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Gillian Roberts Books In Order

Publication Order of Amanda Pepper Books

Caught Dead in Philadelphia (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Philly Stakes (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
With Friends Like These... (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Dead of Summer (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mummers' Curse (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bluest Blood (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Adam and Evil (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Helen Hath No Fury (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Claire and Present Danger (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Till the End of Tom (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Hole in Juan (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
All's Well That Ends (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Emma Howe & Billie August Books

Time and Trouble (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Whatever Doesn't Kill You (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Easy Answers (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silent Partner (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mendocino (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
As Good As It Gets (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Where's the Harm? (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder, She Did: 14 Killer Short Stories (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

You Can Write a Mystery (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gillian Roberts is the pseudonym of American bestselling mystery author Judith Greber. She is popularly known as the author of Emma Howe & Billie August series and Amanda Pepper series. Many of Robert’s novels have their setting in Philadelphia where she was raised. She once worked as a high school English teacher just like her character Amanda Pepper. She is a resident of Marin County, California, where she is happily married and has two adult sons.
Roberts became a published author in 1982 when her first novel Easy Answers was published under her real name. She began writing under her pen name Gillian Roberts in 1987 when she wrote Caught Dead in Philadelphia the first novel in Amanda Pepper series.

Caught Dead in Philadelphia

In the first debut novel, we are introduced to Amanda Pepper, the heroine of this mystery series set in Philadelphia. She is in her early thirties and a teacher at a Philadelphia preparatory school, s school for teens who are academically challenged but with parents who are “capable” of ensuring that their children at least finish high school and at least join any college.

Amanda resides in a rented small home with her cute cat named Macavity. None of these tragedies are personal – but according to her mother, the only tragedy that she faces is the fact that she is not married. Her mother and father are safely retired to Boca Raton but not far from the telephone, for her comfort. Additionally, her sister, named Beth is married to the perfect man, had her first born and established a home.

Amanda loves her job, and she is fascinated by the number of teachers and students around her. Their principal Havemeyer is closely guarded by a ferocious watchdog assistant named Helga. Her fellow faculty includes the amusing Gus Winston who is involved in the local theatrics, Liza Nichols to the affluent Hayden Cole. One early morning, Liza shows up at Amanda’s home, and from the looks, she appears drunk and she is insisting that she wants to get some sleep on Amanda’s couch. Liza is supposed to be a guest at Amanda’s class for a presentation about Macbeth from Shakespeare. Amanda is annoyed when her guest did not show up and shocked when she finds Liza dead on the floor of her home.

The detective headed this investigation is C.K Mackenzie, a smooth talking handsome young man from Louisiana. Charmed by the detective’s looks and accent and the urge to solve the murder case, Amanda is drawn into the mystery. The suspects list is long and never ending, for both Mackenzie and his newly found sidekick Amanda.

The would-be senator, Hayden Cole has some few secrets that he seems to be hiding. His mother is happy that Liza is out of the picture as her son’s fiancé. The Philadelphia loyal Sissie Bellinger has all the qualities to be the next Mrs. Cole, and furthermore, she has used the divorce courtrooms to get rid of her only hindrance until Liza appeared. Then there is Gus Winston, a fellow teacher, and actor who has always been secretly in love with Liza but never made his feeling public until the day Liza was stolen away by Hayden Cole.

Eddie Bayer had some secret relationship with Liza that no one knew about before her death. To add more on the suspect list is Amanda Pepper herself and according to Liza’s family, she was her best friend. But fortunately for Amanda, she soon makes her way out of the suspect list to the fact that she was at school at the time of the murder.

Philly Stakes

Christmas is around the corner, and for Amanda Pepper, she is having some trouble keeping the classroom seats full as the holiday approaches leave alone getting her students understand the true meaning of the season. She hopes that a project to help feed the homeless will make the children excited and learn the true meaning of giving rather than receiving. She intends to have the kids prepare the food and feed the homeless.

Meet Alexander Clause, one of the parents who possess the money and power to take over the feeding project in style never witnessed before. He arranges for a catered dinner at his mansion, buys gifts and invites a selected group of homeless individuals.

The D-Day finally arrives, 65 homeless people make it to the party, with some other members of Clausen family, community friends, and others. Amanda is present with her students and other teachers, and the only unwanted guest at this event is a murderer. Mrs. Clausen is drunk and her daughter, Laura is scared of her shrewdness and aura with the help of her brother attempt to control their mother in the midst of this disaster. Amanda leaves as soon as she gets the chance, heads back home to grade her student’s papers only to find a disturbing essay written by Laura. She shares it with her boyfriend, the police detective Mackenzie, the southerner who has bewitched her with his language of love.

Moments later, Alexander Clausen dies in a fire, and apparently, it appears the whole would know that his daughter has some history with fire. Amanda feels that she has to protect the girl she believes is innocent but Laura confesses to having killed her father, but her stressed mother and brother also confess.

As Amanda battles against bad throat and cold, her holiday shopping and other impossibilities, she also pushes her man Mackenzie who refuses to investigate beyond the Clausen family to find the killer. Amanda, however, pushes him, to inquire into the caterers, the homeless, the cab drivers, and the mystery man named Jacob. Amongst the available evidence is a decorative object while the fire seems to have been just a cover up of the murder. With some many clues to piece together, has her hands full with mystery, her demons, her troubled house guest, and the awaiting Florida vacation. Will she be able to finally solve the murder case with or without the help of Mackenzie? Will more clues point directly to the killer?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gillian Roberts