- Series: Amanda Pepper Mysteries
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780345480194
- ISBN-13: 978-0345480194
- ASIN: 0345480198
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,328,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Hole in Juan: An Amanda Pepper Mystery (Amanda Pepper Mysteries) Hardcover – February 28, 2006
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Philadelphia English teacher and amateur sleuth Amanda Pepper returns in another entertaining adventure. It's the week before Halloween, and students and faculty at Amanda's school are falling victim to mysterious events that are too ominous to merely be called pranks. Teaming up with her private-eye husband, Amanda determines to find out what's going on and why. As usual, Roberts keeps the story moving swiftly and fairly lightly. Another solid entry in a reliable, contemporary-cozy series. - David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Praise for Gillian Roberts and her Amanda Pepper mysteries
Helen Hath No Fury
“Roberts’s gentle sense of humor enlivens the entire story. . . . Amanda is younger, funnier, and more with-it than most mystery heroines, [with] gemlike insight into modern womanhood.”
–San Jose Mercury News
Caught Dead in Philadelphia
“A stylish, wittily observant, and highly enjoyable novel.”
–Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“Lively . . . breezy . . . entertaining.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia
“Literate, amusing, and surprising while at the same time spinning a crack whodunit puzzle.”
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As always in the Amanda Pepper books, the story is about more than the mystery. This time she takes a closer look at the passions and emotional confusion that fueled all of us when we were that age, when we were on the precipice of adulthood, when everything was too important. It's no accident that her class is reading A Separate Peace, and this makes me want to pick that classic up again.
OK, so if I liked so much, why only three stars? Because the very end is a mess. It's too abrupt, and the denouement is very unsatisfying. Amanda Pepper's world -- her classroom, her students, the teacher's lounge and office, the streets she walks, the loft she lives in -- became very real to me and then POOF! Done. Over.
This is the thirteenth Amanda Pepper mystery and once again Gillian Roberts has written a delightfully captivating cozy mystery. I am very impressed by the depth of the characters in this novel. Roberts obviously has a deep understanding of both adolescents and adults. Her characters are well-defined and they ring true. The chemistry teacher is only at Philly Prep so that he can earn enough money to stay in grad school. He clearly does not understand the student population in a school where the only necessary qualification is having parents wealthy enough to pay the tuition. He calls his senior students "the tennis boys and their girls," without any acknowledgement of them as individuals. Amanda, on the other hand, knows her students extremely well. She is able to captivate them even when they don't want to be engaged. She succeeds in encouraging one of her classes to write their own poetry and perform it for the entire school. And she notices when a student starts acting differently.
The plot moves swiftly and the muddied waters become more confused as the Friday night party approaches. There are plenty of clues, but sorting them out is far from an easy task, and suspense abounds. The conclusion is very satisfying, and as always, Amanda premonitions were right.
If you enjoy cozy mysteries, especially in an academic setting, you will certainly be pleased with A Hole in Juan. Personally, I think that a day spent with Amanda Pepper is a day well spent.
Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews
A new teacher hired over the summer, Juan Reyes, who is a chemistry doctorate, finds the students "...a disappointment. Sloppy thinkers, lazy, only interested in their petty lives." Of course, the teenagers sense this attitude and proceed to make his life miserable.
Odd things begin to happen to Mr. Reyes. But odd things begin to happen to Amanda as well. They were called "tricks," as they were attributed to the approach of Halloween. (In Philadelphia, it is a tradition for children to pull harmless pranks on the night before Halloween.) As this night of tradition draws even closer, the tricks take a deadly twist--both for the faculty and students. Amanda Pepper must use her sleuthing skills to uncover the perpetrators before the fateful night arrives.
I loved this book--the characters, and the plotline. As an avid reader of action and adventure stories, this book had plenty to keep me interested. And, I appreciated the lack of violence and cuss words.
Being a teacher myself, I empathized with the daily struggles of the main characters. The book is a quick read and I read it cover to cover on a Friday night. Good for relaxing on a cold winter's night!
Armchair Interviews says: Grab this book and a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter night, and enjoy!