Mother-Daughter Murder Night

HarperAudio. Sept. 2023. 12:38 hrs. ISBN 9780063315075. $31.99. M
Simon’s (The Art of Relevance) charming fiction debut features a mother-daughter-granddaughter trio who must work through their complicated relationships to solve a murder. After being diagnosed with cancer, glamorous Los Angeles real estate tycoon Lana Rubicon moves in with her adult daughter Beth and Beth’s teenage daughter Jack in their somewhat shabby cottage in a sleepy coastal California town. Jack, who is still in school and also works part-time as a kayak guide, becomes a murder suspect when a dead body is discovered in the waters where she was leading a tour. Beth pleads with her mother to help pay for an attorney for Jack, but Lana (who has already redecorated Beth’s entire house and is looking for another distraction) decides that she herself will investigate, find the real murderer, and clear her granddaughter’s name. Soon Beth and Jack get roped into Lana’s sleuthing, creating a hilariously dysfunctional multigenerational investigative team. Narrator Jane Oppenheimer portrays the three women’s forceful personalities with gusto, perfectly balancing the novel’s humor and tension as Lana, Beth, and Jack try to find a killer without killing each other.
VERDICT The family dynamics are just as entertaining as the well-constructed plot in this heartwarming audiobook, perfect for listeners who enjoy lighthearted mysteries featuring strong women protagonists.
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