MURDER AT THE PTA
By Lee Hollis
“Murder at the PTA” is the first in the new mystery series by Lee Hollis. Maya and Sandra are former Portland High School classmates. In adulthood, Maya married Max Kendrick, a Portland police officer, had one daughter, Vanessa, and joined the force herself. Sandra married a rising politician, Stephen Wallage, and had two sons, Jack and Ryan. Stephen is elected to the U.S. Senate, while Sandra plays the role of dutiful political wife at home.
When Maya’s husband is arrested and thrown in prison for police corruption, Maya resigns from the force and starts her own private detective agency. Sandra’s life is shattered when an online blog, Dirty Laundry, accuses Stephen of paying hush money to a prostitute. The timing of this couldn’t be worse for Sandra—she’s just been elected president of the high school PTA and is confronted at the first meeting she is chairing. Stephen, of course, denies all wrongdoing. Sandra believes him and defends him against all the ugly accusations.
The lives of the two women come together unexpectedly. Maya’s daughter and Sandra’s son are high school classmates and each audition for the school play. When they’re both selected and begin spending time together at rehearsals, there’s instant attraction and…fill in the blanks. Maya discovers the two kids in a passionate embrace in her living room, and immediately calls Ryan’s mother. Of course, the timing for having to deal with still another crisis couldn’t be worse. But there is a silver lining to all this: Maya’s detective agency specializes in exposing straying spouses.
Sandra and Maya join forces and figure out who’s behind the Dirty Laundry blog. When they storm into the woman’s office to confront her, they find her lifeless body.
I really enjoyed “Murder at the PTA.” It was a treat to watch Sandra emerge from her political wife role and become her own person, thanks to Maya. Well written, and lots of fun!