Book Review: Mother's Little Helper by Karen MacInerney

Imagine having a pet pig, a daughter identifying as a dog, and being separated from a husband who has decided to live with a drag queen. Would you lose it, or go with the flow?

Mother's Little Helper
A Margie Peterson Mystery Book 3
Karen MacInerney
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Published: May 16, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Private investigator/single mom Margie Peterson barely has time for breakfast, let alone to hit the gym. But when Austin Heights PTA president Pansy Parker hires her to find out who’s been embezzling PTA funds, that’s exactly where Margie ends up…finding Pansy dangling upside down from a Nautilus machine. But the PTA president’s not alone: the dead body of a personal trainer is there, too. And now she’s facing murder charges.
To find out what really happened, Margie goes undercover as a Brazilian body waxer and an energy drink bottler. What she discovers stinks worse than a pair of sweaty gym socks. 
But that’s not all. Margie’s husband is living with his Madonna-impersonating boyfriend; her boss keeps setting her up on disastrous dates, including one with a vengeful sock puppet named Marshmallow; her daughter’s fry phone is being held hostage; and her pet piglet, Twinkles, ran off after a sausage-smuggling streaker. 
Can Margie pull out the big guns to find the real killer, save the fry phone, and recover Twinkles—before it’s too late? 

Margie has an extremely full life. Reeling from a pending divorce from her decidedly gay husband, she is slowly coming to terms with her new single mom status. With the help of a, albeit good-natured, friend who creates a profile, she is thrust into the dating world, leading to all sorts of problems. Adding fuel to an already skyrocketing flame, her pig-loving daughter has begun to identify with canis lupus familiaris.  Margie, quite the resilient one, trudges forward. 
Masquerading as a both a bottler and a salon employee, Margie is a private investigator for Peachtree Investigations. It gets quite interesting! Imagine having to track down a flasher with a rainbow tattoo, solve a PTA embezzlement case, AND try to figure out who murdered the hot personal trainer with whom you spent a little too much time with in the bathtub? Did I mention he was dead while you were in the bathtub? 

This is truly my kind of cozy mystery! Never have I laughed out loud while reading! 

Though this is a cozy mystery, it isn’t your typical one. Sure, there aren’t any gruesome crime scenes; but, there are plenty of adult situations: drag queens, infidelity, and a few sexual insinuations. However, there is a somber takeaway, which is quite timely considering out current political climate. Tolerance and acceptance must become our backbone if we are going to enjoy our short time here and take pleasure in all that life has to offer. 

MacInerney created strong, round characters, each of whom literally come to life! With a cleverly developed plot, and plenty of comedy, Mother’s Litter Helper is a winner!

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About the Author

Karen is the housework-impaired author of multiple mystery series, and her victims number well into the double digits. She lives in Austin, Texas with two sassy children, her husband, and a menagerie of animals, including twenty-three fish, two rabbits, and a rescue dog named Little Bit. 

When she's not chauffeuring children or coming up with creative ways to kill people, you can usually find Karen hiding away with a book, dodging laundry, playing in the kitchen, or attending martial arts classes. She occasionally teaches writing classes.

She is the author of the Agatha-nominated Gray Whale Inn mystery series, Tales of an Urban Werewolf. the Margie Peterson mysteries and the Dewberry Farm mysteries (plus a new fantasy in the works). Her reading is like my writing: eclectic! 

She grew up in the Northeast, but currently lives in Austin with her husband, two kids, and a houserabbit named Bunny. 

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