Murder Among Neighbors

3.64 avg rating
( 195 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780821746806: Murder Among Neighbors

With her husband off in Europe "finding himself," Kate Austen must cope with life in the San Francisco suburbs, but her world is suddenly transformed by the murder of her neighbor and fellow carpooler and the arrival of handsome homicide detective Michael Stone.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

When quintessential California socialite Pepper Livingston takes time off from her breakneck schedule (Sunshine House, the Save Our Hills Coalition, etc.) to get strangled, the news causes scarcely a ripple among her neighbors in trendy Walnut Hills. Despite Kate Austen's demure protests to the contrary (``Pepper Livingston was certainly the last person you'd ever expect to go and get herself killed''), life goes on as placidly as before. The officer who first questions Kate seems less interested in Pepper's murder than in Kate's thriving ficus; the grieving widower brings his daughter over to Kate's house to play and reminisce comfortably about Pepper over a couple of quiet scotches; the undifferentiated gossips at the Guild Wine Festival trade the most innocuous rumors about alternatives to the official drug-related robbery theory. The only excitement comes when Kate, abandoned by a flighty husband who's taken off for Europe in hopes of finding himself, falls for Michael Stone, the hard-bunned homicide lieutenant in charge of the case. Even in the throes of suburban passion, though, newcomer Kate still chooses dresses and makeup as carefully as ever, and she manages to spot the murderer without seriously disrupting her day care arrangements. A West Coast Compromising Positions, with omelettes, Chardonnay, and mild innuendo substituting for detection, and nary a mean bone in its well-preserved body. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This entertaining debut introduces Kate Austen, a resilient young northern California mom. When her husband sets off to "find himself" in Europe, Kate is pregnant and jobless, and their daughter is only five. Then her next-door neighbor is murdered. Kate doubts that the killer was an intruder-nothing of value was stolen, and it wasn't like the orderly Pepper Livingston to have left a window open. Along with her acerbic best friend, Kate begins to look at her neighbors in a new light, especially Pepper's cool husband, Robert. Searching through Pepper's things at the request of nearly divorced homicide Lt. Michael Stone, Kate finds a matchbook in an old purse of Pepper's and a hidden diaphragm; she is also shown an earring the police have found in the hallway. Later, after she and Michael have become more intimate, she uses these clues to come up with the culprit and motive. Jacobs tops off this slice of suburban life off with a dollop of romance and a twist of suspense.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jonnie Jacobs
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ISBN 10: 0821746804 ISBN 13: 9780821746806
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