ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Book Review: Foul Play at the PTA by Laura Alden

Updated on November 17, 2014
Sophomore mystery in the series gets a passing grade
Sophomore mystery in the series gets a passing grade

A Passing Grade for this Installment

There have been a couple of times I've been harsh when I read the first book in a new series. I was harsh on author Laura Alden when I read the first in the PTA mysteries.

Something must have happened since the sophomore book in the series, Foul Play at the PTA turned out to be a page turner. The story was tighter and Alden was in no hurry this time to introduce supporting characters. There was an even pace to the story and it takes place a year after Murder at the PTA, so a lot of the story doesn't dwell on those past events.

Everything has gone back to normal with the PTA discussing the upcoming father-daughter dance, other activities which are planned throughout the year, along with a couple of new fundraising ideas. However, Beth Kennedy and Erica Hale are leaving the school when they discover an SUV parked in the corner of the school's parking lot. Inside they discover the body of Sam Helmstetter.

Beth vows not to get involved like she did the previous year but the bookstore owner, with the help of neighbor Marina Neff begin to dig deep into his murder. Before the amateur sleuths begin the task at hand, Alden writes a story focusing on the problems which Beth having with her store. The divorced mother of two has to contend with an incompetent employee, a Thanksgiving guest list that gets smaller by the day, her ex-husbands recent job loss, the picketing of the store after she hires an ex-convict.

Alden has given life to Beth, which was almost non existent in the debut novel of the series. Beth seemed to be having her own daily pity party and at the time I really didn't care too much for her. In this installment Beth has become much stronger and not the doormat I envisioned her to be.

As the last half of the novel begins Alden focuses on the murder of Sam. Beth and Marina dust off their sleuth caps and set about finding his killer. It's hard to pinpoint a suspect since Sam is beloved by the whole city and none of the suspects have a grudge against him. I never really did figure out who the murderer was but Alden really came across with a great climax.

If there's a third installment (which I'm sure there will be) I hope Alden keeps the time of year as fall. There's just something about that time of year and both novels do take place within a year of each other. I think it gives the reader a chance to rediscover the characters, rather than have the story pick up a few weeks as other series have.I'll up the grade to a B this time around since I think Alden can deliver a more suspenseful novel in the future.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)