Margie Peterson has taken a part-time job as a private investigator to pay for her two children’s preschool in Mother’s Day Out by Karen MacInerney. On her second job, in which she is to seduce a man to test his fidelity to his wife, she finds herself in a gay bar on tranny night. Going to the “princess room,” complete with urinals, she finds a man in a ball gown who has been shot in the face. Using the victim’s phone to call 911, Margie accidentally hits redial and calls her own home. Determined to find out the truth about her husband, whom she discovers has lied to her about knowing the executive of a shipping company, Margie sets out in what becomes a much more dramatic case than she has ever imagined she might get involved in.
The book delves into the world of transvestites and that of soccer moms. Margie has to fit her investigations into her childcare schedule. Along the way, she gets saddled with cases she doesn’t know how to investigate, including a missing person and embezzlement. Throughout it all, Margie enjoys the support of her best friend, Becky, who demonstrates the power of women’s friendships.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I could really find myself identifying with Margie, something I can’t usually do with main characters in mystery books. She is an average woman put in an unusual situation and rises to the occasion to do what is necessary to save her family. In addition, cozy mysteries almost never contain gay characters at all, let alone transvestites. Yet this book not only dares to feature them in the book but makes them relatable and also educates the reader about the world of men who dress in drag.
I really enjoyed the narration of Cris Dukehart, who creates believable voices for each character, whether that be the innocent Margie or her sexy, hardened detective boss Peaches or the gruff farmer Jess. In addition to her characterizations, Dukehart performs accents that take us to the South.
I selected Mother’s Day Out because it was on sale at Audible, and I’m glad I did. This book was a lot of fun to listen to and exciting without being too tense. I recommend it to anyone, even despite the potential for some to be offended by the transvestites because it treats their culture with gentleness and empathy. I give this book five stars.
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