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Review: Formula for Murder by Diana Orgain

Formula for Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery, #3)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A light, fun read, and a great followup to the first two books.

Kate’s baby is slowly but surely growing up, and Kate’s getting started launching her new life as a PI. Her priority at the moment is Laurie’s first Christmas, and it’s while they are on the way for Christmas photos that they are victims of a hit and run accident.

Once it’s clear the police aren’t going to do anything about the incident, Kate wants to take matters into her own hands. When this investigation brings her a client that will pay her to continue, she doesn’t have a choice, right?

Except that she’s on a stakeout when Laurie rolls over for the first time. And she misses Laurie’s (rescheduled) Christmas photos due to the investigation. Her mother is happy to help out, but that doesn’t make Kate feel any better.

This is a typical cozy in that the mystery isn’t really the point of this book. It does a nice job of leading Kate to meet interesting people and make discoveries about her life, and that’s really what I want in a book like this one.

I liked the first book in the series, and thought the second book was even better. Through no fault of the book, I didn’t like this one quite as much as the second.  This was due to the change in emphasis on the impact of a baby on a mom’s life to the emphasis on the impact of going back to work, a change I was lucky enough not to have to make.  I think this is more likely to be a positive aspect of the book for most readers!

I’d encourage any mom (or person thinking of motherhood) that’s looking for a quick, fun read to pick up this series!

I received this book for review, thanks to the author and the publisher.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in books, reviews

 

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Review: Motherhood is Murder by Diana Orgain

Motherhood is Murder (Maternal Instincts Mystery, #2)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love it when a book is exactly what I’m looking for– in this case, a cute, fun mystery.  I liked Motherhood is Murder even more than the previous Maternal Instincts Mystery, Bundle of Trouble.

From Diana Orgain’s website:

Nights out are hard to come by for new parents. So when Kate’s new- mommy club, Roo & You, holds a dinner cruise, she and her husband leave baby Laurie with Kate’s mom and join the grown-ups for some fine dining on the San Francisco Bay.
But when one of the cofounders of Roo & You takes a fatal spill down a staircase, the police department crashes the party. Suddenly every mom and her man has a motive. Kate’s on deck to solve the mystery- but a killer’s determined to make her rue the day she joined the first-time-mom’s club…

The mystery (murder in a moms’ group, oh my!) was cleanly executed, but the main reason to read this is the same as pretty much any cozy– the characters.

Kate Connolly is amazingly on the ball for a new mom, although she has a fairly easy baby, particularly when dad is holding down the fort. Still, it’s fun to read the ever-changing lists, and the concerns about 2 month old baby milestones.

I found Kate to be a great balance of self-absorbed, baby-absorbed, and thinking about other people. She wants to be a PI because it fits in with her desired lifestyle (home with the baby), but it works because she’s genuinely interested in people, and that comes through in her job performance.

Kate’s mom and her friend Paula are secondary characters that I’m looking forward to seeing more of in future books. Her husband was a little boring, but that’s OK.  Every kooky detective needs a sane sidekick somewhere!

The whole book is a little goofy without being over the top, and made for an entertaining read.

Thank you to Diana Orgain and Berkeley Prime Crime for providing me with this book to review.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2010 in books, reviews

 

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Review: Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain

Bundle of TroubleMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I liked Bundle of Trouble. It was fun and had a lot going for it.

From the author’s website:

Kate imagined she’d spend her maternity leave crooning lullabies and snuggling her beautiful new baby. But then she receives a disturbing phone call telling her that a body has been pulled from San Francisco Bay, and the police think it may be her brother-in-law.

Now, in addition to trying to solve the mystery of how one six-pound baby can generate ten times her weight in laundry, Kate finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation with multiplying victims. And when her husband is detained in connection with the crimes, Kate must crack the case faster than you can say “diaper rash” to keep her little family together…

On the plus side:

  • I loved the gimmick– new mom becoming a Private Eye.  (I actually considered this when my daughter was slightly older than Kate’s.  The appeal for me was that most of it was straightforward stuff that could be done at a computer, which would not have made an interesting book.  Maybe I should look into it again, though.  hmm…)
  • Kate’s character– she was interesting, reasonably fleshed out, person I could identify with.  I was highly exasperated with her at times, but even that was a smiling exasperation.  I particularly enjoyed her lists each day, with a combination of real things she could actually accomplish, good long-term goals to keep in mind, and the occasional “Yeah, right!” item.
  • The setup for the mystery was good– it was about as plausible of a setup as you are going to get for pulling a brand new mother out of her house and hunting down some really bad guys.
  • All the details about those first few weeks of motherhood. The sleepless nights. The continual feedings. The baby that won’t stop fussing.
  • It was a light, fun read.  I chuckled when reading it.

On the minus side:

  • Too many characters meant we didn’t get to know anyone other than the protagonist.
  • The writing never quite drew me  all the way in.
  • All the details about those first few weeks of motherhood.  The sleepless nights.  The continual feedings.  The baby that won’t stop fussing.

If the concept of the book appeals to you, go ahead and pick it up for a light read. You’ll have fun, like I did.

I’m hoping there will be a sequel– I enjoyed this one, I’d like to get to know the characters better, I think the concept has some fun stories evin it, and I’m betting the author will get even better as time goes on.

Thank you to Diana Orgain for contacting me on Twitter and sending me this book to review!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2009 in books, reviews

 

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