A Murder of Principal

When a maverick principal comes in with a student-centered agenda, there’s no more business as usual. And killing the principal is just the beginning…


When someone sets fire to Lincoln High and kills the new principal, chaos threatens to overtake the urban school. Assistant Principal Sally Pearce, hired by the deceased principal to revamp the culture, vows to carry on the mission. In so doing, she gets caught up in gang threats, racial tensions, grievances, sexual harassment, and murder. Sally never dreamed she’d be faced with solving a mystery and returning the school to order. The odds are against her—the stakes are high. When a second murder happens on campus, Sally realizes she’s trapped in a cycle of violence that must be stopped—now.

Based on 101 Reviews
January 18, 2023

Captured reality and molded a great tale

I had the pleasure of being a teacher under Saralyn Richard’s administration of our high school. She could not have painted a clearer picture of our building’s environment and affairs. I could hear Saralyn’s voice clearly through the diction of Sally and enjoyed guessing the REAL teachers behind some of her other characterizations. I am not an avid mystery reader but am now eager to read her other books. She had me second-, third- and fourth- guessing the culprit throughout this one!

The author creates an interesting story with true sounding characters dealing with life’s struggles, including racism, teacher and union issues, gangs, and general high school drama. The book catches your attention and keeps it with plot twists and turns.

Mr. Rev
March 31, 2022

Great Read

The author creates an interesting story with true sounding characters dealing with life’s struggles, including racism, teacher and union issues, gangs, and general high school drama. The book catches your attention and keeps it with plot twists and turns.

Donna Rewolinski
March 31, 2022

Great Read

The author creates an interesting story with true sounding characters dealing with life’s struggles, including racism, teacher and union issues, gangs, and general high school drama. The book catches your attention and keeps it with plot twists and turns.

March 31, 2022

Great Read

The author creates an interesting story with true sounding characters dealing with life’s struggles, including racism, teacher and union issues, gangs, and general high school drama. The book catches your attention and keeps it with plot twists and turns.

Catherine Luthy
November 23, 2021

Page turner

Love the way all the characters are created.

Marjorie L.
November 16, 2021

Enjoyable read

Love this author. Have read all of her books and enjoyed them all. Generally, they are rather quick reads but usually not easy to figure out who the bad guy is before the reveal.

Ann Anderson
November 10, 2021

Saralyn Richard creates a high school setting, not unlike society.

Saralyn Richard creates a high school setting, not unlike society. Her novel is rich in diversity of age, color, experience and opportunity. There’s much to learn from the murder mystery and the characters. Great read and great insights.

October 15, 2021

A great mystery.

This is a great read. From the beginning, I was drawn into the world of Lincoln High School. I loved the pace of the book and how we go to meet and know the characters and the dilemmas they face in life. Saralynn has written another wonderful book.

August 8, 2021

Another great mystery from author Saralyn Richard

I really enjoyed the steady pace of this novel, keeping me engaged from start to finish. Each of Saralyn’s novels have kept me guessing right until the end! Loved it!

Nancy A. Hughes
August 2, 2021

An Exceptional mystery by an award-winning author

Readers who loved Murder in the One Percent and A Palette for Love and Murder will be thrilled by Saralyn Richard’s captivating mystery, A Murder of Principal. The award-winning author turned her enormous talent to multiple challenges plaguing our high schools—gangs, race, jealousy, and even murder, wrapped around a well-crafted story with food for reflection on our contemporary society and the meaning of family.

June 30, 2021

Great book!

Enjoyed the story and characters very much. It kept me guessing. Couldn’t put it down!

Stephen B
June 24, 2021

Great characters

Simply said, a really great read. The characters were well thought out and The author draws the reader in page by page.

San Diego Reader
June 8, 2021

School House Rocked

Saralyn Richard will school you in the importance of solid evidence in her thrilling book Murder of Principal. This is a well-researched story in correct police procedures to find who’s killing administrators at Lincoln High School. Soon after beginning the book, I was transported to the campus and ensconced in the story, thanks to the author’s skills for description and character development. You will cheer for Sally Pearce, the vice principal, who must balance her duty to the school and its students with her own fears for her safety as murders occur around her. Will she be next? You will love Sally’s devotion to all the students, even those being eyed by the police. Things are not as they seem at Lincoln High. There is nothing elementary about this whodunnit!

May 29, 2021

Couldn't Put It Down

A Murder of Principal is both a terrific character study and murder mystery. Clearly the author understands life in a big city, minority school and describes all of the attitudes (and prejudices) of the administrators, teachers, students and families who populate the schools. In addition to being a fun read, the book gives the reader an intelligent understanding of effective (and ineffective) teaching techniques. This is a terrific combination. I want to know what is next in store for Sally.

Katie Marshall
May 8, 2021

Page Turner

When Sally Pearce is selected by the new principal to be the assistant principal, she prepares herself for a new role in the school she loves. What Sally didn’t prepare for was the new principal’s death, which plummets the school into a mystery of disappearances, gang violence, and a slew of grievances. While Sally struggles to uphold order and keep that principal’s hopes for the school alive, she realizes that she has to assist the police as much as she can before the murder destroys her school. This is the third Saralyn Richard novel that I have experienced and she never disappoints. Each set of characters have unique voices with a setting and plot that always lines up perfectly. Any reader looking for the perfect balance of characterization and well-structured, well-written mystery needs to pick up a Saralyn Richard’s book.

farina frost
May 1, 2021

Get this book for your best beach read ever!!!

What a terrific murder mystery! Saralyn Richard develops these characters beautifully and I became fully invested in finding out the answer. She keeps you guessing until the very end. This is the third book I have read by this author and I can’t wait for the next one!

Sheila Lowe
April 16, 2021

Well-paced and exciting!

Who knew that high school could be so dangerous! Saralyn has bravely and competently tackled some difficult issues, arousing my emotions and getting me engaged with the characters. I was sad at the first murder, cheered on the beleaguered young couple, and glad when the culprit was apprehended. Well done!

Diane E. Rosen
April 14, 2021

You won’t put it down.

Another fun page turner from Ms. Richard. if u like a good mystery, check out this and all her books.

Toni Bellon
April 12, 2021

A Good Read

As an educator, I’m always concerned when I pick up a book set in a school and doubly nervous when the story includes a murder. I’m afraid the author will include some of the stereotypes many people believe about education. But Saralyn Richard shares my background. She describes the school environment well—as a microcosm of the wider society with all it’s warts. Of course, I don’t want anyone to die in a school, but since Saralyn writes in this genre, somebody’s got to go. The murder mystery part of the book was well done. The reader is led to believe it could be—him or—her or—that other person. This book will keep you guessing and teach you a little about schools at the same time.

March 24, 2021

Highly recommended!

Readers are immediately pulled into the story as Saralyn engages them in her world, unfolding well-developed complex characters in richly detailed settings. The story moves along a satisfying pace, making the book truly hard to put down. In every scene, a reader feels a part of the inner circle of teachers, students, administrators, during discussions, a shared meal, and private moments between characters. She keeps readers guessing until the end as to who is guilty and their motive. Woven into this mystery is also a message of hope, which I really enjoyed. So many things to really love about this book!

Tricia J. Bugajski
February 20, 2021

Mystery buff approved.

I read this book in one sitting. I enjoyed the characters and the twists and turns one mystery buff expects. I recognized many characteristics of the teachers both as an educator and as a former student of the author. I knew I would enjoy the book when I read the opening quotation of Marian Wright Edelman. Although the characters are fictional, there are many familiar elements and quirks of Sally and her colleagues.

Peter Rickard
February 19, 2021

A Quick Read that’s Lots of Fun

It’s funny to call a murder mystery fun, but this book is crafted to describe a school, much like many other schools, which is striving to have all students succeed.

February 13, 2021

A Murder in Principal

Finished yesterday. Enjoyed every minute. Many characters could have been the murderer, even after they were dead. Also, loved the salute to Phillip-Morris. A product from the past. Keep them coming. Am looking forward to the next one. I have not delivered all the copies I purchased. Hope the recipients enjoy it as much as I did.

Laurie Buchanan
February 12, 2021

A+ in Murder and Mayhem!

Author Saralyn Richard hits it out of the park—again. Penned by a real-life educator and school administrator, the setting and delicious details are brought to life as only someone “in the know” can. Richard gets an A+ in Murder and Mayhem.

Great Read!!

Suspenseful and intriguing read! Saralyn is a great author and I have enjoyed all of her books.

Linda Henley
February 11, 2021

Perfect murder mystery, and more

I can’t say enough about this book. The author has managed to create an intriguing tale while introducing believable characters who face real dilemmas. She doesn’t shy away from important contemporary issues: racism, teacher unions, gangs, and the challenges of running a school in modern times. It’s easy to identify with all age groups, from misguided teens to principled adults, as they move through the story to the satisfying, if sobering, conclusion. An excellent read.

Barbara Sasser
February 10, 2021

Great characters as well as great plot twists

Saralyn has done a great job developing the characters in this book. They cover the gambit from good to bad, are multidementional, and they all belong in the setting of an inner city high school. The plot has twists and turns to keep you guessing. I recommend this to anyone who likes a thriller.

Gwendolyn Brooks
February 8, 2021

A real page turner

Saralyn Richard fluidly captures the inner-city school setting very clearly. The development of the story and characters are clearly on point. I was half way through the book before I could put it down. This book keeps you guessing until the end.

February 7, 2021

A Murder of Principal

Saralyn Richard draws on her experience as a compassionate educator to develop believable characters and situations in this murder mystery set in a high school. She understands both the feelings and passions of good and not-so-good educators as well as their dilemmas. She also understands and empathizes with the difficulties and emotions of teenagers, and the turmoil that is such a part of their educational experience. This is a book that would benefit and entertain all parents, teachers, and school administrators.

Karen F Restivo
February 7, 2021

A Roller Coaster Ride into Intrigue

A Murder of Principal produces a roller coaster ride with twists and turns at a speed even experienced riders would be impressed with. Saralyn skillfully brings to life her characters as the reader is ascending the top of the hill only to find themselves plunging below into theories of intrigue in this engaging Who Dunnit! Saralyn is on a roller coaster ride of her own to join our most beloved mystery writers. Dare I say I see a movie adaptation of this book over the next hill!

Chana Santschi
February 6, 2021

A suspends story

Beautiful mastery written book Enjoyed the book characters, the students achievements despite their difficulties and the happy ending love story

Ronarose Train
February 6, 2021

Another winner by Saralyn Richards

A believable plot with well developed characters provides the perfect novel to delve into on a cold and rainy (or snowy) weekend. The author brings you the satisfaction of reading a well-written book that is well worth your time. Congratulations to Saralyn Richards for another winner!

Vivian Z.
February 4, 2021

Reality Read

This book takes the reader through the life and times of true educators; the encounters faced religiously no matter what area of the United States you live in. These are the real-life stories we face whether in middle school, high school, or college. I’m glad the story tells of what educators deal with but never speak about, and few in the real world really know about. The lives we touch and the difference we try to make in students’ lives, even if we can only reach a few and turn their lives around is why we do what we do. Vivian= adjunct professor

Ann Weisgarber
February 4, 2021

Great for Book Clubs

The pages flew by as the mystery of who did it kept me guessing to the very end. What I especially enjoyed was the dynamics of the students and faculty at Lincoln High School, an inner-city school. The setting bubbled with the full-range of human emotions from the desire to get ahead, to protecting the status quo, to love and the hope for a better future. Saralyn Richard hit it out of the park.

February 1, 2021

Murder mystery in a high school!

Great murder mystery set in a high school. Very fast read in a good way. Anyone who has worked in a high school is in for a special treat! I really enjoyed this book. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Pat Manetti
February 1, 2021

Great book

The dialog was great. I liked the pacing. I got an insight on what difficult work administrators do and the difference caring makes to students I learned a lot

January 29, 2021

What a Fun Book

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this mystery. In.fact, toward the end I couldn’t put it down. I learned a lot about i met city schools while being thoroughly entertained its well written and worth the read

Susan P. Baker
January 27, 2021

Intriguing Mystery

You can tell an experienced teacher, who well knows the political ins and outs of the school system, wrote of what she’s lived. The characters feel so authentic and some are so annoying that I wanted to reach inside the pages and grab more than one of them by the throat. In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out who really had a motive to kill the do-gooder victim. And then there’s the subplot, which an educator has no doubt witnessed many times especially in an inner-city school, but still, it’s heartbreaking. And are the actors in the subplot complicit in the murder? This intriguing mystery will keep you guessing right up to the end. I highly recommend it to mystery lovers everywhere.

J Bennett
January 26, 2021

Mystery at its Best

Once again, Saralynn Richard does not disappoint. Her attention to detail, character and story line does not go unnoticed. She weaves a great mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the end. This is the third book of hers that I have read, and I’m am anxiously awaiting what mystery she delivers next.

Susan G Sanders
January 25, 2021


I felt the beginning dragged a bit. However, once it reached the action part… the pages simply flew by and I could not wait to see WHO DONE IT!! Thanks

Texas grandpa
January 23, 2021

Keeps you guessing till the very end

Saralyn Richard’s latest murder mystery has an unusual setting — an urban high school — with richly described characters and puzzling murders! You will fall in love with some of the people in this story, and you will not figure out “whodunit” until the exciting reveals in the last pages. This is Richard’s third murder mystery and I can’t wait for the next one.

Stacey C Jones
January 21, 2021

A Mysterious Page-Turner

Author Saralyn Richard has the ability to engage her readers by introducing and developing multiple characters in her work, all of which could very well be the guilty party of the said crime. I found it difficult to put down A Murder of Principal because this literary work causes the mind of the reader to form multiple theories (motives and opportunities) about each of the multidimensional characters throughout the book. I would recommend that anyone who aspires to become a school administrator read this book. It certainly allows you to think about serious issues that arise in a school setting and ponder the best ways to address them so that an administrator can uphold the teaching staff’s contract, maintain confidentiality, provide a quality education for students, and ensure the safety and security of all building stakeholders. The issues that Sally Pearce, main character and new administrator, faces are like no scenarios that you’d ever encounter in educational administration/leadership textbooks. If educational leadership programs posed such scenarios there would be a very low retention rate for students who actually earned their certificates or graduate degrees in this field. Overall, this was a great read and one that I’d recommend to other avid readers.

January 18, 2021

A masterful mystery … in an urban school setting…

Having spent decades as a teacher and educational consultant, I not only savored the storyline (in spite of my failed attempt to solve the murder) but I also fully appreciated the day-to-day business, the personalities, the relationships, and the conflicts at Lincoln High School that Saralyn Richard deftly depicts in her newest mystery!

Sandy G
January 18, 2021

Fantastic Mystery

Wow! Fantastic! It’s time for you to sit down and read this exciting murder mystery. One that has you begging for the next turn of the page. You might as well find the time to start because once you do….there is no putting it down. Thanks again Saralyn for such a powerful message of the problems we face daily in ours schools. Looking forward to your next book.💙

Lou Wexler
January 18, 2021

A Must Read

I finished the book today and was so intrigued throughout that I was sad when it ended! Saralyn did a wonderful job of creating the real life dynamics educationally, politically, and personally of a typical school environment for her non-educator readers which also helped set up each character’s potential for being the murderer. The in-depth development of each person and the realistic dialogues literally came to life and you could almost hear the conversations! I guess you can tell that I really liked the story!!! Congratulations on another winner and I look forward to the next one!!!!

January 17, 2021

Sara Lynn

Murder of Principal; I could not put it down!!!! Great mystery.

Laura Laura
January 14, 2021

a A nostalgic page turner that you won’t want to miss…

A Murder of Principal, by award winning author, Saralyn Richard, has all the drama, intrigue and suspense needed to pull off this intense, inner-city high school mystery. Lincoln High is struggling with the usual issues surrounding students and faculty, even before the new principal, R.J. Stoker, shakes things up. Gangs, grievances, sexual harassment, and other tensions cause conflicts and rivalries. Stoker makes waves, and his new right-hand assistant struggles to balance the schedule before faculty grievances sink their maiden voyage. Just who has put a target on Stoker’s back? Plenty of characters have motives, but this suspense-filled mystery will keep you guessing who done it until the very end. Lots of clues and a few scattered red herrings will keep you engaged and trying to identify the killer. A Murder of Principal, is a nostalgic page turner that you won’t want to miss.

John R. Selig
January 12, 2021

Another Outstanding Murder Mystery from Saralyn Richard

Saralyn Richard has become my favorite murder mystery author. Once again she has written another page turner. Her character development, plot and and attention to detail is second to none.

January 11, 2021

Another great read

Sadly, this book ended too quickly! I Love reading books by this author. I cannot put them down! I usually end up reading them through the night! Wonderful book! Please, another one soon!

SKU: N/A Categories: , Tag:

Pin It on Pinterest