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The Big Nap (A Mommy-Track Mystery #2)
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The Big Nap (A Mommy-Track Mystery #2)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  665 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
When her infant son's Chasidic babysitter vanishes, Juliet Applebaum wonders if the girl was fleeing her upcoming arranged marriage--or was she fleeing something more sinister? Traveling from Los Angeles to a Chasidic enclave in Brooklyn, Juliet searches for answers in her pursuit for justice. (July)
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 2nd 2002 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2001)
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81st out of 336 books — 175 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 08, 2012 Jenny rated it it was ok
Recommended to Jenny by: Clare
I liked the style in which this book was written but I just couldn't get into this book. The author was obviously interested in the Hasidic Jewish culture bit only got her feet wet. Why do the women wear wigs? What is the draw for being orthodox like this? I wanted more about this rather than read about an annoying bored mother who pokes her nose into people's business for someone she knew for a few hours. I realize that most mysteries are built on the improbable but this was a little more ...more
Oct 29, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Juliet Applebaum is a great character, even though I'm pretty sure I would hate her if I knew her. Funny, nosy, and snarky, but trying to do the right thing. These books are heavy on mommyhood and light on mystery, but engaging.
Nov 23, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2012 Judie rated it really liked it
Juliet Appelbaum, Harvard Law School graduate currently stay-at-home mother, living in a heavily Hasidic community in Los Angeles with her movie-script-writer husband, three-year-old daughter, and four-month-old son. She is totally exhausted. Her son doesn't sleep much and her husband puts in very long hours at the studio.

She hires a neighborhood girl to watch the baby for a couple hours while her daughter is in preschool so she can catch up on her sleep. The next day, the babysitter disappears.
Aug 22, 2013 Kristyn rated it liked it
A funny mystery to read in one sitting (I read it in a single nap!). I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I don't usually read mysteries, but this one was fun, funny, and refreshing to read as a mother. She had me with the first line, when the main character opens the door to the FedEx Man in her nursing bra, straps unstrapped. One thing I appreciate about Ayelet Waldman's writing (more specifically her nonfiction) is her honesty and humor in her treatment of motherhood. The reader sees the ...more
Evanston Public  Library
You don't have to be a parent to enjoy Ayelet Waldman's The Big Nap, but if you are you'll find an extra layer of humor as new mom Juliet Applebaum struggles to get through her days on very little sleep. Her need for a nap is what motivates Juliet to hire Fraydle, a young Hasidic woman, as a babysitter. When Fraydle vanishes after a single day on the job, Juliet decides to get to the bottom of it. Irreverent and hilarious (although much of the humor does center around child rearing and, ...more
Aug 12, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
I heard an interview with the author on NPR and the series sounded like fun.

Public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum keeps her brain busy solving mysteries that come up in her daily life. This time around she is searching for her babysitter that went missing.

The plot is interesting as it takes place in a Hasidic community. I found the modest dress and the women covering their hair with scarves or wigs an interesting parallel to the muslim's hajib.

Waldman is definitely a witty w
Oct 13, 2010 Jeanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Juliet Applebaum is back and desperately in search of some sleep.

A nap comes to her in the form of Fraydle, an Orthodox Jew and teenaged babysitter. Finally, a nap for Juliet! After her first day with Juliet’s cranky son, Fraydle appears to be missing. A mystery!

Of course, Juliet sticks her nose in and discovers far more than she wanted to know: an arranged marriage, an illicit boyfriend, and a powerful Hasidic community. It’s hard to know what Juliet’s true motivation is—sleep or helping a fam
Jan 17, 2008 Catherine rated it liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: Sharon Doty
Another easy-on-the-brain read from Ayelet. The book has a very followable storyline that's interesting enough to keep you turning pages, but not taxing in any way. Two Mommy Mysteries in a row might be too much, though. Spunky Juliet, our sleep-deprived, breast-milk-leaking, unremitting heroine started to grate on me a bit, as did her implausibly sexy and supportive husband. (His every appearance equates to "That spit-up on your shirt makes me hot.") I found the setting more interesting than ...more
Derek Wolfgram
Nov 29, 2010 Derek Wolfgram rated it really liked it
Waldman is a talented writer, a good storyteller, and a very, very funny woman. I learned about her when I saw her speak at a conference with her husband, Michael Chabon, about the life of two married writers, and she stole the show. The Big Nap was a breezy, fun, irreverent, thoroughly enjoyable read. I will probably not read her other books, as the "Mommy-Track" theme is definitely aimed at a different target audience from childless middle-aged men. However, I thoroughly enjoyed The Big Nap ...more
Dec 01, 2007 Lain rated it liked it
Waldman has an easy way with words, and she seemed to hit her stride in this book. There are a few eye-rolling moments when even my quite liberal suspension of disbelief gene was twanging with outrage (Juliet thinks the Hasidic 18-year-old, looks-like-a-young-Liz-Taylor, reminds her of herself???), but I'm willing to overlook those in favor of a fairly seamless plotline and fun, lively characters.
Lisa Beazley
Jan 27, 2015 Lisa Beazley rated it really liked it
I'm not normally a mystery reader, but I've read three of four of the Mommy Track Mysteries. I just had my third baby and returned to this series, remembering the laughs and comfort these books brought me in those endless sleep deprived new baby days. I recommend them to new moms all the time who don't feel like they have the time/brain power to read. They are a fun, fast paced, funny and smart escape.
Dec 20, 2010 Dana added it
Currently reading this one. I grabbed it for a light road trip book but picked it up and am flying through it. I wasn't expecting much but I am enjoying it. I like the self depricating humor of mothers of cranky babies and the contrast. There is the contrast between the hassidic Jews and Juliets token Jewish life. And between the career past and her motherhood life now. It rings true and I will probably look for another by this author
Jun 06, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I had forgotten how engaging this series was. It's a murder mystery but the author does a good job of adding small stories about the mother's daily life. It helps to keep your attention and really adds depth to the character. Plus it makes you sympathize with her struggles as a stay-at-home mom. It is heavy with baby and child care stories (including many about baby diaper accidents) but it just adds to the feeling as if your "walking" int he mothers shoes.
May 12, 2011 Janice rated it liked it
I practically read these books in backwards order, but it really didn't matter. Again, loved the Juliet and her outlook on life. The story was interesting because it dealt with Hasidic Jews, but wasn't my favorite compared to the other more fun subjects. Ok yeah, they all are about murder, but this one was more sad.
Feb 09, 2010 Cathy rated it really liked it
I took this book with me over Thanksgiving vacation. It was a great refuge from the noise and chaos of the family. I loved Juliet and her little family. I wish I had a friend like her. The mystery was interesting, plus it featured lots of well-drawn supporting characters. I will definitely pick up more books by Ms. Waldman.
Dec 21, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
A few charming and/or funny insights, and very relatable for new moms; however, the author seems to be more capable than this work (or its prequel). It's as if she wouldn't possibly read it of her own volition; she's designed a mystery novel to appeal to an audience she knows exists but of which she is not a member.
Something about a Hasidic babysitter. Oh, like it matters. When my mother reads a Cat Who mystery, is she going to remember the plots? They're all McGuffins anyway. Fierce tiny lawyer/mom cracks wise on the childrearing, swoons for her spouse, and waxes serious about some serious issue.
Sep 16, 2008 Abigail rated it really liked it
I liked this even better than the first one -- I think, in part, because the mystery wasn't quite as transparent to me. But really, the fun part of these (for me) is more about Juliet than the sleuthing. Waldman is just plain fun to read, and 100% relate-able. Well, at least if you're a mom.
Aug 14, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who deals with screaming children all day
This is a fun series--completely off-the-wall plots but a realistic character in Juliet Applebaum, a stay-at-home mom who solves mysteries in between her hilarious and honest observations of motherhood, breastfeeding and the quirks of preschoolers.
Nov 20, 2015 Malou rated it liked it
A fun and quick read. The laywer-turned-mom-turned-sleuth character is very likeable. The plot was interesting and the resolution of the case was unexpected - so it turned out to be a suspenseful read. I gave it 3 stars, but it's more like 3 and half.
Mar 25, 2015 Mara rated it liked it
This genre is not really my bag. That said Waldman is funny, smart and speaking truth about motherhood. Waldman also manages not to insult my intelligence, which can be a rare occurence in terms of lightweight genre fiction. Enjoyable.
Holly Booms Walsh
Jun 03, 2008 Holly Booms Walsh rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was a clever little cozy mystery about a stay-at-home mommy that solves the mystery of the disappearance of her Hasidic Jewish babysitter. Good whodunit, amusing stories of the travails of childcare, interesting tidbits about the Hasidic Jew community, lots of New York flavor.
Oct 13, 2007 Jennifer rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Stay-at-home moms
Shelves: mystery
I just discovered this series and have read the first two in just about as many days--although the mystery plot was a bit thin, immensely fun to read and love the concept of stay-at-home-mom turned PI.
Sep 09, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I really enjoyed this- wonder why I didn't know about this series before! I had waldman pegged as a self-serious literary mcsweeny's type so I was surprised at what fun, funny genre fiction she writes. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Mar 27, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it
The Mommy-Track Mysteries:

1. Nursery Crimes
2. The Big Nap
3. Playdate With Death
4. Death Gets a Time-Out
5. Murder Plays House
6. The Cradle Robbers
7. Bye-Bye, Black Sheep
Oct 19, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like light hearted mysteries, therefore I liked this book. It is not something I would read again, but it did inspire me to find the rest of the books in the series at the library.
Apr 05, 2013 Wendy rated it it was ok
I like this series. Juliet is a likeable and relatable character for a stay at home mom. The story was completely unrealistic though interesting.
Aug 22, 2010 Andi rated it liked it
An easy, fluff read. Not as witty as the other one I've read in the series. But, I might try another one when I need a break from heavier stuff.
Cindie Harp
Aug 25, 2009 Cindie Harp rated it really liked it
Another fun book, although a rather one-sided view of the Hasidim. Still a light summer read that kept me turning pages
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Ayelet Waldman is the author of A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road and The New York Times bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was made into a film starring Natalie Portman. Her personal essays ...more
More about Ayelet Waldman...

Other Books in the Series

A Mommy-Track Mystery (7 books)
  • Nursery Crimes (A Mommy-Track Mystery, #1)
  • A Playdate With Death (A Mommy-Track Mystery #3)
  • Death Gets A Time-Out (A Mommy-Track Mystery #4)
  • Murder Plays House (A Mommy-Track Mystery #5)
  • The Cradle Robbers (A Mommy-Track Mystery, #6)
  • Bye-Bye, Black Sheep (A Mommy-Track Mystery, #7)

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