Mother-Daughter Murder Night

Nina Simon

Mother-Daughter Murder Night
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
United States
5 September 2023

Mother-Daughter Murder Night

Nina Simon

Nothing brings a family together like a murder next door.

High-powered businesswoman Lana Rubicon has a lot to be proud of: her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she's built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage-and hoping that boredom won't kill her before the cancer does.

Then Jack-tiny in stature but fiercely independent-happens upon a dead body while kayaking near their bungalow. Jack quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She'll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power.

With Jack and Beth's help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn to do the one thing they've always resisted: depend on each other.


When real estate empress Lana Rubicon is diagnosed with brain cancer, she can think of no one but her estranged daughter, Beth, to go to for help. As her worsening condition forces her to move to Beth’s home near a small coastal town, Lana finds it difficult adjusting from her opulent lifestyle in L.A. to living with a daughter who barely speaks with her and her teenage granddaughter, Jack, with whom she’s never been close. But when Jack is hosting a kayaking tour and finds a dead body by the beach, the Rubicon women must suddenly look to each other for safety and protection as the police target Jack as their number one suspect.

I loved observing the intergenerational bonds grow between the grandmother, mother, and daughter. I could tangibly feel the love they had for each other as it was unearthed from all the external animosity and distance it was buried beneath. Oftentimes, it is during the most strenuous and dire moments that a family’s bond is put to the test, and it was inspiring witnessing the matriarch, Lana, immediately step up to protect her granddaughter. Although she is not initially a typically maternal figure, she does not let her cancer hold her back from helping to uncover the truth and becoming the source of strength her family needs in their time of need. From Lana to Beth, and then Beth to Jack, you see the intricate complexities and messiness of mother-daughter relationships, the deep desire of some mothers to protect, love, and sacrifice themselves for their child, and the gravitational pull that can exist between mother and child.

Mother-Daughter Murder Night is a stirring family drama and thrilling murder mystery that will both unravel the web of lies this town has spun, and piece back together a family.

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