Friday, May 14, 2010

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep by Ayelet Waldman

Released: 2006

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep is the final book in the "Mommy-Track" cozy mystery series by Ayelet Waldman. Mom and ex-lawyer Juliet Applebaum is back to help a transsexual named Heavenly solve a mystery surrounding the death of her prostitute sister, Violetta. Because the cops have discarded the murder case given Violetta was not only a hooker, but a drug user too, Juliet becomes aggressive to obtain justice for Heavenly and her family.

The tone of Bye-Bye, Black Sheep is much darker and more somber than the series' previous books. The humor is sparse if at all present, and Juliet's narration voice is much more powerful, sending a serious message about the dangers in today's world from the standpoint of a mother. I really love Juliet's soliloquy-ish pieces throughout the book about being a realist versus a pessimist, as well as her mothering fears and worries about keeping her children safe. What mother doesn't feel the same way these days? These specific components are what really make this book great!

This book is excellent and engaging without any lulls, my only disappointment being the abrupt ending for a series finale. With Bye-Bye, Black Sheep being a cozy mystery, I would have enjoyed a more solid ending or snapshot involving Juliet's family.

I have delved into Ayelet Waldman's work outside of the "Mommy-Track" series and am pleased to see she is continuing to write outside the cozy mystery scope. I highly recommend Love and Other Impossible Pursuits and have Daughter's Keeper on my to-be-read shelf.

                          Love and Other Impossible Pursuits     Daughter's Keeper

Ayelet Waldman is married to Michael Chabon, famed author of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

                          Wonder Boys: A Novel    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

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