Berkley, June 2002, 22.95, 240 pp.
She is on indefinite leave from her job as a public defender but Juliet Applebaum isn't satisfied being a stay at home mom to her two children. The only time she is truly happy is when she can fit a murder investigation into her hectic schedule. When her friend and trainer is found dead the police rule it a suicide but Juliet's instincts go into overdrive.
In Juliet's expert opinion, Bobby was a laid back, easygoing guy with no apparent reason to kill himself. She convinces his girlfriend to give her Bobby's computer to see if there is anything on it that would give a clue to her trainer's state of mind before he died. She discovers that Bobby was searching for his biological parents and when Juliet starts questioning those involved in the search, somebody reacts by threatening her family.
A PLAYDATE WITH DEATH is an intricate cozy that stars a protagonist that is impossible to dislike. Her frustrations and troubles with being a stay at home parent add comic relief to a very serious and believable story line. Ayelet Waldman is a natural storyteller who has created such an intricate mystery that readers will want to finish the book in one sitting while obtaining other Mommy-Track novels.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner