CK Mackenzie and Amanda Pepper have been invited to the society Gala being hosted by Edward "Neddy" and Theodora "Tea" Roederer. This adventurous couple has spent their lives traveling and endorsing the arts. Neddy especially loved indulging his love of books. Especially old books, classics, rare and unknown. This particular gala was to benefit Philly Prep, where Amanda taught English to the students, one of whom is the Roederer's son, Griffin. Marring the festivities is the rhetoric of censorship spouted by Reverend Harvey Spiers and Mother Vivian of the Moral Ecologists. They are burning book and chanting about polluting minds. Their latest is the burning of an effigy of Neddy over a pile of burning books across the street from the Roederer mansion. Then the Reverend shows up to show his scorn for the family and others wanting to enrich lives through books. At the gala he taunts the hosts.
To say that the Reverend is one character of Gillian Roberts that is full of hutzpah is like saying the sun is a bit warm to the touch. Ms. Roberts is never shy about tackling touching subjects. In this book, the eighth in her Amanda Pepper series, she touches on one that has always angered me most. Who is to say what is acceptable and what is unacceptable reading material. Add into the mix a murder and the complex relationships between parents and their teenage children and you have one very intense read. The plot is lightened with the romance of Mandy and CK as well as the humorous dialog. Gillian Roberts is blessed with a talent to put together the different voices running around in her head in such a way as to bring entertainment to her readers and leave them wanting more.
This could be read as a standalone and enjoyed as such, but I recommend that you read the series in order. That way you can learn how the different characters interact, watch their relationships develop and see how Amanda Pepper grows into the strong, self-assured woman she was meant to be. Not to mention you can be just as frustrated as the rest of us as we try to guess what the CK stands for in CK Mackenzie's name. Amanda comes up with some very imaginative and sometimes colorful suggestions. Pick up a copy today and get acquainted with Amanda Pepper, the holder of her heart and her quirky and zany family and friends. You will be so glad you did.
The ultra-elegant fund-raiser in a fabled Main Line mansion benefits Philly Prep's Library, and gives Amanda a chance to play Cinderella for a night. The first clue that all might not go well is the host's figure hanging in effigy outside the estate, put there by the Moral Ecologists who have a long list of classic books that "pollute the mind." When murder follows, Amanda becomes enmeshed in old secrets and young lives.