is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of CLAIRE AND PRESENT DANGER by Gillian Roberts (see her website)


    Ballantine, June 2003

    High school English teacher Amanda Pepper has her hands full with the new school year and planning for her first meeting with her prospective inlaws. Still, a high school teacher planning on getting married needs some extra money and Amanda is flattered to get her first independent job at the private detective agency where she works. The task should be straightforward--do an identity and background check on a woman for her prospective mother-in-law. Except who has been sending those nasty notes to the mother-in-law? And what should Amanda do when the mother-in-law turns up dead?

    Author Gillian Roberts (see more reviews of myteries by Gillian Roberts) creates a memorable character in Amanda Pepper. Her worries about the upcoming in-law fest, concern for the teenage ostracism she sees in practice in her school (which blends nicely with her use of THE LORD OF THE FLIES in the classroom), and determination to get to the bottom of the mystery even when she is told that her job is over all make her sympathetic and admirable. Roberts's writing is fast-paced and involves the reader at multiple levels.

    I especially enjoyed the way that Roberts blended together Amanda's teaching experience, her own mother-in-law concerns, and the themes of ostracism into the mystery. CLAIRE AND PRESENT DANGER is almost a fractile experience--every scene is, in some sense, a microcosm of the entire novel. Maybe it's Roberts's experience as an English teacher that makes her write this way but I certainly found it enjoyable and interesting.

    CLAIRE AND PRESENT DANGER is not filled with constant sleuthing or hard-core detection. Whole chapters go by that are only connected to the mystery symbolically. And experienced mystery readers are likely to wish for a few more red herrings for suspicion to fall upon. Trust me, neither of these detract from the reading experience.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 6/11/03

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase CLAIRE AND PRESENT DANGER from (hardback).

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for CLAIRE AND PRESENT DANGER from Barnes &