Friday, July 24, 2009
Nursery Crimes, Aylet Waldman, Berkley Publishing Group, 2000, 215 pp
This is the first in a series (The Mommy-Track Mysteries) of which there are seven titles. It was a fun, fast read; as enjoyable as any Janet Evanovich, though with a different twist.
The sleuth here is Juliet Applebaum who has given up her job as a public defender to be a stay-at-home mom. In an effort to enroll Ruby, her exuberant and fairly spoiled two year old, into a premier Hollywood preschool, Juliet runs smack into a murder when the school's principal is killed. Realizing that she is truthfully bored just being a mom, Juliet dives into solving the crime.
It is all good: the characters, the plotting, the dialogue and the satire on Hollywood/Los Angeles. Very up-to-date with email, newsgroups, cell phones and the wonders of Internet research and hacking. Juliet's husband is a writer who works at home. He writes at night, sleeps in the morning and provides childcare in the afternoons. Clearly he is patterned on Waldman's husband Michael Chabon.
I always claimed that I didn't read mysteries but now, along with the Sara Paretsky and Janet Evanovich books, I am hooked on a new series. But it is good light reading and a needed relief from most of the literary stuff. Do I dare start reading Tana French?
(As far as I can tell, this book is out of print and can only be gotten at libraries or from used book sellers.)