The Class Assignment Is Murder

Carolyn Kleinman

Fiction

People are murdered everywhere. Hannah Stein, however, had been told that Parkerville, a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was an exception, a safe, peaceful place. In 2005 Hannah’s idyllic illusion...

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People are murdered everywhere. Hannah Stein, however, had been told that Parkerville, a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was an exception, a safe, peaceful place. In 2005 Hannah’s idyllic illusion was shattered when her neighbor, a teenage boy named Matthew Baker, killed his family and raped his cousin. Now, fourteen years later, Baker suddenly protests that he is innocent. Could this possibly be true? It is the summer of 2019, and Hannah, a Jewish English professor, is hunting for an unusual topic that will intrigue three apathetic students. Hannah suggests that her students join her and examine an old murder case that has haunted her for years. From their research, her students will glean material for their research papers, and Hannah hopes she will find answers to her nagging questions. But not everyone thinks this investigation is a good idea. Ethan, Hannah’s handsome neighbor, wants Hannah to stop meddling with the past and concentrate on him. However, Hannah, a widow in her forties, cannot abandon her probe just to please a man. As the inquiry into the Baker case proceeds, the violence swirling around Hannah and her students escalates, pulling them down dangerous paths. In addition, the Baker investigation resurrects dark childhood memories that cannot be ignored. When Hannah was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s murder but was unable to identify the killer. Hannah Stein never dreamed a simple class assignment would both uncover and generate so many murders.


by Carolyn Kleinman
Page Count: 265
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: October 4, 2023
Imprint: Milford House
Genre: Mystery and Detective

FICTION/Mystery and Detective/Amateur Sleuth
FICTION/Mystery and Detective/Women Sleuths
FICTION/Mystery and Detective/Jewish

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K
Kate Blair
Absorbing and Engaging

In a thought-provoking and compassionate mystery, a sympathetic teacher inspires her students and readers to search for truths that have complicated her life for decades. Based on real life circumstances, the tale unfolds slowly, with unexpected and captivating complications, to the final page's resolution. Reflecting the students’ experiences, this would be a great choice for a young reader discovering the joy of exploring mysteries, complete with book club questions at the end to generate discussion.

J
Jim
Page Turner

The Class Assignment is Murder is a murder mystery that takes place in Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. The protagonist, Hannah, is an English Professor teaching a summer class. She is haunted by the triple murder of her neighbors fourteen years earlier. To motivate three of her underachieving students (they need a passing grade to prove deserving of a scholarship) she suggests they write a research paper on her neighbor’s murders. It works. The kids become motivated—almost too motivated—and they slowly come to question whether the young man currently serving time for the murders is guilty or, as he claims, innocent. This novel is a page-turner. The author heaps twist upon twist on the reader and the suspense pulled me in from the very beginning. It has a nice small town feel and Hannah’s backstory is handled well.