Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye – Book Review

Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye – Book Review

Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye

Death by Diploma
Chalkboard Outlines Book One

Author – Kelley Kaye
Publisher – Red Adept Pub
Pages – 228
Released – 6th January 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-1940215624
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
Reviewer – Marcia
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

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Firstly, I must say it was refreshing to read a book where the synopsis and the story matched perfectly, without any spoilers from the plot or expectations that never arrived.

Emma Lovett has moved home across the country to begin teaching at Jefferson High in Colorado, for a fresh start. There she meets Leslie Parker a fellow English teacher and the two become firm friends. On her first day, Emma comes across the body of Melvin, who was the night janitor and it’s obvious from his injuries that someone killed him. Emma and Leslie decide to take it upon themselves to become amateur sleuths and find out who killed Melvin.

I really loved the way Emma and Leslie’s friendship developed throughout the book. I Could almost feel the way they instantly connected and how that connection grew. They were both witty characters and very humorous. These are two characters that really stood out and I found myself completely enjoying their company and liking them the more I read. I could also picture them perfectly too as Ms. Kaye’s writing style allowed me to easily create visuals.

The plot is that of a cozy murder mystery with the two main characters finding themselves in some weird and strange situations but they were determined to find the killer. There is also a romance for each of them on the cards too. If you want an easy read crime fiction with lots of humour then Death by Diploma is the book for you.

Reviewed by Marcia

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About the Author

Kelley Kaye

Kelley (writes as Kelley Kaye and Kelley Kay Bowles depending on genre. Also know as Kelley Gusich) taught High School English and Drama for twenty years in Colorado and California, but her love for storytelling dates back to creating captions for her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created around her Barbie and Ken.

A 1994 MS diagnosis and many years of fertility struggles have (circuitously) brought Kelley, finally, to the life of writer and mother, both of which she adores. Death by Diploma, released by Red Adept Publishing in February 2016 and #1 for cozy mystery on Amazon in August that same year, is her debut cozy mystery, first in the Chalkboard Outlines® series. Book 2, Poison by Punctuation, was released April 24, 2018. Her debut Young Adult Paranormal, Down in the Belly of the Whale, received the 2017 Indie Book of the Year from Aionios Books, who published the book May 5, 2018.

Kelley has two amazing sons and a hunky husband who cooks for her. She lives in Southern California.

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Death by Diploma

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16 Responses

  1. kindleandkompass says:

    Murder mysteries are my favorites.. Short & a crisp review

  2. Jo Linsdell says:

    This is on my TBR list. Looking forward to reading it even more now.

  3. Emma Mane says:

    I think I might just purchase this book. Nice review.

  4. DJ Sakata says:

    this looks fun

  5. Love a good cozy mystery, esp in the winter!

  6. Kelley Kaye says:

    Thank you Marcia! Working on Book 3 right now…?? Kelley

  7. Robin Taylor says:

    Looks great! I love cozy mysteries.

  8. Great review, I think I’ll be adding this to my TBR!