When the principal of Hollywood's premier preschool is killed in a hit-and-run accident, public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum gets off the mommy track - to track down a murderer.
©2000 Ayelet Waldman (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This was a pleasant surprise. Juliet is a pleasant competent woman who is a bit of a busy body. After putting her career on hold to be a stay at home mom, Juliet is bored and restless. She can't help but get involved when she hears about a woman at a preschool being murdered. She really has no business getting involved but Juliet doesn't let that get in the way. Along the way we meet Ruby, Juliet's daughter and Peter, Juliet's husband and a host of friends and foes. All together they are entertaining and fun. This is a good book and I look forward to the next one.
Interesting, funny, almost-predictable
Juliet was my favorite character. She is an educated woman, who chose to stay home with her children, yet did not become an automaton.
The scene that was my favorite was when Juliet gets shot.
When Juliet gives birth was a moving scene
I am not someone who actively tries to solve the mystery when reading a mystery novel. I have even read books with a somewhat weak mystery and still given them high ratings because I really enjoyed reading about the characters. But unfortunately for this book, it didn't really have either thing to recommend it. There came a point when the solution should have been obvious to our heroine but it wasn't. I probably could have gotten over it if I liked Juliet more. But I didn't. I read this book because I had read Bad Mother which is basically a memoir by the same author. I knew this character was somewhat autobiographical. Like Waldman, Juliet Applebaum is a former public defender who has become a stay at home mom and is not finding that fulfilling. She is so bored by daily interactions with her 2 year old that she decides to investigate what may be a murder. I know as well as anyone that it can be mind numbingly dull to play mommy and baby trains with a two year old, but still I couldn't get behind her motive to get involved. Then she does a bunch of things that made me cringe, showing up at funerals or homes of the bereaved just to stick her nose in. I really prefer my sleuth have a better motivation than finding her toddler boring especially if she is going to do things like that. I also can't ignore that other people's bratty two year olds are annoying, but if there is anything more annoying than a bratty two year old it is an adult imitating the voice of a bratty two year old. I know Ruby is supposed to be cute but the narration of her was not enjoyable to listen too. Think I'll pass on the rest of the series.
Having greatly enjoyed Ayelet Waldman's autobiographical "Bad Mother" in paperback, I was keen to listen to some of her fiction. This is light but entertaining and should hit the spot for many mums with young children; it may be chick-lit but it is a detective story and not the typical romance formula. The central character, Juliet, having put aside her legal career for full-time motherhood, feels compelled to utilise her investigation skills when her suspicions are aroused by the death of a nursery school headmistress. As a mum who has experienced the compromise involved in juggling career and children, I found I could relate to her. I'll be continuing with the series.
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