I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
After what seems like a series of unfortunate events at the St. Polycarp school, a teacher and interim principal end up in the middle of a mystery. In an attempt to save the school from being shut down by the archdiocese, Mrs. Hopwood decided to donate a recent inheritance of vintage clothing, to auction off in a fashion show. Things get very complicated for the two women from that point on.
Okay, so I must admit, I figured going in this, it would be a fun little mystery, entertaining but no huge surprises. But I was pleasantly surprised….By how much I liked this book. I have read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, and have gotten pretty good at guessing the endings. Not this time!!
I will start with the characters. There are a lot of characters in this book. It took me 30 pages to get them all sorted out and keep them straight in my head. But they were all very well written. The main character, Mrs. Hopwood, felt like such a realistic character to me: definitely flawed, and in complete honesty, a little annoying. Mrs. Hopwood is really self involved, has a slight hoarding problem, and can be obsessive. In spite of all that, I loved her character. Even though she is far from perfect and I don’t see myself being her friend, I was rooting for her the whole way. The other character I want to mention is Mrs. Johnson, a teacher out of her comfort zone with a million things going on she isn’t exactly equipped to deal with. She ends up in over her head with her new position as the principal, and her friend Mrs. Hopwood off trying to solve a wild mystery(not helping the situation). The discussion of her home life, having twins and a bad back made the character believable. Even when the s**t hits the fan at work, yes the family stuff doesn’t stop and wait for you to get caught up.
The mystery itself was great. As I said there are a lot of characters who are intertwined very gracefully. At the beginning it all seems like a lot of people, all doing their own thing. As the story moves along you start to see the picture coming together, and it happens so slowly you don’t really notice it at first. People’s past and present all sort of mix slowly to create the perfect mystery. I didn’t see the conclusion coming at all; I was vigorously flipping pages to see where it was all going to end up.
As you may have guessed, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good mystery. Very entertaining and engaging! This happens to be the fourth book in a series but can definitely be read as a stand alone. I also hope to get the chance to pick up the rest of the books in this series. It was just so fun and I would like to see more of these characters, maybe how they all got to where they were in this one.