Not too long ago (in the book, Suburban Dicks), Andie Stern, soccer-mom mother of five and former FBI profiler, now living in West Windsor, New Jersey, solved a decades-old murder and conspiracy. Andie’s husband (as well as the local police) is hoping she’ll go back to being a quiet suburban mother and to that end she has a group of mom-friends she affectionately refers to as the Cellulitists.
But when the husband of one of her new friends is found dead and her friend, Molly Goode, is the focus of attention, Andie can’t help but get involved, along with journalist Kenny Lee once again. Andie’s investigation won’t win her any new friends and will likely endanger the friendships she’s made, but that won’t stop her. But those protecting secrets, affairs, and a whole lot of money might stop her.
I had a lot of fun reading Suburban Dicks and really looked forward to this. Author Fabian Nicieza (co-creator of the character of Deadpool) has done a really nice job with the character of Andie Stern. She’s not quite the reluctant hero … she’s got the skills, and the history to do her detective work, as does Kenny, accustomed to some investigation in his journalism work, but she’s trying to simply be mom and wife and let others do their work. But when you’re good at what you do and you know you can do better, it’s hard to step aside. This not-quite-reluctant-maybe-tepid hero is a nice change from either the reluctant hero or the cop-turned-PI hero.
While a clever enough name, I found the Cellulitists to be a bit too much of a stereotype of a suburban group of ‘Karen’s. I’ve read other books with groups of ladies like this (The Muffia comes immediately to mind) and there’s really nothing unique about this particular group, and unfortunately we spend a lot of time setting them up.
This isn’t as strong as the first book, but it’s still a very good urban detective fiction novel. The language is about as rough as the criminals, which shouldn’t be a surprise coming from the creator of Deadpool.
I didn’t really find the value in Lee in this book. I think I would have been fine if Andie had starred in this book alone, but overall I like this team of Stern and Lee and I’ll be on the lookout for their next adventure. Will West Windsor become the new Cabot Cove … a tiny town with a high murder rate? Or will Andie be drawn to some other locations?
Looking for a good book? The Self-Made Widow, by Fabian Nicieza, is a fun, urban detective story with you average mom/neighbor taking the lead.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Self-Made Widow
author: Fabian Nicieza
series: Suburban Dicks #2
publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
hardcover, 400 pages