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Death by Diploma

(Chalkboard Outlines #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her
Paperback, 250 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC (first published February 2016)
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Whispering Stories
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Marcia on

Firstly, I must say it was refreshing to read a book where the synopsis and the story matched perfectly, without any spoilers from the plot or expectations that never arrived.

Emma Lovett has moved home across the country to begin teaching at Jefferson High in Colorado, for a fresh start. There she meets Leslie Parker a fellow English teacher and the two become firm friends. On her first day, Emma comes across the body of Melvin, who was the nig
Her first teaching job was killer ... She needed to discover WHODUNIT
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Grab your notebook and pen, we’re headed back to high school to meet the new teacher, Emma Lovett, as she digs deep to discover who killed the kindly school custodian and why. They say being a high school teacher can be a daunting job, but for Emma, dealing with her students proves to be nothing compared to going on th
Briar's Reviews
Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye is a fun, cozy mystery that is perfect for binging!

I've gotta say, I have been yearning for some teacher centered reads lately (ironically, since school is getting out around now for the elementary school kids in my area). And what is my luck that Kelley Kaye has an awesome mystery series that's full of teachers, silly antics and loads of thrills!

Our lead Emma working at a new school and meets Leslie, the current head of the English department. While being introd
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
After leaving her husband Emma Lovett is starting over in Pinewood, Colorado at her new job as a teacher. Immediately after starting English teacher Emma finds herself making friends with Leslie Parker who also teaches at the school. Arriving to work early one morning though Emma walks in to find the body of the custodian. Emma and Leslie decide they are going to investigate the murder on their own when the police don't inspire confidence.

Death by Diploma was a rather cute and funny cozy myster
Micky Cox
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shakespeare, high school students and murder...yep that sounds about right! A southern belle has come to Colorado to teach high school English, makes friends & discovers a dead body all in her first few days of school. Interesting characters that took a bit to get used to, but by the end you feel like they’re old friends. The plot was the real shining star in this book as it was multifaceted and entwined several storylines to make a cohesive, well rounded plot that kept you guessing and eager to ...more
Lisa Morin
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a new to me author. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Emma Lovett has left her old life behind and is starting over again in Pinewood, Colorado where she is beginning her teaching career at a local high school.
She becomes fast friends with Leslie Parker, another teacher, who has the ability to quote Shakespeare to fit any type of situation.
After a sleepless night, Emma decides to go into school early, unfortunately for her, she s
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-work
Emma is starting a new life, she has got her teaching degree, moved across the country, bought a small house and got a teaching job.  Her first day she meets the custodian (who keeps the classrooms wonderfully clean) and a fellow teacher (Leslie) who has a quote for every occasion and like Emma is an aficionado of crime novels.  This stands them in good stead when after a few days Emma discovers the custodian well and truly dead! and the local police officer seems not to have an idea (his nickna ...more
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Leaving her old life behind, Emma Lovett begins the next chapter in her life by traveling across the country to take a job as a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Colorado.

One day at school, she overhears a heated conversation about something special being done for some of the school's athletes, but she doesn't hear enough to understand the full conversation or who was having the conversation.

Not long after, arriving early at school one morning she finds custodian Melvin McManus dead fro
In Death by Diploma, when Emma Lovett moved to Colorado to start a new life and teaching career, she was expecting to have a simple life without too much excitement. Which would have been fine with her because being new to the teaching world, she could do without any complications until she got her feet under her and felt confident in what she was doing. With still getting her classroom set up and agenda straight, Emma decided one morning to go into work early but that backfired because she soon ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
Review of DEATH BY DIPLOMA by Kelley Kaye
(Chalkboard Outlines Book 1)

DEATH BY DIPLOMA is a warm cozy mystery with endearing characters, the kind of cozy that just makes a reader smile inside and feel happy, even a reader who is a cynical old harridan. Even though brand-new teacher Emma Lovett almost seems too good to be true, almost a little too ingenuous, her drive, ambition to inspire high school students to learn and to desire to learn, are admirable and heartwinning. Her friend Leslie, Depar
Joshua Grant
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being a new teacher is one of the world’s hardest jobs. You’re managing the hopes, dreams, performance, bad days, drama, and safety of dozens of smaller humans (taller if it’s high school) all while trying to figure out life yourself. Throw in a bit of murder and you’ve got Emma’s first few days on the beat.
Death by Diploma is a fun cozy mystery. Kelley Kaye did a great job of weaving two storylines together, one of Emma navigating the jungle of being a high school teacher for the first time, an
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This was my first cozy so I didn’t know what to expect from this genre. I got a good little story about a new teacher, her new fast friend and fellow teacher who decide to solve a murder they’ve practically stumbled upon. I enjoyed the read but more so the second half, the first felt slow and I would put the book down often. My main issue with the book was the southern accent of the protagonist, I really don't know who speaks like that but it was annoying as hell. That being said I would recomme ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
Cozy, light thriller mystery novel. Emma, a new teacher to the local high school quickly befriends the English teacher. A murder happens, and the two decide they are going to partner up and solve the mystery since the police don’t seem to be able to. Good, fast paced read. The author adds some Shakespeare and Star Wars references though out as well. I thank the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ebook.
Leonard Tillerman
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes at your typical high school? Are the teachers and administration as tedious and mundane as they seem? If these questions have ever crossed your mind, prepare to have these assumptions shaken up as you are transported to Jefferson High… where things are anything but normal!

The story begins with our pretty, young heroine, Emma, having left her home and lecherous former husband to start a new life in Pinewood Colorado. She is set to start
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Lovett lands her very first teaching job in Pinewood, Colorado. The southern belle transplant embraces her new life with much enthusiasm until the morning she goes to work early and discovers the kindly janitor dead in the school office. Convinced the police detective is incompetent she and her new friend, fellow English teacher Leslie Parker start an investigation of their own. And they learn more about their stu
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-2016
A fun cozy mystery set in a school.

I work in a school, so I was intrigued to read a book dealing with the dynamics between teaching staff. I'm glad my school isn't quite like this one.

I was glad to see the author explained why they didn't leave all the investigation to the Police, considering there was a murder. I don't think I would have gotten as involved as they did, but I enjoyed peeking over their shoulders to see it all play out.

I loved the friendship between Emma and Leslie. I related m
Fiona (Titch) Hunt
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I would like to thank Booksirens and Kelley Kaye for allowing me to read and review this 1st in a series. I found this rather not as interesting as I had hoped. Some characters was downright boring. Didn't quite understand them and what was happening. I finished it as I wanted to know what happened at the end.

Sorry to those who did enjoy this author's book, but it wasn't for me this time.
Review to follow soon.
Mrs. Y
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearken all ye who come before the reviews of Y and ponder upon her reviewing frame! Today we give shape to a novel of mystery, teaching and the beauty of Iambic Pentameter. Okay, maybe I exaggerated slightly, there is minimal Iambic Pentameter in this book, but it’s still a great book! This has murder, mystery, and awkward teenage boys who have no idea how to talk to girls! Surely you must know more! So gather your chalk, make some fettuccine carbonara and get ready for “Death by Diploma” by Ke ...more
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to BookSirens for this copy.

This is the first cozy mystery novel that I've had the pleasure of reading... ever, I think? I know it's definitely been a long time, and I know Kindle has a lot of cozy mysteries that I used to get when I first got a Kindle, but I never got around to reading them.

I digress.

This was a super cute introduction to the cozy mystery genre. We get intro
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, 2016
The talk of no necking, pencil skirts and beehive hairdos maybe the 1950’s this story begins. Wrong! Because when the principal rides a skateboard and kids play Xbox we are tricked. Emma escapes her jerk of a husband to become a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. The characters are flashbacks from high school days. Leslie is the tall pretty blonde teacher who becomes Emma’s friend. The caddy male teachers crack jokes and hassle the new teacher. There cafeteria hour and thoughts run through ...more
DelAnne Frazee
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Death By Diploma - Chalkboard Outlines 1
Author: Kelly Kaye
Published: 2-23-16
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Pages: 235
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense
Sub Genre: Women's Fiction; Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery
ISBN: 9781940215624
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley

Emma Lovett is a woman of southern charm and strength. She leaves her cheating husband, goes back to school to get her teaching degree and then moves across the country to Pinewood, Colorado and begins her
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This was my second book by this author but it is an earlier work, so I got to feel how much she’s evolved ever since.

Emma is starting her career as a teacher far away from home but she’s barely debuted there and she’s already found a body. Melvin, the kind custodian who had reminded her of her lat beloved father. What could have caused it? When her mentor there and best friend tells her the police work isn’t anywhere near the best, the two step up to investigate by themselves.

I’m glad this wasn’
Donadee's Corner
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Donadee's Corner by: Author
Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye Review
High School like you have never seen it before!

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado. There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends. Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police s
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a brand new series. The main character Emma Lovett leaves the deep south for her first teaching assignment in English at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado. Immediately, Emma bonds with another English teacher, Leslie Parker, and they become partners in crime solving, along with some other high school staff, to figure out who killed the school custodian.

Emma and Leslie are like yin and yang. Both are different, yet complement one another. I love their friendship. They
Trista Borgwardt
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Death by Diploma we meet Emma who is starting her first teaching job and quickly makes friends with another teacher named Leslie. These two form an instantaneous bond and the author did a phenomenal job creating this characters and detailing their interactions with one another. It's not often you see such depth to a relationship between two characters so quickly (at least not a platonic one). I thought the story line was well developed and added a little mystery and thrill to it. These two te ...more
Dave Lahn
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on my blog at

Death by Diploma is a cozy mystery novel that follows Emma Lovett and Leslie Parker, two high school teachers, through their adventures of solving a murder, which is discovered by Emma one morning upon arriving to school.

The book really kept my attention all the way through, and I thought that it was very well written. The editing was well done, and it was easy to read. It was quite neat the amount of Shakesp
Death by Diploma is about Emma Lovett who just moved to Colorado to kick off her teaching career. She soon meets her new best friend, Leslie, another teacher at the high school. When all seems well, disaster strikes. The kind custodian is found dead. The two women decide to take the murder case from the silly detective and take matters into their own hands. Suspects quickly add up, including Emma's new interest. Many secrets are discovered by the two quirky women.

Death by Diploma is incredible!
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Teachers never have it easy but to be a first time teacher and find a dead body, well that could make anyone question their career choice!

This is the first in a new series set in Colorado and featuring a transplanted Southern woman named Emma and her new found friend and fellow teacher, Leslie, who quotes Shakespeare at every turn.  I found their interactions witty but also had to shake my head at some of their actions since it put them into danger more often than not.  There is a budding romanc
Vigilant Reader
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Death by Diploma 20
Kelley Kay
Genre – Cozy Mystery
223 Pages
Rating 5 stars out of 5

Emma Lovett walked into Thomas Jefferson high school on her first day there as a teacher, and she was shocked to find a corpse.
Melvin, the night janitor had been cold-cocked from behind and lay sprawled on the main office floor.
Leslie Parker, head of the English department joined Emma to become her sidekick amateur sleuth. Together they bumbled and fumbled their way past an incompetent local detective and an arr
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TMB Book Reviews: Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye 1 2 Jun 13, 2017 10:25PM  

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Kelley Kaye taught High School English and Drama for twenty years, but her love for storytelling dates back to creating captions for her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created around her Barbie and Ken—whatever the case, the love’s been around for a long time.

Kelley is married to this amazing man who cooks for her, and they have two funny and wonderful sons. She lives in Souther

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