A single mother struggling to support her daughter becomes a target for murder.
Kiki Lowenstein is barely keeping her life together. A partner in a craft store, she feels that her creative talents are under-appreciated, especially when the senior partner sells another share to a rigid German woman. Her narcissistic mother comes to visit convinced that Kiki is hiding assets that would help support her; her cop boyfriend, Chad Detweiler, still isn’t divorced; and now Kiki is pregnant. The only bright spots in her life are her lovely daughter Anya and her mother-in-law Sheila, who, now that she’s grudgingly come to respect Kiki, pays for all the extras for Anya. When they attend a May Day celebration at Anya’s posh private school, a St. Louis society matron is killed and her son wounded. Both Chad and Sheila’s fiancé, Police Chief Robbie Holmes, wonder if Kiki was the real target, since her murdered husband’s former partner is still certain that Kiki’s holding back money that should be his. As Kiki works on a memorial scrapbook for the Fitzgerald family, she struggles to figure out whether she’s targeted for death. All the while, her mother’s mania is increasing, and Detweiler’s wife is verbally attacking her in public. Can things get any worse?
Slan’s scrapbook mysteries (Make, Take, Murder, 2011, etc.) are most valuable for the well-developed characters and the issues they raise, in this case the hardships of caring for elderly parents.