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MURDER PLAYS HOUSE by Ayelet Waldman

MURDER PLAYS HOUSE

By Ayelet Waldman

Pub Date: July 6th, 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19635-6
Publisher: Berkley

Food for thought from a defense attorney turned mommy turned private eye in her spare time (Death Takes a Time-Out, 2003, etc.).

Juliet Applebaum interrupts her third pregnancy snacking (Krispy Kremes and root-beer floats) to look for a bigger house for her SF screenwriter husband Peter and their expanding brood. Unfortunately, her dream house comes with the emaciated corpse of former actress Alicia Felix in the bathtub. Alicia’s gay designer brother decides to hold off selling the house, but Juliet makes him an offer he can’t refuse: She and her sleuthing partner Al Hockey will figure out who killed big sis if she gets first dibs when the house comes back on the market. Suspicion falls on the designer’s lover Farzad, then on an actress who stole Alicia’s improv character, renamed it Bingie McPurge, and turned it into a TV success. But Juliet’s snooping stops for frequent snacks and force-feedings of her six-year-old daughter Ruby, who insists she’s on a diet, before moving on to question the cadre of skinny girls at the memorial service for Alicia’s online protégée Halley, a teen who internalized all too well her dad’s love of size-2 women. Juliet doesn’t get the house, but settles for one almost as grand, with a nice roomy kitchen.

Witty Waldman is so endearingly pro-kid that you may run right out and get pregnant, and so unsparing about Hollywood sylphs and pro-anorexia websites that you may never diet again.