Hildegarde Withers, schoolteacher and amateur detective, stumbles onto the corpse of Jefferson Grammar School's attractive young music teacher. When Miss Withers goes for help, the body plays hooky, and when Homicide Inspector Oscar Piper starts to investigate, somebody tries to brain him with a shovel. The rest of the cops want to throw the book at the school janitor, who has flunked their pop quiz. But Miss Withers disagrees and decides to stay after school to ask her own questions.
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- Richard S. Swol
Hidegard returns for a murder close to home
Hildegarde Withers returns in this, the third book in the series. She literally stumbles over a murder after school lets out for the day. That sets the stage for the rest of the story. It also sets the tone. Something seems to be missing here in my opinion. It seems to be missing that spark of originality. The author took pains to differentiate this from the earlier books by sidelining Oscar Piper and leaving Hidegarde without her usual foil. I think that this is what I was missing. The banter between those two characters are a highlight of the series and I missed them here.
The mystery is good, with adequate red herrings. The motivation struck me as a bit thin, but not bad really.
I will continue with the series and hope that it returns to the form I found more entertaining.
Okay but not as much fun as the previous books.
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