REVIEW: MOTHER KNOWS BEST, BY KAREN MACINERNEY

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Margie Peterson, wife, mother, and private investigator, is not having a good week. Her husband Blake is attracted to drag queens, which she has just discovered. However, he claims this is just a phase.

Meanwhile, the children, Elsie, 6, and Nick, 4, are starting school, but Elsie is not at all pleased with where she is going: Holy Oaks Catholic School, a private school financed by Blake’s parents. Elsie has a little problem that might just stand out, and not in a good way: she has an obsession with being a dog, from wearing a dog collar to slurping from bowls on the floor. She also growls.

To complicate matters further, Margie and her boss Peaches have a new case that has them following a husband, and ending up at a place called the Sweet Spot…and an altercation with some of the performers there.

What can Margie and Peaches do now, since their cover is blown…and they are fired?

To top things off, one of Peaches’ former clients, a prostitute/student named Desiree, has asked for help from Peaches (and Margie) to move a dead body. Imagine Margie’s amazement when she discovers that the dead body belongs to the headmaster of Elsie’s new school, George Cavendish.

Mother Knows Best is a funny and somewhat intense book set in Austin, Texas. It takes us into the world of housewives, private detectives, and quirky kids and parents.

The humorous tone carries us through the pages, as Margie and her best friend Becky, who is a suspect in the murder, search for clues in the hope of solving the case before one or both of them ends up in jail. Along the way, Margie visits a support group called Warrior Wives…help for the wives of men like Blake.

Many of the situations were a bit over the top, but I liked most of the characters. Margie’s mother was a bit weird and so was Elsie. But eventually, they all seemed to settle down. 4 stars.

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