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ADAM AND EVIL: An Amanda Pepper Mystery
By Gillian Roberts

Ballantine Books, August, 1999. (Hardcover, 248 pages. $22.95) Ballantine Books, 2000 (Paperback)

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Amanda Pepper is having second thoughts about her job, her career path, and her man. She is already skating on thin ice with her boss at the Philly Prep School. When she tries to get help for one of her seniors, Adam Evans, who is bright but acting increasingly odd, his appallingly snobbish parents and her headmaster tell her to butt out, or else.

Her live-in cop, C.K. Mackenzie, her sister, and the school counselor all tell her she's overreacting, but in an era when schoolboy violence is increasing she believes she is right to worry. When a librarian is murdered while Amanda and her class are on a fieldtrip to the library, Adam becomes the prime suspect. His disappearance doesn't help his case, nor does finding his scarf near the victim, who was strangled. Now everyone believes the worst of him. Amanda doesn't believe he's guilty, and she sets out to protect Adam, who has contacted her for help, and to find the real killer, putting herself and members of her family in danger. Her seeming obsession with Adam puts a strain on her relationship with C.K. while her treatment by the boss makes her wonder if she'd do better to take off, go to graduate school, leave the country, just get away from it all.

ADAM AND EVIL is the ninth book in the Amanda Pepper series. Other books in this series include: CAUGHT DEAD IN PHILADELPHIA, PHILLY STAKES, I'D RATHER BE IN PHILADELPHIA, WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE..., HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION, IN THE DEAD OF SUMMER, THE MUMMER'S CURSE, and THE BLUEST BLOOD.


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