When Zoe finds the body of the lunch lady on the hopscotch course the week before the new school year, she is pulled into a mystery that will find her volunteering as soccer mom, classroom mom, and PTA board member. It’s funny, it’s family, it’s a Zak and Zoe murder investigation.
Once again, Zoe finds herself coming face-to-face with a dead body, through no fault of her own. After talking to the principal about allowing Scooter to return to school, she goes outside to see the new playground equipment donated to the school by Zak. Just her luck, she finds the lunch lady dead on the hopscotch course. Zoe begins investigating because well, that’s what she does. Things do not add up in her mind and she has many questions that need to be answered. Why was the lunch lady at school while it is still summer vacation? Who would want her dead and why? Did someone dislike the food that she served to the children so much that they killed her? With the help of her friends, Zoe is determined to find the answers to all of these questions and catch the culprit.
Zoe has a lot going on in her life right now. She is a newlywed and is adjusting to life as Zak’s wife. She finds herself in a mothering role for both Scooter and Alex. And the new school that she and Zac are opening is about to be a reality. With all the other things that are happening, it will be tough to find the killer but she is determined to do just that.
As is typical in all of Kathi Daley’s books, the characters are well developed and people that you want to hang out with. The boarders that are staying with Phyllis are a welcome addition to the story. There are now more people to get to know and to learn their stories, and I like this. Ellie and Levi are helping Zoe and trying to figure out their relationship and I enjoyed getting an update on them.
And speaking of Phyllis, I enjoyed the added story of her and her new boarders. I read those chapters separately and it felt like I was reading another new series by Kathi Daley. That is a great thing. I like the fact that Phyllis is older in years but not in experience and that her young boarders want to help her update her image. And I love the bedtime ritual between Phyllis and her cat, Charlotte. These additional chapters are a welcome addition to the Zoe series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy. If you have already met Zoe, this book is great addition to the series. If you have not met her, what are you waiting for? Reading this entire series and get to know Zoe and her gang. You will not be disappointed.