The Big Nap: A Mommy-Track Mystery
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From Publishers Weekly
Juliet Applebaum, L.A. public defender turned stay-at-home mom, returns for a second amusing but poignant adventure mixing child-rearing and sleuthing (after 2000's somewhat weaker Nursery Crimes, which was marred by a clichd ending). Four-month-old Isaac isn't sleeping much, and neither is his mother, while dad is busy getting the pilot for a new TV series ready. A chance encounter with a Hasidic storekeeper, Nettie Tannenbaum, brings Juliet temporary relief, when Nettie recommends her niece, Fraydle Finkelstein, as a babysitter. Fraydle works wonders with Isaac and three-year-old Ruby, but next day goes missing. Could Fraydle's disappearance have something to do with her family belonging to a strict religious group, the Satmar Hasidim, and her parents having arranged a marriage for her? Juliet saw Fraydle chatting with a young Israeli named Yossi, but the girl vehemently denied that he was her boyfriend. When the Finkelstein family refuses to involve the police, Juliet travels to Brooklyn, where she wangles a meeting with the family of Fraydle's intended husband. The surprising truth of what happened to Fraydle, however, lies back in Los Angeles. Drawing sharp contrasts between the world of conservative Judaism and Juliet's more liberal Hollywood life, Waldman has given her heroine a compelling story befitting her intelligent, witty voice.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Juliet Appelbaum, Waldman's Harvard-trained lawyer turned stay-at-home mother--Nursery Crimes (2000)--is wondering if she will ever sleep again. Her second child, four-month-old Isaac, loathes naps, and her three-year-old daughter, Ruby, thinks she will never go to the park again. Her screenwriter husband seems to spend more time at work with an attractive producer than he does at home. The desperate Juliet hires Freydle Finkelstein, a rabbi's daughter and member of the Hasidic community in the Applebaums' Los Angeles neighborhood, to babysit. Then Fredyle disappears suddenly, and Juliet wonders why. Is she fleeing an arranged marriage? What about the mysterious non-Hasidic man who was talking to her before she vanished? When Freydle's parents refuse to call the police, Juliet feels that she must try to find the missing woman herself. Waldman treats the Los Angeles scene with humor, offers a revealing glimpse of Hasidic life, and provides a surprise ending. This is an entertaining mystery with a satirical tone. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the first book in this series but felt it had some flaws. This book was much stronger and the same flaws didn't plague this book. It has a fun sense of humor, and while I felt Juliet complained a bit too much at times, I appreciated her love for her family which still came through. The plot is better developed here, although why this woman would search for this girl is beyond me. Even Juliet acknowledges that it doesn't make much sense.
I'm glad I've been collecting the paperbacks as they've come out. I won't wait so long to revisit Juliet and her family.
Like others have said, I enjoyed this book in the series better than I had the previous book. Even though Juliet is a bit whiny (and I definitely blame her lack of sleep for this) in the book, she was still humorous and completely human. She is a bit flip about many aspects of motherhood, but shows love and devotion to her family at the same time. What set this book apart from other mysteries is that there was no dead body, and for most of the book, Juliet could not figure out why Fraydle was missing. This added a bit of suspense in that I was never sure if she would be found dead or alive. The ending was a surprise, and I am looking forward to reading other books in this series.
The first book in this series is "Nursery Crimes". Enjoy!
A Cozy Lover
Juliet Applebaum, former public defender, Harvard Law school graduate, full-time mom and part-time detective finds herself entangled in yet another adventure.
After her new babysitter disappears, Juliet attempts to find some answers, while juggling her two kids, her possibly errant husband, and her insecurities about herself and motherhood. The book races from one scene to the next, making for a fast and amusing read and leaving no time for boredom. The book ends with a rather shocking and poignant finale, with all the loose ends neatly tied together.
Alongside the mystery at the heart of the book, Waldman touches on serious themes including arranged marriages, conservative Judaism, and homosexuality. She still manages to retain the light-heartedness of the book, and she neither gets too preachy nor turns the novel into a morality play. She manages, mostly successfully, to intersperse humour alongside some of the more serious issues dealt with in the novel.
If you're looking for a fast-paced mystery, with lots of comic relief, yet still dealing with important themes (if a little superficially), this is definitely the book for you.
Most recent customer reviews
The other reviews give you a fairly good taste of the plot, so I'll not bore you with that. I came to this book from the other side of things -- while I've never been a mystery... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003 by Gretchen C
This book caught my eye because it somwhat delves into the Chasidic communities of L.A and New York. The book was a fast moving,light read. Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by TheGhostofBelleStarr
I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one. I found it better written and the main character better developed, but maybe it just took a second book for the author to really... Read morePublished on May 21 2003 by Louis M. Perdue
I discovered this little book in a specialty bookstore in the Philippines and found it charming. Sometimes you need these quick reads. Read morePublished on May 16 2003
Cliche-ridden and predictable.
The best I can say is that it was a fast read, so it ended quickly. Just not my bag.
This tiny paperback is perfect for someone who finds themselves interrupted constantly, having to drop the book in the middle of a three-page chapter to attend to a boo boo or to... Read morePublished on March 28 2003 by S.Morgan
Waldman writes an enjoyable soft mystery. It is an easy read and a lot of fun. She can truly describe how overwhelming and exasperating it can be to be a young mother, while, at... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2002 by Sue Seibert
The "Mommy-Track" mysteries are less than lightweight entertainment. Like butter-flavored popcorn and orange soda at the movie theater, they seem to taste good going down, but they... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2002 by MFS