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by Sally Koslow

Pub Date: May 19th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-345-50620-7
Publisher: Ballantine

Young Manhattan mom cut down in the prime of life lands at the pearly gates with some unfinished business in a frothy whodunit liberally sprinkled with Our Town–type wisdom.

Molly Marx is fuzzy on the details of her untimely demise. That her bloodied and battered body was found with her bike in a ravine near the Hudson River is indisputable. But was it an accident, suicide—or murder? With the help of spiritual guide Bob, Molly visits her earthly home (located on the Upper West Side) to watch over her loved ones and figure out why anyone would want to kill her. The cast includes her casually philandering husband Barry, a self-absorbed plastic surgeon, his lupine new girlfriend Stephanie and Molly’s adorable four-year-old daughter Annabel. There is also her devoted best friend Brie and her volatile twin sister Lucy, who, wracked with grief, nearly kidnaps Annabel from preschool. Molly’s lover Luke is also suffering after her death, and no wonder. A sensitive photographer, he was her perfect match in and out of bed; her reluctance to leave wealthy Barry for him preoccupies both the dead Molly and the living Luke, who seems to be hiding something. Enter Hiawatha Hicks, the elegant black detective assigned to the case of the doctor’s wife. Hicks finds himself, to Molly’s delight, attracted to Brie, a stunning bisexual attorney recently split from her baby-averse female lover. When she isn’t matchmaking, Molly finds herself reflecting on the highs and lows of her life, not liking everything she sees. Tough as it is, her new reality provides an opportunity to forgive herself and others, an essential step if she is to have any kind of closure.

Koslow (Little Pink Slips, 2007) authentically details the privileged world Molly must leave behind, but her tragicomic heroine is neither tragic nor comic enough.