Kennedy likes to multi-task. As a PTA secretary, children’s bookstore owner, and single mom, Beth has to work hard to schedule time for sleuthing…

Beth is excited about the spring PTA project—the Senior Story Session, which pairs elderly residents of Sunny Rest Assisted Living with Tarver Elementary students to produce a book that the PTA can sell as a fundraiser.

But her enthusiasm is dampened when she discovers one of her regular customers at the bookstore, Amy Jacobson, has died from bee stings. What are bees doing out so unseasonably early in Wisconsin—and why wouldn’t Amy, who was deathly allergic, have taken greater care to avoid them?

Now it’s up to Beth to get the buzz on who used killer bees to send Amy Jacobson to her eternal rest…  


Product Details

  • File Size: 1444 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451237498
  • Publisher: NAL (July 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073XV4AW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,140 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun for a light read, 3 1/2 stars August 9, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Beth Kennedy takes a vacation from running her children's bookstore to spend time with her kids, but then has a full to-do list waiting for her when she returns. One overdue task is delivering books to customers that have placed special orders. However, when Beth arrives at the reclusive Amy Jacobson's house to deliver her books, she learns the young woman has died from an allergic reaction to bee stings. Beth is horrified and after asking around a little about Amy, she is surprised to discover a possible connection between Amy's death and a long ago tragedy. Beth goes to the police, but they consider both cases closed and definitely unrelated. That's when Beth uses the people skills she's gained from making it through the politically charged PTA meetings at her children's school to use in getting to the bottom of the two cases.

This light, cozy series is getting better with each book. Beth is starting to stand up for herself more, although she still lets some of the PTA officers, especially her nemesis Claudia Wolff, bully her at times. Beth can always depend on her best friend Marina whenever she needs help with a case or just needs a friend. Marina's loyalty is her best quality. Marina can sometimes be a little grating, but she has matured and encourages Beth to be more assertive. The quirky mother of four is a drama queen and may break out into a Southern, German, or some other accent at any time, but she always has Beth's best interests at heart, and Beth feels the same about Marina. At one point in the book, someone close to Beth criticizes Marina, and it is wonderful that the sometimes timid Beth doesn't hesitate to defend her best friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Mystery July 21, 2012
By D. Love
Format:Kindle Edition
Knowing her good friend and learning about her death, Beth suspects that there is more to her death, so Beth sets out to see if she can learn more surrounding the days before her friend's untimely death. Meanwhile one of the seniors, hearing about Beth's exploits in solving murders, wants her to investigate a 20-year old death. As Beth pursues both cases, her search for answers becomes more urgent.

This was a good read in this light-hearted and charming whodunit. The writing is crisp, the flow is evenly paced and I like the way the story progressed and kept me guessing as to how this drama would end. It's all about the relationship in this character-driven tale and I especially love the comedic tone that is found throughout this story. Beth is a great character and her relationships and concerns with her friends and family makes her a good sleuth. This was very enjoyable and I look forward to the next book in this wonderful series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We Knew the PTA Was a Dangerous Organization! October 22, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Beth Kennedy is getting pushed around again, this time by an ornery senior citizen. Added to the usual troubles she faces: growing kids, a contentious PTA board, and her goofy friend Marina's machinations, it's pushing her to the limit. Then a customer she liked is found dead in her own back yard, and Beth has more stress than anyone should have to handle.
Alden's books are peopled with characters we could almost swear we know. Beth is the quintessential modern woman, running a business, working to improve her town, raising children, and all the while worried that she isn't doing any of them well enough. Small town interaction rings true in every story, and Alden has a gift for turning a humorous phrase that exactly captures a mother's angst or the frustration of a woman whose patience is waning.
I've enjoyed the PTA series very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging amateur sleuth July 3, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Rynwood, Wisconsin, single mother of two children, Beth Kennedy serves as the Tarver Elementary PTA secretary and owns the Children's Bookshelf. Beth provides a special delivery service to customers who cannot get to her store. She delivers an order to Amy Jacobson only to learn the acrophobic recluse died from anaphylaxis shock due to bee stings. Stunned as Amy never went out in daylight, Beth is further worried as her customer was found by the neighbor's dog holding a can of bee spray.

Concerned about anomalies Beth visits the police Chief Gus Eisler with her theory but he thinks she has had some lucky success (see Foul Play At The PTA) so he blows her off insisting she is looking for a homicide when none exists. Still doubting the official cause of death, Beth is approached by Maude, a resident at the Sunny Roof Assisted Living Center, to look into the "accidental" drowning death of her niece Kelly decades ago. Most of the townsfolk believe she committed suicide. Maude and Kelly's mom think she was murdered by her longtime boyfriend who dumped her. Beth assumes there was no homicide until she learns Kelly and Amy were best friends. As she goes around Rynwood seeking clues, a vigillant killer watches her closely just in case she gets too close to the truth.

The latest PTA amateur sleuth (see Murder At The PTA) is an engaging whodunit as the heroine knows her customers so well she finds deviations in the "behavior" of Amy leading to her death. The heroine treats her two cases as separate inquiries until she finds the surprising link between the deaths. Fans will enjoy Laura Alden's complex murder mystery thankfully without a recall in sight.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and kept me turning the pages. Beth runs a children's book store, is secretary of the PTA and has two children. Read more
Published 12 months ago by bunnygirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
My son loves this series. He read the first one and wanted the complete series. He can't put them down. Thank You
Published 22 months ago by Michael Tsengouras
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good book by this author
I think this an interesting and well-written series. The characters are appealing and the situations are pretty realistic. Read more
Published 24 months ago by reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series
I hope she continues. I have enjoyed all pta books. Relatable and funny. As co-chair of a pto she writes things the rest of us want to say.
Published on November 22, 2012 by Summer Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun series
Beth Kennedy has her hands full with her children's bookstore, being the PTA secretary, and single mom. Read more
Published on November 9, 2012 by kayek
5.0 out of 5 stars Plotting At The PTA
Plotting At The PTA, the third book in the PTA series contained even more twists and turns than the first two books in this well-crafted series. Read more
Published on September 6, 2012 by PJ Mellor
3.0 out of 5 stars Plotting at the PTA
I love Laura Alden, but unfortunately I kept comparing this novel to Murder at the PTA. Plotting at the PTA seems a little short on plot and a little long on trivia. Read more
Published on August 29, 2012 by Laura Kennedy author
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Beth Kennedy has a wonderful money making idea for the P.T.A. A project that matches a Senior Citizen from a local assisted living center with Tarver Elementary students so that... Read more
Published on July 28, 2012 by Lori Caswell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That You Must Work Into- Worth it!
I always enjoy this gentle murder mystery series. It is a cozy in the finest sense, however, this book surpassed my expectations starting at chapter seven. Read more
Published on July 17, 2012 by J & L Rigod
1.0 out of 5 stars Dithering Damsels
I've read the other books in this series & enjoyed them enough to buy this one. I do read the "blurbs" about the story lines. To bad the books aren't as readable. Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by Loves to paint
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More About the Author

Laura Alden grew up in Michigan and graduated from college in the 80's with a (mostly unused) degree in geology. She turned to writing in the late nineties. After a number of years in management, she felt the need to move on and took a job with fewer responsibilities. A month later, she was dead bored and began to consider writing as a way to wake up her brain. She started reading a lot of books on writing and happened across a particular sentence: "What's it going to be, reasons or results?"

The phrase practically stuck her in the eye. She printed it out, framed it, and put it next to her computer. "Reasons or results?" At the end of her life, was she going to have a pile of reasons for not having done anything? Or was she going to sit down and write a book? Once she started looking at it that way, the decision was easy. A short 13 years later, her first book was published.

Currently, Laura and her husband share their house with two very strange cats. When Laura isn't writing, she's working at her day job, reading, attempting to keep the flowerbeds free of weeds, or doing some variety of skiing. Laura's debut novel, Murder at the PTA was an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel. Her fifth book, POISON AT THE PTA, will be released in February 2014.

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