A onetime Wall Streeter, Kit Deleeuw is now a station-wagon driver, Labrador walker and principal caregiver to his children. He's also the PI star of Katz's Suburban Detective series (The Family Stalker) and a living lexicon of political correctness. This entry, the third and best, begins when Shelly Bloomfield, one of New Jersey's last professional moms, is accused of shooting the new-and feminist-junior high school principal. Shelly, whose husband's gun was the murder weapon and whose son was on the verge of suspension from the school for sexual harassment incidents involving bra-snapping and groping, hires Kit to exonerate her. Katz writes as though his readers were visiting from Mars as his hero-narrator endlessly details suburban, child-centered life, pats himself on the back for being a caring dad and only occasionally pauses to let the plot inch forward. Yet, while most of the characters whine at being torn between parenting and power-lunching, dark hints of evil lurking in the minds of children surface to give the tale some depth. Ultimately, however, Katz shies away from such possibilities to offer a pat solution that draws on hormones and peer pressure. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
Formerly executive producer of CBS and now media critic for New York, Katz also writes witty little mysteries aimed at the heart of suburban America (Death by Stationwagon, Doubleday, 1993). Here, the self-styled "last housewife" in one typical town is accused of slaughtering the middle school's feminist principal.