3 out of 4 stars
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Parker Monroe's life is crumbling around her. An investigative reporter, she's just been fired for an unsubstantiated article about a famous senator. Her husband died a few months ago, leaving her with the care of their three children. After forgetting to pick her daughter up from piano lessons, she realizes something needs to change. She's determined to start over fresh and moves in with her mom in her hometown.
Somehow, though, controversy always finds her. The music teacher at her children's school has just been fired, and the circumstances are suspicious. Not too long after, a dead body turns up in her stolen car. Will she be able to solve the mystery and not lose her kids in the process?
Mayhem, Murder, and the PTA by Dave Cravens is a crime/mystery novel. The story is told from the third person perspective, mostly following Parker. The protagonist is a strong-willed, tell-it-like-it-is, independent woman. She was the absolute best part of the novel. I loved seeing a strong woman lead. Yet, she wasn't without her flaws. She's still trying to find her way as a single mother, and her mouth gets her in trouble.
Some parts of the mystery are fairly obvious, but there are twists and turns that you won't see coming. The author leads you in one direction; near the end, however, there's a sudden shift. The book was fast-paced from beginning to end, but Mr. Cravens still took time to develop the characters - a win/win all the way around.
The biggest flaw (as is the case so often) was the editing. There were missing or incorrect words with the occasional wrong punctuation. The errors were not distracting but plentiful enough to be noticable.
Overall, I rate Mayhem, Murder, and the PTA 3 out of 4 stars. The lack of professional editing caused me to take away one star. I highly recommend this to any who enjoy action-filled crime novels. If cursing offends you, though, this isn't the novel for you. The main character realizes she has a cussing problem (or her children realize it for her), but that doesn't stop her from using colorful language. As for me, I'm putting Dave Cravens on my list as an author to watch.
Admin Note: This book has been updated and professionally edited since the review.
Mayhem, Murder and the PTA
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