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Synopsis

(If you enjoy this book, check out the sequels: NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MONEY, NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MATURITY, NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MYTH, NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MISTAKES, and NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MOTIVES.)

A sleuthing substitute teacher tackles her first case and it's nearly her last.

Notice:  This mystery contains no vampires, werewolves, zombies, or space aliens. It was not tested on laboratory animals. It makes no claims to political correctness. Characters may not be fully clothed at all times.


Divorced from a philandering con man and downsized from her job as a talk radio show producer, Barbara Reed is desperate for money. She's got a mortgage, a college loan, an aging car, and a ten-pound dog named Cheese Puff.

With her unemployment checks running out, she signs on as a high school substitute teacher and learns what stress is all about. When she finds history teacher Henry Stoddard strangled with his own outdated tie, her stress level soars into the red zone. Then she's assigned to cover his classes.

Stoddard was a bully and a blackmailer. The list of suspects is a long one, and police put Barb at the top. When she discovers a second body, the noose of circumstantial evidence tightens.

With help from the showgirl widow of a reputed mobster, a trash-scavenging derelict, and members of the Cheese Puff Care and Comfort Committee, Barb struggles to keep a grip on her job, her sanity, and her freedom.

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