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The Cradle Robbers (Mommy-Track Mysteries) Hardcover – August 2, 2005

Book 6 of 7 in the Mommy-Track Mystery Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Juliet Applebaum, ex-public defender and "self-employed mother," juggles the demands of her oversized four-month-old daughter and a case involving a female prisoner in her engrossing sixth outing (after 2004's Murder Plays House). Sandra Lorgeree, an inmate of California's isolated Dartmore prison, has surrendered her baby to foster care only to discover that the baby and the foster parents have disappeared. When Sandra is brutally murdered, Juliet is convinced that her death is not just the result of prison violence. While sleep-deprived Juliet schleps through L.A. and Northern California in search of the truth and Sandra's missing baby, her husband deals with his own legal problems, making for a less than blissful existence at their quirky home in the Hollywood hills. Waldman, herself a former public defender, vividly portrays life on the street and behind prison walls. Human and credible characters—in particular, a smart, sensitive sleuth—lift a mystery that should delight committed fans and attract new ones.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Juliet Applebaum, lawyer turned stay-at-home mother and private investigator, is trying to cope with nursing her third child and keeping her marriage alive. Meanwhile, she and her business partner, Al, get a new case that will take them into the grim world of incarcerated mothers. Sandra Lorgeree gave birth while serving time on a drug charge. She had to surrender her son to foster care and wants to find him so that she can regain custody when she is released. Juliet begins looking into the situation and finds some highly irregular arrangements. The baby and the foster parents have vanished. When Sandra is murdered, allegedly by another prisoner, Juliet has her doubts and follows the trail to a conspiracy involving some of San Francisco's most powerful families. Waldman always provides full-bodied characters, humor, and a socially conscious plot that entertains as it enlightens. A solid addition to the popular Applebaum series. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Mommy-Track Mysteries (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (August 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425202844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425202845
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,792,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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25%
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See all 8 customer reviews
I am looking forward to the next book with eager intrest.
Alisa Beilman
She also gives us a look at the sadder side of the care of the children born into the penal system.
Charlie_in_la
Juliet's witty wisecracks and satirical observations are funnier than ever.
E. Bukowsky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ayelet Waldman is in top form with "The Cradle Robbers," her latest "Mommy-Track" mystery. Los Angeles-based Juliet Applebaum is the harried mother of three young children, including a four-month-old baby girl whom she nurses day and night. In another life, Juliet was a graduate of Harvard Law School and a federal public defender who routinely crushed lying witnesses with her aggressive cross-examination. Now, she is a rumpled and exhausted mother who can barely keep her eyes open. Juliet is filled with self-loathing, not just because she is a terrible housekeeper, but also because she neglects Peter, her long-suffering screenwriter husband. To make matters worse, Juliet's job as a part-time investigator is far from lucrative. Business is bad and promises to get no better anytime soon.

As a favor to her office assistant, Juliet agrees to donate her time to a pro bono investigation. It seems that several women who gave birth in prison had their babies taken away from them under false pretenses. Juliet's investigation takes her behind prison walls, into junkies' apartments, and into the office of a church-based foster care agency known as the Lambs of the Lord. During her interviews, Juliet often brings along her always hungry baby who somehow manages to poop at the most inopportune moments.

"The Cradle Robbers" is a terrific entry in this entertaining series. Juliet's witty wisecracks and satirical observations are funnier than ever. She ridicules everything, including her own ineptitude, her husband's weird work habits, and the shallow lifestyles of the upper class people who live in LA. At the same time, Waldman has constructed a tight and poignant mystery about women in trouble who have no one to speak for them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Waldman can write -- no doubt about that. But her plotting with this book in particular left me confused and unsatisfied. And the motivations behind her protagonist's actions are also a bit sketchy.

There were too many loose ends here and not enough beef... Characters are introduced and then conveniently manipulated, killed off, or abandoned. The sub-plot about Juliet's husband and his lawsuit also seems a bit too convenient -- merely a chance for Juliet to redeem herself in his eyes.

I'd like to see something with more "oomph" and a little less carefully-scripted-plot-designed-to-show-how-bad-the-establishment-is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I prefer my mysteries on the cozy side. Wouldn't you expect a series called Mommy-Track Mysteries to be cozy? These are too much like the weirder part of the evening news for me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brette Sember on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've followed this series since its beginning and as always, I was happy to read another installment. I enjoyed the storyline in this one and it seemed to resonate with the character well since it was about children. Juliet's antics are always fun and her kids very real. I can't wait for the next one.
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