Goodreads ~ It’s almost Christmastime in Cape Bay and another murder has everyone in town talking. A despised new drama teacher at the local high school is killed in the school’s parking lot. The police arrest a beloved teacher, Mrs. Crowsdale, but everyone else thinks she is too nice to murder anyone. Mike, however, says they have solid evidence that proves she did it.
Sammy is particularly devastated. Mrs. Crowsdale was her favorite teacher and still her hero. Sammy begs Fran to find the real culprit. Fran isn’t so sure. Mike would be angry with her for butting in on another case. And what if more danger befalls her? After all, there are some pretty dangerous people in town.
Francesca is in her mid-thirties and worked in New York for many years in PR. She moved back home to run the family Italian café in a small town in Massachusetts when her mother passed away in the summer.
Veronica is a new teacher in town who was hated by all. When she is murdered, no one is grieving. Ann, a well-loved teacher, is arrested but no one can believe she did it because she is so nice. Sammy, Fran's employee and friend, asks Fran to look into it. Mike, the police chief, tells Fran to back off because they have video evidence that Ann did it ... but, of course, Fran doesn't which causes friction between the two. A side story has Sammy being harassed by her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, who he broke up with 10 years ago. Seriously?
This is the sixth in the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery Series (I've read the first five) by this author ... it works as a stand alone (you don't have to read the others to know what's going on). It is written in first person perspective in Fran's voice. The "whodunnit" and ending came together quickly, as always. It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. Fran and Matt, her boyfriend, are finally having sleepovers, though. One thing I wasn't buying was Brett, a teenager, contacts Fran with info about the murder and she agrees to meet him in a park at night ... even after Mike had told her that his mother was threatening to press charges against her AND she's meeting a minor alone at night.
There are recipes at the end.