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"Mother-Daughter Murder Night" | Reviewed by Susan Ferguson

“Mother-Daughter Murder Night,” by Nina Simon, is a 3-generational murder mystery that’s more of a family drama than a cozy mystery.

Lana Rubicon is a high-powered business woman who has built a real estate empire in Los Angeles. She is intelligent, hard-working and extremely professional in both her actions and her appearance.

Lana has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has moved 300 hundred miles north of Los Angeles to the sleepy coastal town of Elkhorn Slough on Monterey Bay. She has moved in with her estranged daughter Beth and granddaughter Jack, who are caring for her as she undergoes 3 months of chemotherapy.

Beth is a nurse at the local long-term care facility and hasn’t had a relationship with her mother since announcing her pregnancy 16 years ago. Beth has raised her daughter, Jack, by herself in Elkhorn Slough.

Fifteen-year-old Jack loves the water and spends every morning before school on her paddle board. She also has a weekend job at the Kayak Shack guiding kayak tours on the slough.

It is during one of these Saturday morning tours that one of Jack’s clients finds a dead body floating in the water. Jack becomes a suspect and Lana is determined to solve the mystery and clear Jack of any wrong doing.

When another dead body turns up, Lana, Beth and Jack are resolute in uncovering the truth. As the women delve into the murders, they realize it all centers around the Rhoads family and their property along the coast that’s resulted in land disputes, family issues and lies.

This easy-read mystery is light, entertaining and humorous. Although it contains numerous suspects and has some good twists, the mystery is secondary to the family dynamics of Lana, Beth and Jack, as they learn to work and love together.

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