Genre: thriller, mystery, humor | Rating: 3 and half stars
Summary (from GoodReads):
Things aren’t going well for private investigator and mom Margie Peterson. Her husband, Blake, is claiming his taste for drag queens is “just a phase.” Her first-grade daughter isn’t fitting in at her new posh elementary school, Holy Oaks Catholic School. And her hippie mother has swept into town and replaced the family’s store of processed foods with seaweed snacks. To top it all off, a late-night phone call from her boss, Peaches Barlowe, has pulled Margie into a very strange murder case, one that involves the Holy Oaks headmaster, George Cavendish. Poor man—he just happened to die in a dominatrix’s pink vinyl wading pool while wearing nothing but Aquaman tights and goggles.
As it turns out, there are a lot of people who might have wanted Mr. Cavendish dead, from his bereaved, betrayed widow to the shady owners of the local strip joint. Not even Margie’s best friend, whose daughter didn’t get into Holy Oaks, is above suspicion. Can the overtaxed PI solve the case before things get even weirder?
This is a second installment on a series, and even though I haven’t read the first book, I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with the characters and their backstories. Actually, sometimes I felt like the author repeated some bits of information a little too often, which can become annoying. I’ve read an advance copy, though, maybe it was fixed by the time it went on sale.
Margie Peterson, our heroine, is overwhelmed. Her marriage is falling to pieces, her oldest child is behaving oddly, her in-laws are rich and meddling, her new age mother is coming to visit and she has a crazy job at a detective agency. She’s also a bit of a klutz. Now throw in the murder of the headmaster of the private elementary school and a ‘pignapping’ (or pig rescue, depending on who you ask) and you have this book in a nutshell (emphasis on nuts).
As I read this book, I could easily see it as a TV Show, a dramedy like The Mysteries of Laura or Monk. It has the kind of action and insanity that would work perfectly on TV.
The writing is great, even when the plot is a little on the verge of escaping the realms of believability. The characters are fun and charismatic and the pace doesn’t leave space for boredom.
This is a nice read, even if not really my style. I highly recommend if you like a mix of mystery and with lots of laughs.
I’d like to thank NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer author Karen MacInerney for providing me with a copy of Mother Knows Best in exchange for an honest review.