BOOK REVIEW

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      AT RISK OF BEING A FOOL
          JEANETTE COTTRELL

In Salem, Oregon, while taking care of her spouse's increasing memory loss in which he does not remember her, fifty-eight years old retired teacher Jeanie McCoy also works part-time as an instructor at an at-risk youth program. Her current class consists of six students, ages seventeen to twenty-one, preparing for the GED exam.

Jeanie knows to keep her distance as her students are violent, but in spite of the fact that anyone would knife her for touching their boom box she cares for each one of them like a mother hen. When a pipe bomb at a Delancey Brothers Construction site injures supervisor Bryce Logan, the cops suspect one of Jeanie's pupils Quinto the artist, who works there. Unable to ignore the situation, Jeanie with the help of another student Sorrel, the amazon mother of an infant, begins investigating what happened and soon realizes one of her dangerous "cubs" could be the culprit.

Where Jeanie found the time to nurture her ailing spouse, teach her rowdy students, and become involved in an investigation is hard to fathom even if she leaves no time for herself. AT RISK OF BEING A FOOL is a fine amateur sleuth mystery complex, mesmerizing and entertaining. The mystery comes in late and takes a back seat to the classroom drama in which each student has a unique personality as discerned by Jeanie. The who-done-it is fascinating, but the classroom rules.

REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, HARRIET KLAUSNER

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