[Juliet is] a lot like Elizabeth Peters' warm and humorous Amelia Peabody-a brassy, funny, quick-witted protagonist.
Funny, clever, touching, original, wacky and wildly successful.
A delightful debut filled with quirky, engaging characters, sharp wit, and vivid prose.
Former federal prosecutor turned stay-at-home mom Waldman debuts with a humorous tale featuring a sleuth much like her creator. Juliet Applebaum gives up her job as a federal public defender to stay home with her small daughter, Ruby. Her screenwriter husband, Peter Wyeth, shares parenting duties. Juliet loves her family, but as she nears the end of her second pregnancy, she's restless, missing her job and worrying about her skills as a mother. Trouble starts when Juliet, Peter and Ruby attend an interview at the Heart's Song School, the most prestigious preschool in Los Angeles. The principal, Abigail Hathaway, doesn't seem impressed by either Ruby or her parents. Ruby doesn't get in--nor does the daughter of a temperamental and violent studio head, Bruce LeCrone. When Hathaway dies in a hit-and-run outside the school, Juliet immediately suspects LeCrone. But LeCrone turns out to have a solid alibi, so Juliet shifts the focus of her sub-rosa investigation to the victim's real-estate developer husband and rebellious daughter. Juliet's nosing around helps the police zero in on a suspect, but when she realizes that she's misinterpreted a crucial piece of evidence, she foolishly jeopardizes her own life, and that of her unborn child, to bring the killer to justice. Juliet's voice is strong and appealing, and the Hollywood satire is dead on, but in future outings perhaps Waldman can avoid putting an otherwise intelligent heroine into a clich d, vulnerable-female-in-peril denouement. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
L.A. public defender Juliet Applebaum quits her job to stay home with baby Ruby and her screenwriter hubby. A couple of years later, pregnant with number two and missing her job, Juliet investigates the hit-and-run murder of an exclusive nursery school's owner. Despite her impediments, she discovers several viable suspects, including an unfaithful third husband and a violently disgruntled film personage. Waldman, herself a former prosecutor turned stay-at-home mom, derives humorous mileage from Juliet's "epicurean" cravings, wardrobe dilemmas, night-owl husband, and obvious delight in adventure. First of a series for a new author; recommended. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
It's a long way from Harvard Law School and the public defender's office to the L.A. mommy track, and there are plenty of bumps along the road. So now that Juliet Applebaum has a one-day babysitter, Fraydle Finkelstein, lined up for Ruby, her three-year-old "baby Electra," and her newborn son Isaacwho, like the Pinkertons, never sleepsshe isn't going to be deterred just because Fraydle has disappeared. Poking her nose into her sitter's business, Juliet discovers that Fraydle, the archetypal good girl, had a few secrets. Although she had agreed to an arranged marriage with another Hassid, Ari Hirsch of the prominent Borough Park Hirsches, she also had an Israeli boyfriend, Yossi, who wanted her to defy her family and choose him instead. Fraydle's parents don't want Juliet to investigate, but why should that stop her? She's soon flying cross-country to scope out Ari and his Brooklyn Hasidic community, then returning to L.A., where a waitress at a local hangout providentially turns out to be Yossi's neighbor and remembers Fraydle looking distraught and, well, different just before she vanished. Was that woman really Fraydle, or her younger sister Sarah? The answer lies in the ownership of a sweaterand the contents of a kosher-for-Passover deep-freezer locker, to the grief of all. Waldman (Nursery Crimes, not reviewed) is a master of smart, snappy repartee, and probably knows Jewish folklore as well as anyone who's not Faye Kellerman. Her tone and humor, however, might be better suited to lighthearted capers than to the downbeat side of murder.