death at hilliard high
Shauna Thompson, last seen in Deadmistress as a sixteen year old student, is now the first African-American teacher hired to teach at the high school in the affluent town of Hilliard, Connecticut. Shauna is being subjected to a series of cruel but ingenious pranks and asks Susan Lombardi to help her find the culprit.  Are the pranks the work of a gifted but twisted student or a jealous colleague? Meanwhile another teacher, Leo Loops, the scion of a prominent Hilliard family, disappears. When his wife is found dead in the basement of their home, the police start searching for Leo, and Susan can't resist looking for him herself.
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Susan Lombari, professor of education at a college in Connecticut, is asked by Elaine, a friend, to observe in a class taught by Shauna, Elaine's former student.  No reason is given, except that strange things are going on.  Susan agrees things are strange, but she can't pinpoint whether they are serious.  Is this just an innocent prankster at work?


Susan ends up discovering, with the head of Shauna's department, a colleague's dead wife and that the colleague himself is now missing.  Could he have killed his wife?  Why?  Where is he and why can't anyone find him?


Things are unsettled at home for Susan as well.  Her husband, Michael "Swash" Buckler," has become a househusband and rarely leaves the house due to an inheritance and a knack for online investing.  When Susan arrives home to fabulous dinner smells but no husband, she finds he hasn't gone far.  But what he has bought is a total shock.  And his interest in and devotion to this item totally surprises Susan.  Is this a midlife crisis?


The author does a great job of taking ordinary life experiences and working them into her story.  I love these characters as they seem so down to earth and real.  She does a wonderful job of seamlessly weaving these stories together and bringing everything to a close in a realistic way.


I like the academic setting as well.  Not having gone to college, I always enjoy getting a slice of that life in this series.


I highly recommend this book and series.

Dawn Dowdle