The Private School Murders (Confessions #2)
This book would’ve been good if so much wasn’t going on. Because of how the first book ended, I expected to learn more about Matthew’s predicament and for Tandy to spend more time thinking about the James situation, but I didn’t expect two more mysteries on top of all that drama. Four mysteries to “solve” leaves Tandy spread too thin so she doesn’t give adequate attention to any one case and takes longer to solve them. To make up for Tandy’s lack of focus, Patterson creates a best friend for Tandy, Claudia Portman, who Tandy calls C.P. According to Tandy, they became best friends because they’re both seen as criminals at All Saints. Yet, C.P. is a meaning less character who’s included just to make up for Tandy’s lack of focus. C.P. is added so it looks like Tandy is still trying to solve the Private School murders when really she’s busy with other things. C.P. does the investigating, Tandy makes a couple of conclusions, and all of a sudden she’s a great detective. What’s more, solving the mystery isn’t the correct way to describe the conclusion of the case. A better description is Tandy fell into the case and got an answer. The resolution to the case (THAT THE BOOK IS NAMED AFTER!) wouldn’t have been such a disappointment if Tandy didn’t have so much on her plate.
The only redeeming quality of this book is Jacob. Like C.P., Jacob is a new character in the story, but he is meaningful because he changes the lives of the Angel kids for the better. Jacob becomes the guardian for Tandy, Harry, and Hugo and adds structure and love into their lives, which they didn’t have before. From Tandy’s POV, it’s hard to tell whether Malcolm and Maud ever truly loved their kids, but with Jacob it’s obvious. He worries so much about them, which is what they need: someone to show them they matter and are loved.
Overall, this book wasn’t as good as the first one because there was too much going on. The first book had a clear focus on solving Malcolm and Maud’s deaths, but this second book didn’t have a clear focus.