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Death Makes the Cut    by Janice Hamrick order for
Death Makes the Cut
by Janice Hamrick
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

On the first day of school after summer break, Texas high school teacher Jocelyn Shore discovers a body in the tennis shed. The deceased was her friend and mentor, Fred Argus, a history teacher and the tennis coach. He's the best teacher she knows and so well liked, it's impossible for her to believe he was murdered.

The principal assigns the tennis coaching position to Jocelyn. It's not a job she wants, but she takes it on a temporary basis and later learns there is another teacher who is wild to have the job. So much so that he confronted Fred and attempted to pressure him into stepping aside, just as he's now doing with Jocelyn.

After finding a stash of marijuana in the tennis shed, the police consider that Fred's death could be drug related. Jocelyn knew him well and she doesn't believe the drugs belonged to him, so she begins asking questions of her own. Although she doesn't think she's making progress, someone does. She's attacked in the park and her house is trashed while she's hospitalized.

I was relieved that, unlike in most mysteries, Jocelyn wasn't treated as a suspect. The lead detective's interest in her has nothing to do with the case. Jocelyn's long distance relationship with Alan Stratton, introduced in Death Goes on Tour, could be in jeopardy.

Hamrick writes with humor and wit. Jocelyn is gutsy and funny. This is one series that goes on my to-read list.

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