Following her adventures in Death on Tour, History teacher Jocelyn Shore has returned to Texas and is set to begin a new school year. On the very first day of the new school year however, things get off to a rough start when the tennis coach and Jocelyn’s teaching mentor , Fred Argus, is found dead in the tennis equipment shed. And it wasn’t an accidental death. Even though some of the students discover the body, Jocelyn is the first adult on the scene and as such is immediately drawn into the investigation. Before long, the very sexy police detective Colin Gallagher is the scene. When she is named the replacement coach for the tennis team, her role is heightened even more since so many of the players were at the crime scene. Her relationship with Gallagher heats up as well.
In many ways, the setting drove the author’s first book to success. In this book however, it is the strong characters and plotting. Readers get to know both Jocelyn and her cousin better. But the other characters are strong as well. The victim was basically an all around good guy that leaves readers sad that we only get to know him as a victim. The drama teacher and her assistant are at once too funny for words and yet frighteningly dead on for way too many activities sponsors. Anyone who has spent any time at all around schools will immediately recognize the two office ladies. They are the ones who really run a school and they know everything that goes on. The plot is straight forward enough-a teacher is found dead, his death was a murder, and the investigation is focused on who wanted him dead and why? There are many twists in this one to give readers a good puzzle to solve.
When I read the first book in the series, Death on Tour, I assumed the series was going to take Jocelyn out and about on various trips, so I was surprised when this one has her back in Texas teaching school. My confusion was probably because of the growing relationship Jocelyn has with the owner of the tour company used in the first book. Alan is back in Death Makes the Cut, and with the introduction of Colin, it will be interesting to see where things go for Jocelyn romantically as the series progresses.
It’s always interesting to see what the second book in a series brings, especially after an award winning debut. I’m pleased to say, Death Makes the Cut takes the series up a notch. I’m looking forward to the third installment.