Traditionally, Old Philadelphians keep a low profile. They associate with one another and leave life as discreetly as they have lived it. So Philly Prep English teacher Amanda Pepper, who thinks her only current problems are keeping her well-meaning family from hijacking her wedding, is understandably stunned to discover a perfect specimen of the species dying at the foot of the school’s marble staircase.
It is anybody’s guess what led to Tomas Severin’s apparent fall and, indeed, why he was in the building in the first place. More questions arise when Amanda enters her otherwise empty classroom and finds a take-out cup of herbal tea laced with the party drug her students call roofies. Why would a middle-aged Philadelphian have a date-rape drug in his tea? Why does he have Amanda’s name scribbled in his pocket notebook?
Hired by a member of the Severin family household, Amanda and her fiancé, C. K. Mackenzie, realize that many people felt their lives would improve if Tom’s life ended–making it seemingly impossible to determine who’d been harassing Severin with threatening phone calls. Tom Severin leaves behind angry ex-wives, one recently dropped fiancée, and the current (about to be exed) Mrs. Tomas Severin. As secrets are unearthed, and cruelties old and new revealed, it’s apparent that The End of Tom is just the beginning of the grief he caused.
To thousands of adoring Amanda Pepper fans, Gillian Roberts’s new mystery offers unmitigated delight. A note to the uninitiated: There could be no better time for you to meet “the Dorothy Parker of mystery writers . . . giving more wit per page than most writers give per book” (Nancy Pickard).
Gillian Roberts is the nom de mystère of mainstream novelist Judith Greber. Winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery for Caught Dead in Philadelphia, she is also the author of Philly Stakes, I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia, With Friends Like These . . . , How I Spent My Summer Vacation, In the Dead of Summer, The Mummers’ Curse, The Bluest Blood, and Adam and Evil. Formerly an English teacher in Philadelphia, Gillian Roberts now lives in California.
Susan Denaker’s extensive theatre credits include numerous plays in the West End of London, national tours, and many English Rep companies, including a season with Alan Ayckbourn’s company in Scarborough. More recently in the United States, Susan has appeared in Our Town and Sweet Bird of Youth, both at the La Jolla Playhouse, and Breaking Legs at the Westport Playhouse.