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Ayelet Waldman Books In Order

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Publication Order of A Mommy-Track Mystery Books

Nursery Crimes (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Nap (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Playdate With Death (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Gets A Time-Out (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Plays House (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cradle Robbers (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bye-Bye, Black Sheep (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Daughter's Keeper (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Hook Road (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love and Treasure (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Bad Mother (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ayelet Waldman Quotes (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Really Good Day (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kingdom of Olives and Ash (With: Michael Chabon) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inside This Place, Not of It (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fight of the Century(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Writer's Library(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ayelet Waldman is an American-Israeli essayist and novelist best known for the Mommy-Track Mystery series of novels, and four other novels. She also gained notoriety for a series of autobiographical essays about motherhood and family life. Most of her fiction is inspired from her years of work as a federal public defender. Her parents immigrated to the Americas from Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century. After her parents, Leonard and Ricki got married, they moved to Jerusalem where they had Ayelet Waldman. They would then move to Montreal and Rhode Island before finally settling in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where Waldman spent most of her childhood. After attending Wesleyan University, she moved to Israel but was forced to move back to the States, after finding her Kibbutz too sexist. Post her Harvard graduation in 1991, she worked as the assistant for a federal judge before moving on to California where she practiced as a criminal defense lawyer. In addition to practicing as a California federal public defender, she worked as adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law between 1997 and 2003. Finding the scholarly articles she had to write as a university professor incredibly boring and intimidating, she quit in 1997 to become a full time mother and launch her writing career in 1997.

Ayelet Waldman is married to Michael Chabon, himself a popular author since 1993. Given that they are both writers they have made their backyard an office from which they write, edit, and offer advice on each other’s writing. They live in a century old Craftsman house in Elmwood California with their four children Abraham, Ida-Rose, Ezekiel, and Sophie. Ayelet was brought up in a Jewish family attending Jewish summer camps, Hebrew Schools, and even lived in an Israeli Kibbutz when she was 16. She asserts that while her parents were secularists to the point of being atheistic, she was exposed to Judaism her whole life though in a labor Zionist philosophical paradigm. While she never celebrated coming to age in a Bat Mitzvah, many of the characters in her works of fiction have Jewish heritage with one of her novels, Love and Treasure’s main theme being the Holocaust. Waldman asserts that her experiences both in the legal profession and as a mother serve as inspiration for her work. For a while, she ran a popular blog on the themes of bipolar disorder, motherhood, gay rights, and sexuality.

Having asserted that most of her work is about being a bad mother, a lot of Waldman’s work has to do with the same themes. Her first mystery works was in the Mommy Track Mystery series of novels, the Nursery Crimes, which was a light and fluffy piece of fiction. Juliet the chief protagonist in the novels, is a full-time mother and part-time sleuth that Waldman has said was meant to be what she aspires to be. Juliet is a 5-foot tall red headed former public defender married to a nocturnal writer husband just like Ayelet. Juliet finds escape from the boredom of motherhood by working as an amateur detective. In addition to her Mommy Track Mysteries, Ayelet Waldman has written three other novel that are drawn from her experiences as a criminal defense attorney. Unlike the Mommy Track Mystery series, these novels are about the relationship between an emotionally reserved mother and a daughter that inadvertently finds herself involved in high stakes drug trafficking activities. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, one of the most popular novels in the series was adapted into a movie in 2009 starring Scott Cohen, Lisa Kudrow, and Natalie Portman. Waldman has also written several nonfiction works that include personal essays for print and online publications. These works are on the themes of motherhood and sexuality of mothers in the context of the quest for contemporary professional achievement. Some of her essays include the 2005 controversial essay Motherlove and Bad Mother its sequel.

In Nursery Crimes, the first of the Mommy Track Mystery series Waldman introduces the protagonist Juliet Applebaum as fearless, smart, and candid full-time mother and part-time sleuth. Applebaum is a former federal public defender that quit becoming a stay at home mother. Nearing the end of her second pregnancy, she gets bored with trips and playdates to the park and decides to track down a mysterious murderer. It is no surprise to Juliet that her two-year-old daughter with a reputation for being feisty and throwing tantrums at the drop of a hat has been rejected by Hollywood’s top preschool. But she is suspicious of the hit and run accident near the school that left the school principal dead. Her screenwriter husband is all against the idea of pursuing the matter further, but Juliet would have none of it. With her daughter in tow, she proceeds to dig up some dirt on the likeliest of suspects – a studio executive whose daughter was similarly rejected by the school. But she stumbles into a motley crew of new suspects who redirect her investigations towards a dodgy group of online publishers that have the blackest of hearts

In The Big Nap, the second novel of the A Mommy Track Mystery series, Juliet Applebaum comes back as a sleep deprived stay at home mother with a unique set of sleuthing skills. After the mysterious disappearance of the young and pretty Chasidic baby sitter, Juliet is left with more questions than answers. Could the sitter have been running away from more than the squalling and screaming infant? Could it have something to do with her upcoming marriage or is something more sinister afoot? Why doesn’t her family want the police called in to help with the investigations? With her two kids in tow, Juliet sets out on a quest to find the truth that takes her from her now shambolic house in Los Angeles to a Chasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn. She is in desperate need for answers, justice, and a long undisturbed nap. In an amusing yet poignant narrative, Ayelet Waldman tells a compelling narrative of a highly likable and skilled heroine that shows a mystery writer at the top of her game.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ayelet Waldman

One Response to “Ayelet Waldman”

  1. Margaret Howland: 2 years ago

    Ayelet, my husband and I just watched a very good Netfix movie called “Unbelievable.” I caught your name in the credits and wanted to say “thank you” as you had Marie in the movie do.

    It was a very well done movie. I just read through your biography online and dont find a mention of a book called “Unbelievable,” but I will look further.⁰
    I lived in the Bay Area and helped start a mystery book group that is still alive and well. We read your early books way back.
    Thank you for great entertainment.


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