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Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess

Murder as a Second Language

by Joan Hess

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Claire Malloy (19)

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823147,013 (3.14)6



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I am a sucker for good cozy mysteries, and Joan Hess’ Claire Malloy series is one of the best. I started at the beginning and have read a good number of the books, but I have missed the last few. I chose Murder As A Second Language for my morning walks and am glad I did. Light and engaging with a main character who is smart, savvy, sassy and a bit sarcastic, this novel kept me laughing and guessing as I racked up the miles. This is the first book I have read since Claire’s marriage to hunky Deputy Chief of Police, Peter Rosen. But not much has really changed; Claire is on her own quite a bit with her daughter Caron’s independent high school activities and Peter’s long hours on a murder case. Claire is especially nosy inquisitive and inserts herself wherever trouble is. The murder at the Literacy Council with all its feuding board members and international students is puzzling and kept me on my toes.

Recommended for fans of secular cozy mysteries.

Audience: adults. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Oct 2, 2015 |
Synopsis: Claire has gotten the man, house, and life of her dreams, so why is she looking for something else to fill her time? Because she's bored. Caron and Inez volunteer to help people learn English and Claire decides that she'll do some volunteer work, too. However, rather than tutoring she is asked to become a member of the board and help untangle some financial issues. After one of the students is killed, Claire realizes that it's not simply financial issues that plague the Literacy Council, but what appears to be blackmail, drugs, and perhaps illegal entry into the US.
Review: There is a nice edge of menace and several trails that lead the reader into subplots. I would have liked to have seen more development of the illegal alien thread and more about Duke; perhaps these will be the topic of another Faberville mystery. This story just didn't seem as 'sharp' as previous writings; what about the camera in the copy room and what happened with Rick and Austin seemed to be an after thought rather than a wrap-up to the plot. ( )
  DrLed | Apr 15, 2015 |
When Claire Malloy’s senior-in-high-school daughter Caron decides she needs a volunteer activity to round out her college applications, she heads to the Farberville Literary Council to volunteer as a tutor in the English as a Second Language program. Claire decides that she might like to volunteer, too. She’s been spending much of her time learning French cooking in the gourmet kitchen of her new dream home – but she needs to something different. She’s soon dragooned into serving on the board of the literacy council, and playing receptionist when an employee leaves.

As it turns out, the Farberville Literary Council board, staff and students are a pretty dysfunctional lot – which comes out in spades after one of Caron’s students, Ludmilla, winds up dead in the copy room and Claire does what Claire usually does – sets out to find the killer

Of course, this doesn’t set well with her husband Peter Rosen, a police detective, who would prefer she stick to anything else but sleuthing. Of course, the entire series revolves around the fact that Claire cannot not investigate.

Murder as a Second Language is standard fare in this cozy series. There’s only a hint of reality, but that’s part of the fun. It’s been a long time since I read a Claire Malloy mystery and I had forgotten how annoying Caron and her friend Inez are. That’s only getting more so as Caron ages. Once she goes away to college, maybe she’ll be out of the series. I can only hope. ( )
  NewsieQ | Apr 28, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joan Hessprimary authorall editionscalculated
mitchell, meredithNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Claire Malloy--now a married woman of leisure--tries her hand at volunteering, but instead lands her right in the middle of another murder investigation Longtime bookseller and single mother, Claire Malloy has recently married her long term beau and moved out of her less than opulent apartment into a sprawling, newly remodeled house. Her daughter, Caron, is making plans for college. All of which leaves Claire with something she hasn't had in quite a while: spare time. When her attempts to learn French cooking start getting "mixed" reviews, she agrees to help Caron and her best friend Inez in fluffing up their college applications by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council. But her modest effort to give back quickly becomes a nightmare when she's railroaded onto the Board of Directors of the troubled nonprofit. Vandalism, accusations of embezzlement, epic budget problems, and a cacophony of heavily-accented English speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as she decides that it might be best to extricate herself, Claire gets a frantic call from her husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. One of the students, an older Russian woman named Ludmilla, famed for her unpleasantness, has been murdered in the offices of the Farberville Literary Council. For the first time ever, Peter actually asks Claire for her help, and Hess brings a new depth to this fan-favorite series"--… (more)

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Minotaur Books

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