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Caught Dead in Philadelphia (Amanda Pepper, #1)
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Caught Dead in Philadelphia (Amanda Pepper #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  468 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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The debut of Philly Prep English teacher and accidental sleuth, Amanda Pepper, (and of C.K. Mackenzie, homicide detective) won the World Mystery Convention's "Anthony" for best first mystery.

When the body of a colleague is found dead in Amanda's living room, she has to clear herself of suspicion—and make sure she isn't the next victim as we
ebook, 110 pages
Published December 4th 2011 by Untreed Reads (first published October 16th 1987)
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I want to know his name! What does the CK stand for? Amanda Pepper must have guessed at least a dozen C names, not hitting on the right name for her detective. I don't think I could have come up with the assorted names that she did. I wonder if his name is Clifford or Christopher or Conway? Does the name game continue through the remainder of the Amanda Pepper series?

Other than the mystery of the great detective's name, there was also the little trouble of who killed Liza, the sometimes teacher
I really enjoyed reading this book as I think the author has a wonderful sense of humor and some of the one-liners had me chuckling. Amanda Pepper is a fun character to know and seems to have a good, if tentative, head on her shoulders by not rushing foolishly into danger and thinking things through.

What I didn't like about the book was the apparent rushed ending with some dangling threads. Plus the how and the why of the criminal/crime along with capture was just...phfft! And I didn't really ca
I really wanted to like this book! It started off very well and it definitely had some funny moments. However, for the most of it, the book dragged! Despite being a really short one, it dragged. There was nothing happening and that annoyed me most of all! I like my detective stories with some kind of action - it could be either physical or mental, but this one disappointed me on all counts! There was no brilliant deduction and neither was there any physical search for evidence - it was all one b ...more
What does it say that a story set--and written--in the 1980s--is a "period" piece. The 1980's were not an era; they were shoulder pads and hairspray. I started to enjoy it more when I considered the narrator in a setting similar to Kinsey Millhone of Sue Grafton's alphabet series. Then it became fun: No calling 911 or Googling basic information.
Eva Cg
Surprisingly fun. Predictable in the usual whodunit fashion, but it's not too obvious right from the beginning, and the whole story is really enjoyable. Humorous, not too grisly, interesting love story, and a good twist to the storyline. I liked it and plan to read more from the same author.
This book was thrilling and had me at the edge of my seat for the whole book. It's always predictable that she makes it out alive, because there's more books, so I knew she would live. But it's still fun reading how the author makes the book come to life!
I have read these before and enjoyed them. Look! Now there are more, so I am starting the series again as my light in-between reads. Amanda Pepper is a one-liner Queen of Sarcasm. Great beach read.
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
If only more cozy authors wrote this well. An excellent read from an author who knew what she was doing.

Full review:
This book was not my cup of tea. And it took forever to get finished with it. I'm not planning to read any more of Ms. Roberts mysteries.
Caught Dead In Philadelphia”, 1987, introduces a series I will probably enjoy. It features a city I haven’t explored. The mystery travels at a brisker, cruder pace than one expects of a ‘cozy’. This young woman swears, smokes, and doesn’t seem enamoured about teaching school. She dislikes her vice principal and is cynical about her Mother’s preoccupation with matchmaking. I favour most of the above, so long as eye-rolling isn’t habitual. I don’t mind giving a first novel, or one irritating book ...more
One of my all-time favorite mystery series. The height of the "in-between reading" genre.
Ms. Roberts had a wonderful sense of humor.
Pure fun fluff. Just keep reading the series.
Amanda Pepper is a bit annoyed when a fellow teacher from Philadelphia Prep arrives, wet and dripping, on her doorstep one morning. She's also a bit confused--after all, she and Liza Nichols aren't exactly bosom pals. Liza, a part-time actress & part-time instructor, is beautiful and well on her way to becoming the full-time wife of a scion of one of Philadelphia's wealthiest families. Liza isn't too coherent about her purpose, but swears all she needs is some sleep--could she please take a ...more
Jill Holmes
Amanda Pepper, the lively heroine of the mysteries set in Philadelphia and written by Gillian Roberts (aka Judith Greber), is a 30-year-old teacher at Philadelphia Prep, a school for teens with unpromising academics both behind and ahead of them but with parents with the money to make sure their kids at least graduate from high school and get accepted to some (make that any) college. Amanda lives in a small historic home that she rents with her cat Macavity. None of these are personal tragedies, ...more

I was excited about this book based on its description and really wanted to enjoy it. Unfortunately, it just dragged and dragged. I had to renew it twice from the library while reading it (unusual for me as I usually read right through for books that I enjoy). Unable to renew a third time, I did not get to finish this book, but the fact is that I did not really care. The plot seemed to go nowhere and the ending was of little interest to me anyway.
I liked this book from the sole point of that it is was different. The main character (Amanda Pepper) wasn't and FBI agent or a cop or a forensic specialist. She is in an English teacher who through no fault of her own is thrown into a crime solving partnership with a cop.
Jennifer Zuna
Summary-When the body of a colleague is found dead in Amanda's living room, she has to clear herself of suspicion—and make sure she isn't the next victim as well. And all she's got as a clue to the real killer's identity is a locket shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh.

This book was different from what I usually read as far as mysteries go. It was a tad slow and dry but the main character did have some endearing qualities. The story wasn't very fast paced but there were some laughs and some cute one line
Jessica Weleski
I picked up a handful of books by Gillian Roberts at a book sale, hoping that I'd discovered a new mystery author to like. The whole handful is going back to the book sale save this one. Eh...I just felt like at many points, the book couldn't decide if it wanted to be a mystery or a tawdry romance. At the end of the day,I just didn't fall in love with Amanda Pepper even though I really did want to like her.
This was a re-read for me. I found out the series was available at the library in digital form, so I will probably re-read the whole series. Being from Philadelphia, her description of the neighborhoods and atmosphere of the city is captured. Pretty much liked the characters, although sometimes Amanda seems a little preachy.
I decided to read an "academic" mystery in honor of going back to school season. This book was pretty short and sweet. I'd maybe go up to 2.5 stars if I could. It was okay, not great, not bad. I might read more in the series because I did like Detective CK Mackenzie, but I won't rush into the next book.
Brenda Hawley
Being a high school teacher myself, I enjoyed this series of the teacher turned deterctive. Some quite realistic views of teenagers in high school and stresses and struggles of the teachers. Fun easy to read.
I like Amanda Pepper's quips, and this was a nice little puzzle. But as a teacher, I was a tad dismayed at how little she seemed to like her students. It made her less sympathetic, at least for me.
Amanda Pepper annoyed me by withholding information from the police for the first four chapters of the book. I like her boyfriend but what does he see in her?
I've finally read the first book in the series, and I'm glad I did. It's fun to see these characters as they originally behaved.
This book was awful!
Suzette Kunz
A series of mysteries about a high school English teacher and her policeman boyfriend. They are fun.
Some very good one liners, but otherwise fluffy beach read. I enjoyed it and will read more.
loved it as it talked about places i knew made me homesick for soft pretzels and philadelphia
Amanda Pepper is a good heroine, but this mystery felt kind of dated and flat to me.
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Other Books in the Series

Amanda Pepper (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Philly Stakes (Amanda Pepper, #2)
  • I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia (Amanda Pepper, #3)
  • With Friends Like These... (Amanda Pepper, #4)
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Amanda Pepper, #5)
  • In the Dead of Summer (Amanda Pepper, #6)
  • The Mummers' Curse (Amanda Pepper, #7)
  • The Bluest Blood (Amanda Pepper, #8)
  • Adam and Evil (Amanda Pepper, #9)
  • Helen Hath No Fury (Amanda Pepper, #10)
  • Claire and Present Danger (Amanda Pepper, #11)
I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia (Amanda Pepper, #3) Philly Stakes (Amanda Pepper, #2) How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Amanda Pepper, #5) Helen Hath No Fury (Amanda Pepper, #10) Adam and Evil (Amanda Pepper, #9)

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