Murder Is Universal by Diane Weiner – Review

I have read every book in the Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mystery Series by Diane Weiner. Each book in the series lets us get to know the characters better. They have grown in depth so that the reader begins to feel as if they are all family.

I must admit while reading the first book in the series, Murder Is Elementary, I wasn’t sure if I was fond of the main character because I felt she was a little too nosy and uptight. Susan always got herself in the midst of things she shouldn’t and it made for a good read, although in my mind I wasn’t sure about her. Now to be fair, I did let the author know I felt this way. I say this now, I was wrong about Susan Wiles.

She is a smart, likable woman with deep loyalty to her family and an insatiable curiosity that lands her in trouble but what fun trouble.

In Murder Is Universal we are again introduced to Valerie, a friend she made in the last book, Murder is Medical. Valerie moves from St. Louis to Susan’s community of Westbrook. Her daughter, a detective is also moving with her to work with Susan’s detective daughter. Right away they are thrown into a mystery when the man in the seat next to Valerie on the plane dies. Add a house purchase with mysterious happenings and the amateur sleuths have their noses to the ground. They are a fun to follow duo.

I give this five stars. I loved this mystery. I enjoy the entire series so I would recommend it. Ms. Weiner’s writing just keeps getting better and better.

About the author:

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder is Medical is the latest (book 10) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series. Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award. Murder is Collegiate made the short list for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at or visit her at her Facebook page at

Murder is Universal

Flying in the middle seat can literally be murder. Upon landing in Westbrook, Susan Wiles and new friend Valerie Holmes discover the man sitting between them is dead, presumably from a heart attack. Of course, Susan notices his blue lips and the snack spilled out onto the floor. The dead passenger, owner of a successful college preparatory company, has made enemies as a result of accepting bribes in exchange for Ivy League acceptance letters. His widow, a colleague of Susan’s son-in-law, Jason, doesn’t feel the police are taking the murder seriously. Jason has told stories in the past about his mother-in-law’s success as an amateur sleuth inspiring the widow to enlist Susan’s help. By accepting, she’d be helping out both the widow and her detective daughter who’s in charge of the case. Susan’s daughter is short-handed while waiting for her new partner, Valerie’s daughter Jazmin, to arrive from St. Louis. On top of that, Westbrook has bank robbers on the loose and the police department is under pressure to keep its citizens safe. Retired teacher Susan Wiles and her new bestie Valerie team up to lend a hand and bring justice to Westbrook.

Find her at Diane Weiner.

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