With Friends Like These had its funny and charming moments, however it got off to a very slow start. The murder didn't happen until chapter six (about a third of the way in). The main character, Amanda, is a complainer, finds much to dislike in other people, and isn't very likable.
Once the story got going, the pace picked up. The writing could be tighter. Watch those ly adverbs and the passive voice. Overall, I was disappointed.
When school teacher Amanda Pepper is cajoled into going with her mother, Bea, to a birthday party for a distant (and distained) relative, she gets more than she bargained for when the guest of honor drops dead. It seems he'd eaten a poisoned tart. Unfortunately, Bea was the person who'd made the tarts and becomes the top suspect.
If that weren't bad enough, Amanda's boyfriend is the detective assigned to the case. Although Amanda is warned to keep out of the investigation, she hopes to exonerate her mother. The task is difficult because the deceased has plenty of enemies.
Will Amanda catch the killer before the killer, who is perfectly happy to let Bea take the fall, catches her?
Well-known Broadway playwright and TV producer Lyle Zacharias is throwing himself a lavish birthday party in his hometown of Philadelphia. Guests include his current wife, ex-wives, friends, former partners—not to mention Amanda Pepper and her own irrepressible mother, Bea. Yet when Lyle drops dead in the middle of a speech, it appears the likely perpetrator is none other than Bea, whose gift was fifty delicious, but apparently poisoned, tarts!
It's up to Amanda to clear her mother's name and find the real murderer…before he or she strikes again! But Amanda herself may be the next target! Who says teaching isn't exciting? With any more excitement, Amanda will have to retire before she hits thirty-one…if she lives that long!