flickr creative commons photo:  Renato @ Mainland China
photo: Renato @ Mainland China

Coup de Grace by J. S. Borthwick
The bludgeoning death of an art teacher at a prestigious New England bording school leaves amateur detective Sarah Deane wondering if the real target was not the school’s ultra-strict French teacher. “For anyone who likes cozies,” says Booklist, “this is a perfect book to snuggle up with on a winter’s day.”

Goodbye, Ms. Chips by Dorothy Cannell
Ellie Haskell returns to her old boarding school to solve a case of robbery–and finds herself tracking a murderer. Booklist says this “humorous cozy is filled with sympathetic characters and an inside look at an English boarding school.”

Deadly Kin by Tom Eslick
Agreeing to escort the teenage niece of his former girlfriend to an overnight soiree, science teacher Will Buchanan is disturbed by the girl’s hostility and seeming passion for her brother, a situation that erupts when the brother dies in a suspicious fall. Library Journal praises this novel’s “down-to-earth prose, beautiful New Hampshire surroundings, and … deceptively simple plot …”

An Educated Death by Kate Flora
Businesswoman Thea Kozak investigates the death by drowning of a girl at a private school in New England. According to Booklist, “a cleverly constructed plot, … suspenseful action, touches of humor, and a strong heroine make this latest … another notable entry in an entertaining series.”

The Headmaster’s Wife by Jane Haddam
When a teenage student is found hanging in his room after rumors circulate about his illicit affair with the headmaster’s wife, retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian is called in on behalf of the boy’s roommate to investigate the death. Kirkus Reviews calls this “an in-depth study of educational elitism, emotion versus intellect, and the question of what women really want.”

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
As the new term gets under way at the elite St. Oswald’s Grammar School for Boys, a number of increasingly devastating incidents occurs, leaving the unraveling school in the hands of the only person who can save it, Roy Straitley. Publishers Weekly calls this a “disturbing yet strangely rewarding morality tale.”

Prodigy by Dave Kalstein
In the year 2036, the Stansbury School, known for its elite and well-medicated student specimens, finds itself in the midst of a murderous conspiracy that reaches high in the levels of administration and government.

Report for Murder by Val McDermid
When the star performer at a fundraising concert is murdered, Lindsay Gordon, a lesbian journalist, must find the killer in order to clear her best friend’s name.

The Body in the Bonfire by Katherine Hall Page
Part-time caterer and amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild uses her cooking talents to infiltrate a boys’ boarding school disguised as a culinary teacher to try to uncover the perpetrator of a harassment episode, but her investigation soon takes a deadly turn. Publishers Weekly says “this whodunit provides fully satisfying fare for a cold winter’s night around the fire.”

A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin
While investigating the murders of two teenagers at an Edinburgh boarding school by a reclusive former soldier, Inspector Rebus faces possible suspension when the man stalking his partner dies in a fire Rebus is suspected of setting. Says Publishers Weekly: “it’s a complex narrative, perhaps too much so at times, but the plot is less important than Rebus himself, a brilliantly conceived hero who is all too aware of his own shortcomings.”

The Crazy School by Cornelia Read
Tough-talking former debutante Madeline Dare navigates the darker side of her tenure at a boarding school for emotionally disturbed teens, questioning the school head’s credibility and forging an unlikely alliance with a small group of rebels. Of this novel, Kirkus Reviews says: “caustic, gripping and distinctive—intelligent entertainment.”

For more reading suggestions or booklists, contact Kiera K. Taylor at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034, 503-697-6581,

Photo:  Renato@MainlandChina;  thanks!