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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
An Act of Murder is a murder-mystery novel written by Mary Angela. Emmeline Prather sullenly walks to the freshest grave of Copper Bluff Cemetery. The English professor stares at the headstone of her student, with his graded assignment in her hand. She’d had many lengthy discussions with this boy about poetry, and had been unable to understand his reluctance in doing the assignment which, to Emmeline, had been such a simple one. When he had come to her in confidence to get some underlying personal issues off his chest, she’d moved the conversation back to poetry. Two days later, his body is found on the stage where Les Misérables was to be performed and she is saddened by news of his death. Emmeline regrets not engaging with her enigmatic student about his underlying problems, and partially blames herself for not being there for him. Her eyes are opened, however, when she starts to notice the reactions of some of the people around her. Emmeline overhears a student’s cruel comments when news of his death comes. She also notices some suspicious behavior before Detective Beamer arrives; a police investigation is now under way. A simple unexplained death suddenly becomes something far more sinister. Emmeline decides to do some digging of her very own to get to the truth, but the results hit a lot closer to home and are far more devastating than she could ever have imagined.
Never has my brain been given such a workout in a murder-mystery tale! An Act of Murder is a well-written and imaginative tale of a teacher whose determination to get to the truth and see justice done for one of her students is right on the money. Mary Angela’s debut novel in this intriguing whodunit series had me glued to every single page, determined to spot any clues to try to solve the mystery of the killer’s identity before the end. With so many people to choose from, I was shocked when all of the evidence pointed to somebody I had not considered a real contender, and I applaud Mary Angela’s technique in presenting such a complex tale. Each of the characters was realistic and engaging, making An Act of Murder a real joy to read. I have not given the identity of the student in my review, as that also came as a shock, and spoiling a book for others is never on my agenda. I very much enjoyed reading An Act of Murder and look forward to more books to come in the Professor Prather murder-mystery series. I recommend this book to all readers who enjoy drama, action, mystery and suspense, with a dash of humor.