The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

Death by Diploma: Chalkboard Outlines Book I


I have read and reviewed another book by Kaye before, so I was familiar with her style of writing when I picked up this book. That being said, there were some things I was hoping to see in this book and some things I hoped not.

First off, the plot for this story is honestly pretty cool; I will be the first to say I’m not a huge fan of crime or mystery novels but this particular book has such an odd and unique style and presentation, I found myself very interested in the cast and in the story itself.

Our protagonist, Emma, starts on this journey as a woman who leaves her husband to travel across the country and become a teacher. Emma instantly makes friends with a woman named Leslie who sticks by her side throughout the novel—even joining her to begin their own investigation in the murder of one of the school staff members. Of course, all of this happens in a much more dramatic and entertaining way, but it proves to be quite a ride as you continue turning pages. I really enjoyed the silly humor scattered through the book, but I also appreciated the overall seriousness of the novel as we are guided through this murder-mystery.

My two complaints would be that the beginning of the story is really slow—for my taste at least. Considering the genre of the book, I don’t mind a slow start because there’s a lot of character introductions and setup that needs to take place. But I found myself skimming through the story for the first few dozen pages.

My second complaint would be the terrible southern accent described in the book. I’m a huge fan of little things like accents and habits authors include with certain characters but here it was done in a way that was so irritating I almost didn’t want to continue reading the book. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. It wasn’t enough for me to put the book down, but it was annoying enough for me to point it out here in my review.

Despite my complaints, I think the overall story was enjoyable and well-written. I really did appreciate the surprises, twists and turns, and the bits of humor woven into the book. The story came together really well and left me waiting for part two. I would definitely recommend this book to adult or young adult readers. Anyone who enjoys humor, mystery, or crime novels will appreciate this most.

*I received a free copy of this book, on behalf of The Rebel Christian, in exchange for an honest review*