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A Playdate with Death (Mommy-Track Mysteries Series)

A Playdate with Death (Mommy-Track Mysteries Series)

4.3 3
by Ayelet Waldman

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Public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum is back in top form, investigating the mysterious death of her personal trainer...in-between taming tantrums, planning playdates, and playing dress-up with her two rowdy kids.


Public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum is back in top form, investigating the mysterious death of her personal trainer...in-between taming tantrums, planning playdates, and playing dress-up with her two rowdy kids.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The challenges of motherhood don't hold a candle to the challenge of sleuthing for Juliet Applebaum, the heroine of Waldman's third sparkling "mommy-track" mystery (Nursery Crimes; The Big Nap). Once an L.A. assistant district attorney, now a "somewhat unwilling stay-at-home mom," Juliet uses her legal skills to look into the death of Bobby Katz, her personal trainer. The police write it off as a suicide, but no one close to Bobby, including his fianc e, Betsy, a recovering (barely) drug addict, and his uptight parents, believes that theory. Juliet juggles investigating the case with parenting her two small children, the still-breast-feeding Isaac and his older sister, Ruby. The swift and engaging plot revolves around questions of heredity and genetics. Juliet's palpable, refreshingly honest dislike for the mundane realities of parenting should resonate with many. Juliet is more mom than detective, but there's a sense she wishes it were the other way around. If much of the author's spin on the "joys" of motherhood is familiar, in one interesting thread Juliet tries to fathom her son's desire for a toy gun. Later there's a neat contradiction when Juliet goes to a range and discovers she likes shooting. This witty and well-constructed novel probably won't satisfy serious crime fans who expect passion and intensity (though some minor characters display plenty), but those with a taste for lighter mystery fare are sure to relish the adventures of this contemporary, married, mother-of-two Nancy Drew. Agent, Mary Evans. (June 4) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Why would buff personal trainer Bobby Katz commit suicide when he was happily in love with Betsy, the fiancee he'd met through Narcotics Anonymous, saving for their wedding, bidding on a set of golf clubs on the Internet, and awaiting delivery of a new Palm Pilot? Former public defender turned full-time mom Juliet Applebaum (The Big Nap, 2001, etc.), who counted herself lucky to be one of his clients, decides he might have been murdered. Her snooping puts her in touch with his e-mail buddy "Louise," who'd been helping Bobby track his birth parents-to the dismay of his adoptive family, who'd kept his adoption a secret from him until their other son blurted out the truth. With help from p.i. and gun enthusiast Al Hockey, Juliet locates Bobby's birth mom, a virulently anti-Semitic married woman, whose affair long years ago with a Jew passed the Tay-Sachs gene on to Bobby. Or did it? Could a Gentile be a Tay-Sachs carrier? As Juliet learns more about the disease, and delves more deeply into Bobby's birth and adoptive families and NA friends, she endangers not only her own kids, but slow-to-react Al, before the LAPD comes to agree that Bobby was emphatically not a suicide. Funny tidbits about bringing up toddlers and the liberal mom's dilemma over giving her kids toy guns to play with. Juliet's got charm, spunk, and-given her new partnership with Al-a reason to get out of the house.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Mommy-Track Mysteries Series , #3
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.93(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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A Playdate with Death (Mommy-Track Mysteries Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a suprising example of an author of whom I had never read before. Very short but keeps you guessing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book I thought that it was probably going to be really cheesy. The title just made it sound dumb. I took the book home anyway and just started reading it. I could not put it down! I read it cover-to cover in only a few hours. This is an excellent story that is easy to relate to. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story that is easy to read. A definite page-turner!
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is on indefinite leave from her job as a public defender but Juliet Applebaum isn¿t satisfied being a stay at home mom to her two children. The only time she is truly happy is when she can fit a murder investigation into her hectic schedule. When her friend and trainer is found dead the police rule it a suicide but Juliet¿s instincts go into overdrive.

In Juliet¿s expert opinion, Bobby was a laid back, easygoing guy with no apparent reason to kill himself. She convinces his girlfriend to give her Bobby¿s computer to see if there is anything on it that would give a clue to her trainer¿s state of mind before he died. She discovers that Bobby was searching for his biological parents and when Juliet starts questioning those involved in the search, somebody reacts by threatening her family.

A PLAYDATE WITH DEATH is an intricate cozy that stars a protagonist that is impossible to dislike. Her frustrations and troubles with being a stay at home parent add comic relief to a very serious and believable story line. Ayelet Waldman is a natural storyteller who has created such an intricate mystery that readers will want to finish the book in one sitting while obtaining other Mommy-Track novels.

Harriet Klausner