Berkley, July 2003, 22.95, 320 pp.
She went from a public defender to a stay-at-home mom but now that her two children are older, Juliet Applebaum is going into partnership with Al Hockey, a former investigator for the public defenders. They are opening up a private detective agency housed temporarily in Al's garage until they bring in enough money to have a real office. At a Hollywood charity function, Juliet runs into her good friend Lilly Green, a famous actress who is in desperate need of her firm's discrete services.
Lilly's stepbrother Jupiter Jones is accused of killing his stepmother Chloe, the wife of Polaris Jones who is the head of the Church of Cosmological Unity. Chloe was blackmailing Lilly and she asked Jupiter to help her put a stop it. She believes that Jupiter may have killed Chloe because of their close bond but when Juliet starts investigating she comes to believe that Jupiter didn't kill Chloe and that makes the real killer exceeding anxious to stop the investigation even if it means murdering again.
Although the subject matter of survivor guilt and repressed memories is very serious topics, Juliet's interactions with her husband and children bring a note of much need of humor to the somber story line. Readers will be particularly tickled to realize that Juliet is pregnant again and her reaction to this unexpected event is truly memorable. DEATH GETS A TIME-OUT is darker in tone than the previous works in this series but it is just as good.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner