Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: Motherhood is Murder by Diana Orgain (Maternal Instincts Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters, story
Cons: A few pacing issues with the story, but they're minor
The Bottom Line:
Play dates and murder
Are an entertaining mix
For we the readers




Date Night Turns Deadly

Since I'm not a new mother nor likely to be a new mother any time soon, my first impulse was to steer clear of the Maternal Instincts series.  What would I have in common with new mom and PI want to be Kate Connelly?  But I broke down and read the first in the series and loved it.  Naturally, that meant I had to come back for the second, Motherhood is Murder.

A random encounter at a baby store introduced Kate to Margaret and Helene, founders of the club Roo and You.  While the group is usually a chance for kids to play together and new mothers to share tips, they are about to have an adults only cruise on the San Francisco Bay.  Kate is delight to have a date night with Jim, so she accepts their invitation to join.

However, what should have been a pleasurable evening out turns into tragedy when Helene takes a tumble down the stairs of the ship and dies.  Then, what looks like a tragic accident turns into murder.  Kate is trying to form her own PI business, and when the other mothers learn this, one of them hires Kate to work for her.  As Kate begins to investigate, she learns the seemingly tight little circle was anything but family friendly.  Which secret was worth killing over?

Like the first book, the plot starts out quickly, then fills in the back story we need to understand things.  I did feel the pacing wasn't quite as tight as the first book, but there were still plenty of revelations, red herrings, and clues before the ultimate solution.  The climax was very suspenseful and perfectly done.

Even though I'm not a new mother, I identify with Kate.  In fact, I identify with her a bit too much.  Kate will sometimes think first and then let her imagination run away with her, causing her to panic.  At other times, she over thinks things and worries too much.  Nope, not like me at all.  (Hmm, maybe I shouldn't be sharing this with everyone.)  Jim comes across as a bit of a stereotypical clueless male at times, but on the whole I like his character, too.  In fact, watching this young family together is another favorite aspect of the series.  The rest of the cast develops nicely as the pages fly by.

The writing is great as well.  Kate's first person narration makes us a real part of the story.  There wasn't anything that kept me from getting lost in the story, and the pages flew by all too quickly.

Whether you are a mother or not, the characters and story will pull you into Motherhood is Murder.  This is a fun mystery that will be over before you know it.

Looking for more motherly fun?  Check out the rest of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries in order.

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