I felt I finally had a context for this book when I found out the author was a writer for "Arrested Development." The characters in this nutty mystery were not created in any mold I recognized. OK, maybe the precocious but unconventional 14 year-old Bee watching out for her agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, or the clueless, aspirational Microsoft drone, or the high-and-mighty private school PTA diva, or the consultant hired to attract "Mercedes Parents" to their school look familiar, but everyone has their unexpected edge, and I couldn't wait to hear what happened next. Oh, the situations are preposterous: the personal assistant who manages Bernadette's needs to the nth degree from India, Bernadette's hilltop manse invaded by blackberry canes, a family holiday to Antarctica--but it is all spun together with surprising credibility in a myriad of delightful voices. And all of this buoyant hilarity arising from soggy Seattle--Gotta love it!
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