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Murder is Elementary

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Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her career as a music teacher. What a joy to be able to attend the holiday concert without worrying about how her chorus will perform. But wait. Where's the principal? Susan offers to check, only to find the principal lying dead on her office floor. Of course, now that she's retired she has time to help the local police (one of whom i Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her career as a music teacher. What a joy to be able to attend the holiday concert without worrying about how her chorus will perform. But wait. Where's the principal? Susan offers to check, only to find the principal lying dead on her office floor. Of course, now that she's retired she has time to help the local police (one of whom is her daughter) solve the mysterious crime. Did the principal die of natural causes? The bruise on her face doesn't seem severe enough to be fatal. What about that funfetti cupcake sitting on her desk? Could she have been poisoned? Susan has just found the perfect retirement activity, much to her daughter's chagrin. And when the principal's teenage daughter, one of Susan's all time favorite students, asks for help - how can she say no? Little does she realize that this crime will take her far from the schoolhouse doors, as she investigates a mystery that extends back into one family's painful past.


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Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her career as a music teacher. What a joy to be able to attend the holiday concert without worrying about how her chorus will perform. But wait. Where's the principal? Susan offers to check, only to find the principal lying dead on her office floor. Of course, now that she's retired she has time to help the local police (one of whom i Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her career as a music teacher. What a joy to be able to attend the holiday concert without worrying about how her chorus will perform. But wait. Where's the principal? Susan offers to check, only to find the principal lying dead on her office floor. Of course, now that she's retired she has time to help the local police (one of whom is her daughter) solve the mysterious crime. Did the principal die of natural causes? The bruise on her face doesn't seem severe enough to be fatal. What about that funfetti cupcake sitting on her desk? Could she have been poisoned? Susan has just found the perfect retirement activity, much to her daughter's chagrin. And when the principal's teenage daughter, one of Susan's all time favorite students, asks for help - how can she say no? Little does she realize that this crime will take her far from the schoolhouse doors, as she investigates a mystery that extends back into one family's painful past.

30 review for Murder is Elementary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    A real mystery The book was a little hard for me to get into a first. I wish it had flowed better but it was a good mystery and a very unusual conclusion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    All in all Murder Is Elementary was a pleasant read. As a retired school teacher, I am always delighted to find books featuring school teachers generally and especially those who have retired but who maintain close ties with school or students. I thought the premise of this novel was excellent and the characters fairly well drawn and true to life. My biggest complaint was the style of writing; it was a bit choppy and didn't always flow smoothly. There was more 'showing' than 'telling,' and there All in all Murder Is Elementary was a pleasant read. As a retired school teacher, I am always delighted to find books featuring school teachers generally and especially those who have retired but who maintain close ties with school or students. I thought the premise of this novel was excellent and the characters fairly well drawn and true to life. My biggest complaint was the style of writing; it was a bit choppy and didn't always flow smoothly. There was more 'showing' than 'telling,' and there were a few scenes that broke up the flow of the narrative and left me wondering how they fit into the plot. But overall the story was compelling enough that these points didn't cause me to abandon the book. Since this is the first in the series, I expect that Diane Weiner will get better and better. That's been my experience with a couple of other series that I stuck with and came to love. I've already bought the next book, Murder Is Secondary, because I want to see what happens next in Susan Wiles' life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krystyna

    Schooldays can be the best or worst time of your life. A well thought out, believable plot that shows the life that is hidden from public view in any profession that deals with the public. There is no real sleuthing on the part of the main character, just her taking an interest in the people she knows. The characters are believable and come across as so. Whilst at the same time the pull you into their private lives and the way they interconnect with each other. She has only been retired for a sh Schooldays can be the best or worst time of your life. A well thought out, believable plot that shows the life that is hidden from public view in any profession that deals with the public. There is no real sleuthing on the part of the main character, just her taking an interest in the people she knows. The characters are believable and come across as so. Whilst at the same time the pull you into their private lives and the way they interconnect with each other. She has only been retired for a short while (music teacher) but has come back for the Christmas 'concert'. When the Principal is found dead in her office there is no real means to tell how she died. It is only later that they learn about the peanut cupcake. Who would have brought this in as the school is renowned for being peanut free? This proves to the police that the murder was planned and executed with care. As our former teacher helps the 16 year old daughter of the Principal come to terms they find the secrets her mother had been hiding. Secret lovers, divorce papers and turning a blind eye to serious misconduct at the school. Can she and her detective daughter unravel who, what and why? Is this a recent events or does it stem from the past?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heart DeCoupeville

    Acquired Kindle edition when offered free on Amazon. DNF at 63%. For reasons. The writing was mind-bogglingly bad. The plot was utterly implausible. The "investigation" of the murder was simply not believable. (No search warrants? ME on vacation so no back-up?) None of the characters were remotely likeable: not the victim, not the suspects, not the police, no one. Edited to add: I read the ending and removed the single star. Acquired Kindle edition when offered free on Amazon. DNF at 63%. For reasons. The writing was mind-bogglingly bad. The plot was utterly implausible. The "investigation" of the murder was simply not believable. (No search warrants? ME on vacation so no back-up?) None of the characters were remotely likeable: not the victim, not the suspects, not the police, no one. Edited to add: I read the ending and removed the single star.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Strangely interesting One does not think of elementary school as a locale for a murder. One doesn't think of elementary schools as places where deadly ambitions can lead to violence. But teachers and administrators are human beings with all the faults and virtues of humanity. The villain surprised me. I expect it will surprise other readers as well. Strangely interesting One does not think of elementary school as a locale for a murder. One doesn't think of elementary schools as places where deadly ambitions can lead to violence. But teachers and administrators are human beings with all the faults and virtues of humanity. The villain surprised me. I expect it will surprise other readers as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Harris

    Teachers Are People Too This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was an interesting switch to hear a Daughter telling her Mother to keep her nose out of police business. In too many stories, it's the other way around. Aurora Teagarden for example. In particular I liked that nearly every character had their own story ending, and they were all different. They weren't just thrown collectively into a literary mosh-pit of an ending. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. Teachers Are People Too This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was an interesting switch to hear a Daughter telling her Mother to keep her nose out of police business. In too many stories, it's the other way around. Aurora Teagarden for example. In particular I liked that nearly every character had their own story ending, and they were all different. They weren't just thrown collectively into a literary mosh-pit of an ending. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen White

    Vicky laid dead, a cupcake, a broken vase, looks like murder. Now retired from teaching she can investigate, with her daughter on the force. But when Vicky daughter ask, how can she refuses. A nice plot, easy to follow the clues, enjoyable for wall readers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Brown

    I enjoyed the story in this book - quick read and nothing real taxing. I do think the author nailed the teaching aspect of the book very well - no surprise that she was in education. I'd like to read more by this author! I enjoyed the story in this book - quick read and nothing real taxing. I do think the author nailed the teaching aspect of the book very well - no surprise that she was in education. I'd like to read more by this author!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joan Dieter

    Awesome book! I read this book in one sitting with barely a bathroom break!😁. It kept me engaged and awed through the whole book! I’m still scratching my head about the murderer! Everyone should read this book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Great read So glad I found Diane Weiners books just what I need another author whose books I can't stop reading now I'm going to get the next book in this great cozy Great read So glad I found Diane Weiners books just what I need another author whose books I can't stop reading now I'm going to get the next book in this great cozy

  11. 4 out of 5

    AprilK

    warm heart mystery I love that! Recommend to who love cozy things, cozy life. You won’t be disappointed. I will read all of the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    D.K. Herman

    An Enjoyable Read. This book held my interest well, had many plausible suspects, and smooth dialogue. I will be reading the other books in this series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy Rehm

    Great first story I enjoyed reading this first book in the series of a retired school teacher who gets involved with crime solving. Please keep writing this series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Davis

    Cute Definitely a cozy mystery. Great Character's and the setting is easily imagine with great descriptive words. If you like to figure out who did it before it's revealed, you probably could, however, I like to let cozy mysteries reveal themselves Cute Definitely a cozy mystery. Great Character's and the setting is easily imagine with great descriptive words. If you like to figure out who did it before it's revealed, you probably could, however, I like to let cozy mysteries reveal themselves

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Davis

    Enjoyable read This is the type of mystery that I really enjoy. It kept me guessing right til the end. It's hard to find a good mystery that doesn't include unnecessary sex or cursing. Looking forward to more from this author. Enjoyable read This is the type of mystery that I really enjoy. It kept me guessing right til the end. It's hard to find a good mystery that doesn't include unnecessary sex or cursing. Looking forward to more from this author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ron Hogan

    Great who done it This was an easy one day reading. Lots of possible suspects. Two surprise endings. I give it a five star rating. If you like cosy mysteries, then this will be a must read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Hurrelbrink

    Murder is Elementary This was an enjoyable read. A well written mystery. I look forward to reading the next novel in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alice Vaughn

    Good book! I have found another favorite author! HaHa! This was a very well-written book! It had lots of drama, lots of suspects and moved along a a good pace so it wasn't boring. Can't wait to get into the next one. Good book! I have found another favorite author! HaHa! This was a very well-written book! It had lots of drama, lots of suspects and moved along a a good pace so it wasn't boring. Can't wait to get into the next one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Good This was a fun, cute, clean, and entertaining book. It was a little long and had a lot of characters, but I would definitely recommend to those who love cozy mysteries and I would like to read more of her books!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Sleuth in training Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her being a music teacher but has to attend the holiday festival at her former school. When the principal is needed Susan goes to look for her she finds her dead in her office. Nobody has a clue why she was killed and Susan's former student Caralina, who is the principal's daughter asks her to help find the killer, she can't say no. Going through the home office with Caralina, Susan finds another side the principal. A page turned worth readi Sleuth in training Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her being a music teacher but has to attend the holiday festival at her former school. When the principal is needed Susan goes to look for her she finds her dead in her office. Nobody has a clue why she was killed and Susan's former student Caralina, who is the principal's daughter asks her to help find the killer, she can't say no. Going through the home office with Caralina, Susan finds another side the principal. A page turned worth reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Valorie Hunter

    Wow,wow,wow, what a book!!!! 10+++++ stars!!!! This is a crazy great book!!!! Susan is a very determined woman, her husband Mike is a very patient man and helpful. Her daughter Lynette, a police detective, with her partner Jackson, investigating a very serious crime at a school function, in which Susan got involved in, with Lynette's strong objections. The suspects were so many they didn't know which way to go so they just started at the top and worked the way down, and boy what a list. You will abso Wow,wow,wow, what a book!!!! 10+++++ stars!!!! This is a crazy great book!!!! Susan is a very determined woman, her husband Mike is a very patient man and helpful. Her daughter Lynette, a police detective, with her partner Jackson, investigating a very serious crime at a school function, in which Susan got involved in, with Lynette's strong objections. The suspects were so many they didn't know which way to go so they just started at the top and worked the way down, and boy what a list. You will absolutely LOVE this book, and the author is outstanding. I can't wait to read the next book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erik Sapp

    This is Cozy I’ve never read a “cozy mystery” before so wasn’t sure what that meant. I assume it means light-hearted because that is what this book is. It’s not bad, just not what I am used to reading. Once I got past how “fluffy” this book is, I found it pretty good. All the clues are there, but so well hidden that they don’t come out until the author is ready for them to. A very good book that is well worth the read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    As a recently retired elementary school teacher, I found Murder is Elementary really easy to relate to! I especially like this quote from early in the book, "Susan remembered how the anticipation of winter break had always made her feel as if popcorn kernels were bursting under her skin. Now she felt like vanilla frosting--yes, it was sweet to be retired but honestly, how much vanilla frosting could you eat in one sitting?" In this book, 60 year old Susan Wiles is a recently retired Westbrook El As a recently retired elementary school teacher, I found Murder is Elementary really easy to relate to! I especially like this quote from early in the book, "Susan remembered how the anticipation of winter break had always made her feel as if popcorn kernels were bursting under her skin. Now she felt like vanilla frosting--yes, it was sweet to be retired but honestly, how much vanilla frosting could you eat in one sitting?" In this book, 60 year old Susan Wiles is a recently retired Westbrook Elementary School teacher in New York. She discovers her ex-principal dead in her office. Luckily her daughter, Lynette, just happens to be a detective! Susan can't resist doing some sleuthing of her own! I liked that this book had an older main character, lots of possible suspects, and cats, Johann and Ludwig as sidekicks. I definitely want to read future books in this entertaining series!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    I liked this book a lot. It has a great plot with great characters. I want to read more of this series from this author. It has many twists and turns which keeps the book interesting. I want to read more from this author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Candy Kennedy

    The murder at Christmas Good story. A retired teacher with a policewoman daughter gets involved after finding the principals body.Lots of characters lost family many teachers some who sleep their way to the top .Recommend this first book in a series

  26. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Retired teacher turned detective Delightful mystery. I really enjoyed this book. Well written and entertaining. Enough red herrings to make the mystery more interesting. I highly recommend this mystery novel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda Brue

    I read the synopsis of one of the books in this series, and thought it sounded wonderful. So I bought several of them, including this one, the first in the series. It brought back to me a fact that I've already learned, but obviously don't use--download a sample before buying! Because this book was, in the words from my past "not yet ready for primetime." The writing was amateurish, to say the least. The story has several disconnects, jumps in scene that don't make sense. The characters are flat I read the synopsis of one of the books in this series, and thought it sounded wonderful. So I bought several of them, including this one, the first in the series. It brought back to me a fact that I've already learned, but obviously don't use--download a sample before buying! Because this book was, in the words from my past "not yet ready for primetime." The writing was amateurish, to say the least. The story has several disconnects, jumps in scene that don't make sense. The characters are flat, paper people that are never fleshed out. Introduced too quickly, they are just a jumble of names. If the author later brings them to life, that can be rectified, but that doesn't happen here. The main character, Susan, is simply too stupid to live--in both her thoughts and actions. What a twerp. Another character, a teenager, supposedly adores her Mother, who we know is a violent-tempered, self-centered bitch. What, does she have a split personality? Mean, conniving, controlling woman AND adoring mother? I was surprised to read the author has four children, because adding normal teenage hormones with a mother like that does not equal and loving mother-daughter relationship. And the ending was beyond belief--but one of the prime examples of how stupid Susan is. The only reason I actually finished this book is because before this I had put down two previous books without finishing, something that rarely happens to me. So I guess I felt I had to read the entire thing. What a waste of time. I do have to mention one thing the author did do well. The plotting was pretty good, and she had several characters with good reasons to be suspects. There may be a good writer here, but she has some work to do--this manuscript should have been left in the box under the bed while she continued learning her craft. Perhaps the books get better in later books in the series. Could be, but I'm not wasting more time trying to find out. The only thing I can recommend for this series is DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE first!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is the first book in Diane Weiner's Schoolhouse Mysteries series. I loved the premise of Susan, a retired teacher, solving a mystery that occurred at her former school. Her daughter is a detective who tries to keep her out of the investigation, but the problem is, Susan has great instincts, a big heart, and the desire to see justice served. There were lots of plausible suspects and just when I thought I figured it out, wham! The ending made sense and was definitely not predictable. I occasio This is the first book in Diane Weiner's Schoolhouse Mysteries series. I loved the premise of Susan, a retired teacher, solving a mystery that occurred at her former school. Her daughter is a detective who tries to keep her out of the investigation, but the problem is, Susan has great instincts, a big heart, and the desire to see justice served. There were lots of plausible suspects and just when I thought I figured it out, wham! The ending made sense and was definitely not predictable. I occasionally had a little difficulty keeping the people and places straight. I need a vivid picture in my head when I read, and although the writing is technically very good, I would have enjoyed more sensory details to bring the characters and setting to life. Since this is book one of a series, I predict they only get better. There are so many opportunities for possible crimes committed in school settings, and as a retired teacher myself, I can think of a few. I look forward to seeing what Susan Wells finds herself involved in next. Also can't wait to see her family relationships grow and develop. I recommend this mystery and look forward to reading the rest of the series. Put this author on your list!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Kander

    This is a brand new cozy mystery series, and I am thrilled to have found it. The main character, Susan, is a retired elementary music teacher, and her daughter, Lynette, is a police detective. Retirement leaves Susan with way too much free time, so when the principal of her former school is murdered, she begins to investigate on her own, which annoys Lynette's partner, Jackson. All of the characters are very realistically written, and the subplots are all wrapped up nicely,with a few twists thro This is a brand new cozy mystery series, and I am thrilled to have found it. The main character, Susan, is a retired elementary music teacher, and her daughter, Lynette, is a police detective. Retirement leaves Susan with way too much free time, so when the principal of her former school is murdered, she begins to investigate on her own, which annoys Lynette's partner, Jackson. All of the characters are very realistically written, and the subplots are all wrapped up nicely,with a few twists thrown into each one along the way. (I also love that Susan has two cats named Johann and Ludwig!) My only problem with the book is that there was a little too much "telling" and not enough "showing" in the writing style. There were also some editing issues that slipped through and distracted me momentarily. Overall, however, it is a great first novel. Can hardly wait to read the next one, "Murder is Secondary."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Wright

    Very good read. Susan is a smart woman that seems kind of bored now that she is retired from teaching . The murder of her friend and principal at the school where she used to work will solve that problem though. Or will it? Her daughter is the detective working the case and keeps telling her to stay out of it but no matter how hard she tries, Susan is just pulled in at every turn. The book is well written, the characters are well developed and the dialog is natural and smooth. I really enjoyed i Very good read. Susan is a smart woman that seems kind of bored now that she is retired from teaching . The murder of her friend and principal at the school where she used to work will solve that problem though. Or will it? Her daughter is the detective working the case and keeps telling her to stay out of it but no matter how hard she tries, Susan is just pulled in at every turn. The book is well written, the characters are well developed and the dialog is natural and smooth. I really enjoyed it and will be reading the others in the series.

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