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Playdate with Death (Mommy-Track Mysteries) Hardcover – June 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Mommy-Track Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; 1st edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425184730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425184738
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,542,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Juliet Applebaum, lawyer turned full-time mother, seems to have a talent for encountering murder. In her third case, she arrives at the gym for a session with her personal trainer only to find that he is dead. Ever ambivalent about her decision to stop working outside the home, she agrees to investigate when the police write the death off as a suicide. The victim's history of drug abuse, his fiancee's fall off the wagon, and the complex web of relationships in his family provide a multitude of possibilities, but Juliet's search for clues quickly opens a Pandora's box that puts her and her family in danger. Waldman's deft portrayal of Los Angeles's upper crust and of the dilemma facing women who want it all will make it possible for readers to forgive a rather flimsy plot. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Smoothly paced and smartly told. -- New York Times

Smoothly paced and smartly told. (New York Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Cozy, entertaining mystery but nothing that grand.
mamareadssomuch
The plot and the characters seem lifted from things you've read somewhere else but much better realized.
Tricia Silverstein
This book was a fast read, with a clever plot and mostly interesting characters.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Waldman is maturing as an author. This book was a fast read, with a clever plot and mostly interesting characters. Unfortunately, one of the most interesting characters was the victim -- the heroine's personal trainer at the gym.
Juliet Applebaum, the heroine, is a Jewish version of Valerie Wolzien's WASP-y suburban heroine, Susan Henshaw. Both characters build their lives around home and family and are defined more by their roles than their three-dimensional personalities. However, Wolzien's characters are a little more appealing and the heroine a little more three-dimensional.
Here, the Hollywood setting recedes as Juliet gets embroiled in the victim's dysfunctional family -- or families. We learn a lot about human genetics along the way.
With Juliet emerging as a strong heroine, her screenwriting husband becomes a shadowy figure. The children are...well, typical screaming children.
This series isn't as deep as, say, the series by Nevada Barr or Marcia Muller. But I find myself waiting for the next book and enjoying an evening or two thoroughly immersed in what's happening.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ayelet Waldman had a great idea when she came up with the idea for the "Mommy-Track" mysteries. The main character in this series is Juliet Applebaum, an attorney who has decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Between wiping up the assorted messes that her two toddlers are constantly making, ferrying her kids to school and playdates, and tending to her other assorted "mommy duties," Juliet solves murders. What has made this series enjoyable thus far is that Juliet is usually witty and self-deprecating and the mysteries have been fun.
Unfortunately, "A Playdate with Death," as brief as it is (a bit over 200 pages and undersized ones at that), is a chore to read. Gone is the humorous and easy-to-take Juliet, whose wisecracks are not particularly funny in this novel. Waldman has churned out a formulaic and labored mystery about the death of Juliet's personal trainer, Bobby Katz. Bobby appears to have shot himself, but Juliet suspects that he was murdered. Bobby was an easygoing guy who did not seem to be at all suicidal, and for some reason, Juliet feels compelled to solve the mystery herself.
In the course of her investigation, Juliet barges in on all of Bobby's friends and relatives, including both the parents who adopted him and his birth mother. One of the ridiculous conventions of this type of book is that Juliet has no standing at all in this investigation. She is not a private detective, she is not a police officer and she is not even related to Bobby. Since the police have ruled that Bobby's death is a suicide, the case has officially been closed. Yet, Juliet manages to pry information out of an assortment of people who do not have to say one word to her. Yet, of course, they give her all of the information that she needs to solve the crime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "jennykay" on October 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Poor Juliet Applebaum...she's a stay-at-home mom who's a little bored with her life. Fortunately, things keep cropping up to make her life more interesting. First, the director of the preschool she's trying to get her daughter into is mowed down in a hit-and-run (Nursery Crimes). Then, her babysitter disappears (The Big Nap). Now, her personal trainer has committed suicide...or has he? Juliet's determined to find out the truth.
The Mommy-Track mysteries are a great way to spend a couple of hours escaping from everyday life. Especially if that life involves Sesame Street and potty training.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I must applaud Ayelet Waldman for writing her mommy track series. Having recently moved, I found myself in a terrible case of reader's block. Nothing I picked up from bestsellers to old favorite authors seemed to interest me. But then I read an article abotu Wladman and her husband Michael Chabon, an author, and decided to try the first book in this series Nursery Crimes. And within the first five pages of that title, it was as if the character of Juliet Applabaum, her family and the murder of a nusery school headmisterss, reeled me in. Not with the completion of the third book in this series, A Playdate with Death, I can't wait to gobble down the rest of the titles in this series hoping it never ends.

Rachel is now the mother of a 2 year old son who is obsessed with guns and an almost 5 year olddaughter who would rather play games with mommy than play with her brother. Naturally the two of them are just about driving Juliet, a Harvard educated lawyer turned full time mother, up the walls.

As a diversion to being at home and losing some of those unwanted pregnancy pounds, Juliet has hired a personal trainer. Little does she know that doing sit ups and scissor kicks will lead her to investigating another murder and the world of genetic diseases. She never expected to show up for her session one day and find out that the young man who is supposed to whip her into shape committed suicide. With no obvious clues that this man was on the brink of emotional disaster and as Juliet thinks about this young man, she knows she won't rest easy till she determines this was a suicide and not a homicide. Now Juliet is off to discover what really happened.
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