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by Ayelet Waldman

Pub Date: June 4th, 2002
ISBN: 0-425-18473-0
Publisher: Berkley

Why would buff personal trainer Bobby Katz commit suicide when he was happily in love with Betsy, the fiancée he’d met through Narcotics Anonymous, saving for their wedding, bidding on a set of golf clubs on the Internet, and awaiting delivery of a new Palm Pilot? Former public defender turned full-time mom Juliet Applebaum (The Big Nap, 2001, etc.), who counted herself lucky to be one of his clients, decides he might have been murdered. Her snooping puts her in touch with his e-mail buddy “Louise,” who’d been helping Bobby track his birth parents—to the dismay of his adoptive family, who’d kept his adoption a secret from him until their other son blurted out the truth. With help from p.i. and gun enthusiast Al Hockey, Juliet locates Bobby’s birth mom, a virulently anti-Semitic married woman, whose affair long years ago with a Jew passed the Tay-Sachs gene on to Bobby. Or did it? Could a Gentile be a Tay-Sachs carrier? As Juliet learns more about the disease, and delves more deeply into Bobby’s birth and adoptive families and NA friends, she endangers not only her own kids, but slow-to-react Al, before the LAPD comes to agree that Bobby was emphatically not a suicide.

Funny tidbits about bringing up toddlers and the liberal mom’s dilemma over giving her kids toy guns to play with. Juliet’s got charm, spunk, and—given her new partnership with Al—a reason to get out of the house.