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Murder on the Blackboard

by Stuart Palmer

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If Miss Hildegarde Withers hadn't kept an errant pupil after school that day, she might not have been the one to discover the body of Anise Halloran, the pretty young music teacher, in the teachers' cloakroom. But when Hildy's good friend Inspector Oscar Piper of the NYPD arrives on the scene, the corpse has vanished, and when he goes looking for it, he's put out of commission by a whack on the head with a shovel. So this time Hildy has to solve the case on her own while Oscar lies helpless in a hospital bed, and she's surprised at how many suspects just a little snooping turns up. The second case for Hildy and Oscar, it was first published in 1931 and offers a nostalgic look at New York City in the grip of both Prohibition and the Great Depression, a time when women schoolteachers were not permitted to marry and bootleg liquor was available everywhere, even the corner candy store.

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