MYSTERY

Murder at the Bake Sale

Kensington. (Maya & Sandra, Bk. 2). Dec. 2020. 319p. ISBN 9781496730916. pap. $7.99. M
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High school is a hotbed of lust and criminal activity, as South Portland High School moms and PIs Maya Kendrick and Sandra Wallage discover. When the hot Spanish teacher, Diego Sanchez, asks Maya to contribute to a bake sale to raise money for a class trip to Spain, her attempt at baking goes wrong, and she must ask Sandra for help. Her date with Diego is even worse. He doesn’t show, and she finds him dead in his house, poisoned by a bake-sale cookie. Sanchez’s Spanish class hires Maya and Sandra to investigate, and Maya calls in a few favors from her years as a cop, even as both of their personal lives heat up. Meanwhile, back at the school, a teacher is fired for a relationship with a student, the new athletic director seems to have a great deal of money, and Maine’s senior senator is pressuring her hapless student daughter. Portland’s high school seems to resemble Peyton Place.
VERDICT Crime abounds in a mystery with a ripped-from-the-headlines political angle and a surprising turn in the personal lives of both sleuths. With a diverse cast of characters, including Sandra’s gay son, and the unusual political/school angles, the sequel to Murder at the PTA sets itself apart from most cozies.

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