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Bye-Bye, Black Sheep: A Mommy-track Mystery (Mommy-Track Mysteries) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Mommy-Track Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425210189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425210185
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Juliet Applebaum, a PI and mother of three. continues her balancing act in Waldman's smart seventh Mommy-Track mystery (after 2005's The Cradle Robbers). When Heavenly, an African-American transvestite, shows up in tears at the office Juliet shares with her partner, ex-cop Al Hockey, the sassy, bighearted former public defender commits to tracking down the murderer of Heavenly's sister, Violetta, a drug addict and prostitute whose death has been ignored by the LAPD. The case takes Juliet from the privileged comfort of her home in the Hollywood Hills to the projects of South Central, where she interviews Violetta's family and streetwalker colleagues, all of whom are depicted with compassion. Juliet works methodically through her list of suspects—"Tricks, Boyfriends, Coworkers, Family"—until arriving at the sad answer to Violetta's demise. Whether scrambling for child care or bribing pimps, Juliet is resourceful, and her humor shines through in this brisk, thoroughly readable tale. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Juliet Appelbaum and her partner, Al Hockey, have nursed their detective agency into the black, but their latest case, which began when Heavenly, an African American transsexual, asked them to investigate her sister's death, just may put the firm back in the red. Heavenly's sister, Violetta, was a drug--addicted streetwalker who worked in one of Los Angeles' worst neighborhoods. The police did little to solve her murder. Juliet, still juggling the demands of motherhood and career, finds herself visiting Violetta's turf and trying to get information from the prostitutes and pimps plying their trade there. She manages to convince the cold-case squad to investigate and learns that the situation is complicated by family dynamics. As always, Waldman manages to depict the life of L.A.'s yuppie parents with humor while showing genuine compassion for the less-fortunate inhabitants of the city. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Ayelet Waldman's latest novel, "Bye-Bye Black Sheep," Juliet Applebaum, busy mother and part-time sleuth, tackles the case of a twenty-four year old murdered drug addict and prostitute named Violetta Spees. Juliet's client is Heavenly, who used to be a man before he decided to become a woman. Heavenly, the victim's sister, is incensed that the police failed to conduct a thorough investigation into Violetta's death.

Although Juliet has her hands full taking care of her children, she is a sucker for a sob story, and she decides to take the case. In the course of her investigation, Juliet interviews Violetta's relatives, her fellow hookers, and a pair of pimps. She ventures out alone into seedy neighborhoods and, much to the displeasure of her partner Al and her husband, Peter, Juliet endangers her life in order to unmask Violetta's killer.

"Bye-Bye Black Sheep" is the seventh and weakest of the Mommy Track Mysteries. The laughs are few and far between, the plot is both sordid and far-fetched, and Juliet's antics have by now become old hat. Of course, she will ignore common sense and put herself at risk in spite of the fact that she has three kids who depend on her, including a baby who is still nursing. There is no light touch this time around. In fact, Waldman gets on her soapbox repeatedly, with a number of preachy paragraphs devoted to the challenges of being a mother and the inequities of America's criminal justice system. What made her mysteries so delightful in the past was the author's ability to write engrossing and entertaining stories with wit, humor, and a touch of satire. "Bye-Bye Black Sheep" is just the opposite: heavy-handed, dark, and dull, a real downer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WaskellyWabbit on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I liked the story but the rants against society are what made this my last Ayelet Waldman book. I read one other and noticed ranting there but liked the storyline I decided to give her another try. I won't do that again.

The story with Heavenly was interesting and I don't mind the ambiguous ending. However when it gets to the point that I can skip an entire page of the author's opinions and not miss any story it's a bit much.

It's a shame, the author is a good writer, knows how to pace a story and can create interesting characters. I wanted to like this series. Unfortunately she takes away from all that she has going for her with the character rants.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on September 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really, really liked this -- the latest entry in Waldman's "Mommy Track" mystery series. The plot seemed more robust than in Waldman's earlier books, the characters were rich, and it was a lot of fun to read -- that is, until I got to the end and realized there was no clear resolution. Yes, I realize that that's how life is -- not everthing is tied up in a neat little bundle, with all the loose ends clipped. But if I wanted ambiguous, I don't need to pick up a book to get it! To me, mysteries are formulaic, and that's why I read them: Bad guy commits crime. Good guy investigates crime. Bad guy gets caught and punished. Good guy lives to solve another day. Period. Instead, I was more than a little disappointed when I was left hanging at the end.

I also thought the book would have been stronger without the occasional author's-rants-hidden-as-character's-thoughts about the fairness of "society," and the injustice of the world. Enough is enough! We get the picture already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Goldy Lox on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not enjoy the last (before this one) book from Ms Waldman as much as I had enjoyed the first couple ones. She used to write funny and engaging stories. Her Juliet Applebaum character was a lot of fun and the writing fluid and refreshing. This most recent one seems to confirm that Juliet needs to retire. The story is long and boring and the author uses the book as a platform for her lamentation against about too many things. Ms Waldman did not even come with a very clever end. It makes us feel that she did not write for our enjoyment but to air her grievances. I would say "one thumb down" !
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Delores Michelle on October 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm a long-time Ayelet Waldman fan so I enjoyed "Bye-Bye, Black Sheep" even though the ending is not clear cut. I didn't mind that, though, nor did I feel let down because that really is how life is. It kept the book from being formulaic. I liked that she didn't stereotype the "street girls", just wrote them so that they're believable and real. And, yes, she was on her soapbox but I think she showed an insider's understanding of the true difficulties that some people experience. I also liked the plot twists because I truly had no clue who the killer was until the end. I DON'T think the book had as many funny parts as Waldman's books normally do, however, to me, it was still a good read.
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