In the Dead of Summer by Gillian Roberts
(An Amanda Pepper Mystery)

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Synopsis

Mellow old Philadelphia, where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have flourished for centuries, now has a new claim to fame. The City of Brotherly Love has been proclaimed number one in the nation...for hostility. English teacher Amanda Pepper, crabbily gearing up for summer school at exclusive Philly Prep, feels she fits right in with the hostility mode.

And it's going to get worse. Amanda gets her first prickling of unease in her own classroom, where a reading of Romeo and Juliet activates some very strange chemistry. Then the computer science teacher begins receiving anonymous "go-back-to-Africa" phone calls. A young Vietnamese boy dies in a drive-by shooting. And late one night, outside a Chinatown massage parlor, student April Tuong is kidnapped.

Random violence? Perhaps. But Amanda refuses to let gentle April vanish without at least asking a few questions, starting in her own classroom.

Gillian Roberts's Philadelphia is the real thing. So, too, are her wit and humor, and her gripping story of Amanda's tenacious search for the missing girl--along the brick streets of historic Philadelphia, in exotic Chinatown, and through the shady, sinister back alleys of the impoverished. The truth, when she finds it, is appalling, deadly, and much too close to home.
 

About Gillian Roberts

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Gillian Roberts is a lecturer in the School of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham.
 
Published July 10, 2012 by Untreed Reads Publishing. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In between puzzling over desultory writing assignments on Romeo and Juliet, Amanda links April's disappearance to a nasty wave of white supremacismthreatening phone calls and letters, graffiti and vandalismcreeping over the city, whose summertime longueurs Roberts all-too-faithfully evokes.

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Publishers Weekly

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Summertime and the living's uneasy for levelheaded English teacher Amanda Pepper (last seen in How I Spent My Summer Vacation).

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