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Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman

Nursery Crimes (2000)

by Ayelet Waldman

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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 |
This is the first in the Mommy-Track mystery series. These are very fast-paced, fun reads! The protagonist, Juliet Applebaum, a bored, SAHM and former federal public defender is very appealing and refreshing. In this first book in the series she becomes involved in investigating the death of the director of a prestigious pre-school when she suspects that it is more than the simple hit-and-run accident that the police have deemed it.

Heavily pregnant and mother of a 3-yr-old, it seems that Juliet may have just bitten off more than she can chew.

These books are like candy to me! I gobble each one rapidly and greedily. I'm trying to pace myself through this series; otherwise I somehow feel a slight pang of guilt for overindulgence! ( )
  bookwoman247 | Sep 24, 2010 |
Not a very satisfying beginning. Rough narration and too familiar relationships (female detective; rough heavy eating cop). Too obvious ending with not real intrigue in process. The marginal mother gimmick does not work for me. May give it one more installment on the theory that this was a poor start of a good series. ( )
  Darrol | Feb 26, 2010 |
Juliet Applebaum is a stay-at-home mom who used to be a public defender. Being a stay-at-home mom isn't always her cup of tea, but she's trying to make it work. With a new baby on the way and her daughter almost 3 years old, Juliet and her husband attempt to enroll their daughter in a prestigious Hollywood preschool. While it's no real shock that Ruby doesn't get it, it is a shock when the preschool's director is run down that evening and killed. Juliet can't help but wonder who did it. Was it an angry parent? Her cheating husband? You can take the mom out of work, but you can't take the investigative work out of the mom.

This is a really good series for a couple of reasons. The storylines and mysteries are always well-written. I also enjoy the character of Juliet because she is the kind of stay-at-home mom I can relate to. She loves her kids and wants to be there with them and for them, but she longs for a career and life that is just her own. She hasn't found a way to have both successfully, and in many ways resents that. It's honestly refreshing. Juliet and her husband also work well together as a parenting team, which is a nice element in this series. I highly recommend it. ( )
  mandolin | Feb 26, 2009 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:03 -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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