Death Gets a Time-Out (Mommy-Track Mystery Series)

Death Gets a Time-Out (Mommy-Track Mystery Series)

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by Ayelet Waldman

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Between juggling lunchboxes, piano lessons, and baby-sitters, public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum promises to help her famous friend clear her brother's name of murder. But what will she do when she begins to suspect her friend may not be as innocent as she seems?


Between juggling lunchboxes, piano lessons, and baby-sitters, public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum promises to help her famous friend clear her brother's name of murder. But what will she do when she begins to suspect her friend may not be as innocent as she seems?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fourth mystery in Waldman's Mommy-Track series (after 2002's A Playdate with Death) gets off to a slow start, but repays reader perseverance in spades. Harried mother and PI Juliet Applebaum secures a new case from her old friend, film star Lilly Green. Lilly's stepbrother Jupiter Jones is incarcerated in the L.A. County jail, accused of raping and murdering his new, very young stepmother, Chloe Jones. Since the lawyer representing Jupiter thinks he's guilty, Lilly wants Juliet discreetly to assemble evidence for a mitigation defense. Juliet and her partner, Al Hockey, determine that given the character witnesses available to testify on Jupiter's behalf, their best bet is to find another suspect. Juliet and Al uncover all sorts of witnesses who refuse to talk-the director of a posh rehab clinic; the Very Reverend Polaris Jones, leader of a New-Age religious cult, widower of the victim and father of the accused; movers and shakers connected with the state assembly; and even Lilly. Soon the ground is littered with suspects who have reasons for wishing Chloe dead. Waldman skillfully unravels the intertwined relationships between all these characters to reveal a cunning murder plot. The sometimes overwrought Juliet and her patient husband make an appealing couple-funny, clever and loving (but never mawkish). Waldman has an excellent ear for the snappy comeback, especially when delivered by a five-year-old. (July 1) Forecast: The witty jacket art-of the big bad wolf sitting in a corner with Little Red Riding Hood's cloak and spilled basket in the foreground-will particularly amuse parents of young children. Booksellers might want to feature this and other titles in the series near or even in the kids' section. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Juliet Applebaum, one-time lawyer turned Hollywood stay-at-home mom and part-time sleuth, attempts to help the brother of an actress friend accused of killing his stepmother. As it turns out, the actress herself may be suspect. The result is a perky, enthusiastic, and infectious read. The author (Playdate with Death) is married to novelist Michael Chabon. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This fourth in a series (A Playdate with Death, 2002, etc.) finds part-time p.i./full-time mommy Juliet Appelbaum resolving three related murders while grappling with morning sickness. Juliet’s pal Lilly, who began her climb to Hollywood fame with an appearance in Juliet’s screenwriter husband’s horror flick, has a complicated family history. After years of therapy with Dr. Blackmore, whose reputation rests on his analysis of her case, "Little Girl Q," she remembers accidentally shooting her mom, Trudy-Ann, in Mexico when she was only a child. In the room at the time, she thinks, were her stepfather Polaris, now leader of the Church of Cosmological Unity, and her baby stepbrother Jupiter, now a relapsed druggie charged with capital murder for killing Polaris’s mantrap new wife Chloe, a former stripper, a blackmailer, and Jupiter’s sexual playmate. Who was Chloe blackmailing? Surely not Lilly’s stepparents, love-hungry Ralph and noble politico Beverly Green. Unless, of course, she knew that they too had been in Trudy-Ann’s room on that fateful day, and along with Dr. Blackmore, had been part of the same sleep-with-everybody California commune thirty years ago. Casting suspicion on all and sundry for the murders of Trudy-Ann and Chloe, Juliet has to rethink her surmises when Ralph is killed and Chloe’s mom seems to be next on the list. Waldman is at her witty best when dealing with children, carpooling, and first-trimester woes, but is no slouch at explaining the pitfalls of False Memory Syndrome either. Agent: Mary Evans

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Mommy-Track Mysteries Series, #4
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.48(h) x 1.14(d)

Meet the Author

Ayelet Waldman currently lives with her writer-husband Michael Chabon and four children.

Brief Biography

Berkeley, California
Date of Birth:
December 11, 1964
Place of Birth:
Jerusalem, Israel
Wesleyan University, 1986; Harvard Law School, 1991

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Death Gets a Time-Out (Mommy-Track Mystery Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
She went from a public defender to a stay-at-home mom but now that her two children are older, Juliet Applebaum is going into partnership with Al Hockey, a former investigator for the public defenders. They are opening up a private detective agency housed temporarily in Al¿s garage until they bring in enough money to have a real office. At a Hollywood charity function, Juliet runs into her good friend Lilly Green, a famous actress who is in desperate need of her firm¿s discrete services.

Lilly¿s stepbrother Jupiter Jones is accused of killing his stepmother Chloe, the wife of Polaris Jones who is the head of the Church of Cosmological Unity. Chloe was blackmailing Lilly and she asked Jupiter to help her put a stop it. She believes that Jupiter may have killed Chloe because of their close bond but when Juliet starts investigating she comes to believe that Jupiter didn¿t kill Chloe and that makes the real killer exceeding anxious to stop the investigation even if it means murdering again.

Although the subject matter of survivor guilt and repressed memories is very serious topics, Juliet¿s interactions with her husband and children bring a note of much need of humor to the somber story line. Readers will be particularly tickled to realize that Juliet is pregnant again and her reaction to this unexpected event is truly memorable. DEATH GETS A TIME-OUT is darker in tone than the previous works in this series but it is just as good.

Harriet Klausner