{ARC Review}: Death Makes the Cut by Janice Hamrick

Death Makes the CutDeath Makes the Cut
by Janice Hamrick
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Minotaur Books

GoodReads | Amazon
ARC Source: St. Martin's Press
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

The first bell of the new school year hasn’t even rung, and Texas high school teacher Jocelyn Shore is already at the scene of a murder. Friend and fellow teacher Fred Argus has been found dead on campus, and it isn’t long before the annoying, albeit attractive, Austin police detective Colin Gallagher uncovers evidence that Fred might have been selling drugs to students. Shocked by her loss as well as the insinuation that Fred was a dealer who got what he deserved, Jocelyn starts asking the kinds of questions guaranteed to set fellow teachers, administrators, and parents on edge.
With the school serving as the setting for a big-time director’s latest film, her investigation could hardly have come at a worse time. Jocelyn, however, finds clearing her friend’s name far more important than the needs of a pesky movie crew and doesn’t care who knows it. But it’s only when she’s attacked while on set that she realizes someone is determined to make sure the secrets hidden by Fred’s death remain hidden no matter what the cost.
Humor, romance, and murder abound in Janice Hamrick’s follow-up to her Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award--winning debut, Death on Tour, and make Death Makes the Cut a charming addition to this outstanding new series.

Death Makes the Cut is book two of the Jocelyn Shore series.  I first discovered this series last year when I came across a copy of Death on Tour on the “NEW” shelf at my local library.  This is a mystery series that offers all the drama like the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries but without the paranormal. Jocelyn is a high school history teacher who can’t help but get mixed up in solving untimely & bazaar murders.  In book one she ran into trouble while vacationing in Egypt.  In Death Makes the Cut she's back home in Texas, yet the mayhem still follows when her friend and colleague is found dead in the tennis shed on school grounds.

I continue to adore the characters.  Jocelyn has a great sense of humor.  The cousin, Kayla also always offer the comic relief.  The other supporting characters introduced in this book were also equally entertaining.  One thing I noticed about this book was everyone looked like a suspect. Seriously, there were so many seemingly guilty parties that I almost believed they were all in cahoots.  I really enjoyed the build up as well as ultimate conclusion.  I was able to figure out the culprit in the last noel rather quickly; yet this one kelp me baffled until the very last second.  This series only gets better and better. 

The romance was a bit disappointing in the beginning considering how the last book ended, yet that quickly changed and morphed into a love triangle that I never even saw coming.  Wow!  Now I am anxiously waiting to see which turn Jocelyn's love life will take.  I sincerely hope the author allows the reader some insight along with solving the case in the next novel.

*I reviewed a free copy of this novel for an honest review.


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