"… I found myself searching out other detectives who had already proven themselves boon companions. And Juliet Applebaum, the perpetually worn-out 'self-employed mother' in Ayelet Waldman's witty 'Mommy-Track' mysteries, came through."— Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

"Juliet Applebaum is smart, fearless, and completely candid about life as a full-time mom with a penchant for part-time detective work. Kinsey Millhone would approve." —Sue Grafton, author of The New York Times–bestselling Kinsey Millhone series

 

ayelet-waldman-bye-bye-black-sheep-180

2006 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 272 PAGES

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep

Their fledgling detective agency has spread its wings—and now Juliet and Al are finally flying high. They're used to seeing many people come through the doors of their garage-turned-office, seeking their help. But they're about to realize that they ain't seen nothin' yet.

Heavenly has come to Juliet with a story too sad for any detective with a conscience to turn down. Her sister, an addict and streetwalker, has turned up dead-and the police couldn't care less. With any luck—and with plucky Juliet doing all she can—Heavenly will bring the killer to justice. But it's hard going undercover when you're a tall, gorgeous transsexual.

PURCHASE BYE-BYE BLACK SHEEP: Amazon / BN.com / IndieBound

ayelet-waldman-cradle-robbers-180

2005 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 288 PAGES

The Cradle Robbers

The investigative business is booming for Juliet Applebaum and her partner Al, but their new client, incarcerated in Dartmore State Prison, is going to be a real challenge. Sandra Lorgeree has enlisted Juliet to locate the son she surrendered to foster car — as well as the foster parents who seem to have disappeared with him. But Juliet's new case takes a deadly detour when the desperate young mother is knifed to death — allegedly by another inmate. Prison officials dismiss the murder as just one more fatality in lockdown. Juliet has her doubts.

Now Juliet is determined to make Sandra's last wish come true. Even if it means tracking little Noah — and the killer — through the dark maze of a widespread conspiracy. And even if it winds up pitting her against some very wealthy, powerful, and dangerous enemies.

PURCHASE THE CRADLE ROBBERS: Amazon / BN.com / IndieBound

ayelet-waldman-murder-plays-house180

2004 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 320 PAGES

Murder Plays House

Juliet Applebaum is a public defender turned stay-at-home mom's and a "highly likable sleuth" (Judith Kelman). Now in Murder Plays House, with a new arrival on the way, the Applebaum household is bursting at the seams. And Juliet is balancing clue-chasing and diaper-changing with a new task: house-hunting…

PURCHASE MURDER PLAYS HOUSE: Amazon / BN.com / Powell's

ayelet-waldman-death-time-out-180

2003 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 320 PAGES

Death Gets a Time-Out

Juliet Applebaum's latest excuse to escape the carpool lane comes when her old friend, actress Lilly Green, asks her to help clear her brother's name. He is in jail, accused of killing his stepmother. But soon, Juliet must face the disturbing possibility that her famous friend may have played a role in the murder…

PURCHASE Death Gets a Time-Out: Amazon / BN.com / Indiebound / Powell's

ayelet-waldman-playdate-with-death-180

2002 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 240 PAGES

A Playdate with Death

No one ever said motherhood was a walk in the park, but Juliet Applebaum is doing her best. She's been showing up (more or less) on time to pick up her daughter from preschool. She's trying (in vain) to discourage her two-and-a-half-year-old son's interest in firearms. And between planning playdates and playing dress up, she's even managed to fit in some much-needed kid-free time, working out with a personal trainer at the local health club. It's going well. She's losing weight. She's even happy—until her trainer commits suicide.

A charming, cheerful aspiring actor, Bobby Katz seemed to have it all—and Juliet just can't believe he died at his own hand. She suspects that there's a much more sinister explanation—and that it may lie with Bobby's parents, who never told him he was adopted. Or with his grieving fiancé, a recovering addict who just fell off the wagon. Or with his birth mother, a woman he had recently started to look for—who had gone to great lengths to ensure that she would never be found. Always up for a task that will get her out of the house, Juliet keeps running down secrets—until, at last, she runs into the truth…

PURCHASE A Playdate with Death: Amazon / BN.com / Powell's

ayelet-waldman-big-nap-180

2001 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 240 PAGES

The Big Nap

Since her four-month-old son was born, Juliet hasn't slept for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch. (Has she given birth to some sort of mutant vampire? She's beginning to wonder.) It's been ages since she took her 3-year-old daughter to the park (just one more reason why she's a front-runner for the Worst Mother of the Year Award). Her workaholic husband is spending way too much time with his perky, oh-so-pretty producing partner. (Juliet is sure her own post-pregnancy pounds are at least partly to blame.) She's started answering the door topless (don't even ask). And now her son's babysitter—a beautiful young Hasidic woman—has vanished.

Juliet can't help wondering if Fraydle was fleeing something even scarier than her screaming, squalling charge. Like her upcoming arranged marriage, maybe? It's certainly possible. Especially since Juliet saw her furtively chatting with a non-Hasidic man shortly before she disappeared. Or perhaps something more sinister has occurred. Why else would Fraydle's family be so reluctant to call in the police? To find out the truth, Juliet, with her overtired kids in tow, will have to travel from her havoc-filled home in Los Angeles to a Hasidic enclave in Brooklyn. In search of answers. In pursuit of justice. And in desperate need of a big, long, nap.

PURCHASE The Big Nap: Amazon / BN.com / Powell's

ayelet-waldman-nursery-crimes-180

2000 BERKLEY PRIME CRIME 320 PAGES

Nursery Crimes

Nursery Crimes, the first installment in Ayelet Waldman's delightful new mystery series, introduces readers to Juliet Applebaum, a public defender turned stay-at-home mom. Juliet shares parenting duties with her screenwriter husband, but she's bored with playdates and trips to the park. That is, until she finds a way to spice up motherhood—with murder…

Getting accepted at Hollywood's hottest preschool is every bit as cutthroat as getting cast in a Hollywood film. Even Juliet's own two-year-old, Ruby, got butted out of the Billy-goat room. But when the school's principal is killed in a hit-and-run accident, Juliet wonders if someone is taking the competition too seriously. And even though she's eight months pregnant, with a toddler by her side, Juliet Applebaum decides to get off the mommy track—to track down a would-be killer.

PURCHASE Nursery Crimes: Amazon / BN.com / Indiebound / Powell's