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Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman

Nursery Crimes (2000)

by Ayelet Waldman

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253968,115 (3.25)5



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Juliet is pregnant with her second child and trying to get her first child into a prestigious pre-school. After being rejected, Juliet sees on the news the owner has been killed in a hit-and-run. Using the skills learned as a public defender, she attempts to find a murderer, if it is a murder. The cops aren't so sure.

I liked this book. It sets up the series well by introducing the characters and giving their backstories as they go through their daily lives. I liked the characters. The story held my interest. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 30, 2018 |
this is super fluffy - a crazy fast read with an unrealistic plot, halfway annoying characters, and theoretically humorous interludes. i feel like there are parts that show that waldman is a good writer, but that she was purposefully choosing to make this silly and not well written.

i read a book a few months ago that this reminded me a lot of - bingo barge murder - but for whatever reason, i kind of liked that one and not this one. (this isn't terrible at all, it just wasn't as good as i wanted it to be; it wasn't the right time for me to read this.) it's probably just me because there are a lot of similarities between them. or maybe it's just that most of the attempts at humor in this one didn't seem funny to me or that the stereotypes in this one were so glaring. for whatever reason, i didn't connect with this, but do think that she has writing chops. i'd be interested in reading her nonfiction or her general fiction but it would have to be better than this for me to keep reading her. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Oct 5, 2015 |
Waldman, Ayelet
Nursery Crimes

As fluff goes, this is a dandelion seed riding its parachute across a playground. So why couldn’t I put this down? The characters are charming. That’s how you know they are the “good” guys. The villains are cliché and stereotypical making them very familiar and adding coziness to the mood. The very pregnant crime buster has a charming husband with whom she has a charming relationship. Her child is imperfectly charming, as are her mothering skills. They all have the right attitude and a buoyancy that while it may not keep them from harm at least guarantees another day. Mysteries and murders are solved almost matter-of-factly and the book is short enough to guarantee a desire for the next installment in the Mommy-Track Mystery Series.
Recommended March 2007
  dawsong | Jun 15, 2015 |
It was a quick read like other mysteries but ultimately I found the narrator too annoying. Won't read other books in the series. ( )
  BondLamberty | Jul 28, 2014 |
While pregnant with her second child, Juliet investigates the murder of an elite preschool's principal.

This was fun, but very light (the mystery was easily seen...). ( )
  kayceel | Feb 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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I'm not sure whose fault is was, Ruby's or mine, that we didn't get in.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 042518000X, Mass Market Paperback)

Nursery Crimes, progeny of first-time author Ayelet Waldman, bills itself as a mommy track mystery, the first in a series featuring Juliet Applebaum, a 5-foot-tall dynamo who gave up a career as a public defender to stay home with her daughter Ruby. Pregnant with her second child, Juliet is at loose ends and dissatisfied:
Anyone who tells you that having a child doesn't completely and irrevocable ruin your life is lying. As soon as that damp little bundle of poop and neediness lands in your lap, it's all over. Everything changes. Your relationship is destroyed. Your looks are shot. Your productivity is devastated. And you get stupid. Dense. Thick. Pregnancy and lactation make you dumb. That's a proven scientific fact.
When Ruby, a whiner and grabber par excellence, doesn't make the cut for Heart's Song, L.A.'s most prestigious preschool, Juliet and her husband Peter shrug it off with good grace. But when the school's founder, Abigail Hathaway, is killed in what the police think is a hit-and-run accident, Juliet's convinced something nefarious is afoot. Did Bruce LeCrone, a movie studio powerhouse with a flashpoint temper, kill Abigail after his son was denied admission? What about Daniel Mooney, Abigail's fourth husband--an egocentric new ager who's been communing with a voluptuous redhead? As Juliet discovers that everyone has secrets to keep, she realizes being a stay-at-home-mom is rather more risky than she'd thought.

Waldman's novel is breezy and engaging. Both Juliet's frustration ("Now, suddenly, just because I had doffed my lawyer's wig and donned a housewife's kerchief, people like Detective Carswell thought they could pat me on the head and send me on my way") and her witty asides on the idiosyncrasies of life in southern California (think Kinsey Millhone with a diaper bag) lend ballast to an admittedly slim plot. Effortlessly adept at sketching both character and place, Waldman falters slightly when it comes to action. Too often, she relies on awkward summaries to provide readers with crucial information, and Juliet's deductions occasionally seem abrupt and unsubstantiated. But these narrative hiccups don't detract from a thoroughly pleasant read. One minor cavil: Waldman's rendition of 2-year-old Ruby's speech is irritatingly coy (dinner at an Italian restaurant becomes "fed-up-cino alfwedo"). Since Juliet herself so staunchly opposes the saccharine school of motherhood, must her child descend to its cloying depths? --Kelly Flynn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:29 -0400)

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Juliet Applebaum, a former public defender, investigates the hit-and-run death of the principal of an exclusive Hollywood preschool.

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