Nursery Crimes, by Ayelet Waldman, is a satirical mystery novel that’s fun to read but is a bit too much like cotton candy. Here is my favorite passage:
“This is terrible. You don’t seem to understand. If Ruby doesn’t go to the right preschool, there is no way she’ll get into a decent elementary school. Then you can kiss high school good-bye. And let’s not discuss college. This is a crisis. An absolute crisis.”
“She was impervious to my pleas, and seemed uninterested in my explanation of how not going to the right preschool would preclude Harvard, Swarthmore, or any other decent college. She’s end up at Slippery Rock State, like her dad.”
The characters in Nursery Crimes are mildly interesting, the satire is mild but amusing, the plot is mild but well-constructed. So “mild” does seem to be the operative word. Perhaps it’s unfair to observe that Waldman’s main claim to fame seems to be that she’s Michael Chabon’s wife, but that does seem to be how most people find out about her, even though their styles are so very different.