Retro Reading: Curse of the PTA by Laura Alden
It’s a new school year and this one is definitely going to be a killer. Literally.
At the first PTA meeting of the school year, Beth Kennedy is a bundle of nerves as its her first meeting as the new president and the person taking over her position bails at the last minute.
Faced with an impromptu election and angry parents, a nervous Beth manages to calm everyone down, hold an election and before introducing the guest speaker, Dennis Halpern (a financial consultant) she suggests a short recess. Unfortunately, the meeting won’t reconvene since Dennis is found dead in the men’s room.
When its discovered that the school doors were open, anyone could have offed Dennis. Of course, it’s up to Beth to solve the murder and prove that the PTA is not cursed.
As in the previous installments, the pacing is terribly slow and it feels as though we need to know every detail/movement of the characters. The story is also overcrowded with too many characters.
This has been a consistent problem with the series and at times many of the extra characters pop in for a page or two and disappear. Does the sales girl really advance the story? No. Does Beth’s ex-boyfriend, Evan need to pop up just to say, “hi.” No.
Since the book is written in the first person, Beth is basically a weak character. She spends too much time thinking and worrying. This could be why the reader can’t fully connect with her.
I think Alden wants us to think and act like Beth, but when it comes down to it, who cares about a needy on the verge of a nervous breakdown PTA president?
I really didn’t.