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Mummy Dearest (Claire Malloy, #17)
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Mummy Dearest (Claire Malloy #17)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  767 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews

After a somewhat long and, at times, strange courtship, Claire Malloy -- a single, widowed mother of a teenage daughter and a bookseller in Farberville, Arkansas - has finally said 'I do' to her swain, Lt. Peter Rosen of the Farberville Police Department. Now they are on their honeymoon in Luxor, Egypt. Well, Claire is on her honeymoon - accompanied by Caron, her teenage

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published April 2008)
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May 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Every good author periodically writes a clinker, and this is Ms. Hess's example. I have loved most of her Malloy and Maggody books. Not so here. I finished it, basically because I expected it would improve. Now, I am waiting for her next one to see if she returns to form.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Very disappointing. The characters all seem like caricatures and Peter seems like an afterthought. It was as if Joan Hess needed an excuse to get Claire Malloy to Egypt and he seemed like the easiest way. In the end the reason for Peter to be in Egypt is never explained. If he is a city cop why would they send him to Egypt. On the other hand if he works for the FBI when did that happen? There are too many questions left unanswered. And if Caron were my daughter she would have been Put Up For Ado ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-cozy
I had an absolutely delightful time reading Mummy Dearest by Joan Hess. I've read a couple of Hess's Claire Malloy series before and enjoyed them, but I'm not a huge fan. This book was in my MIL pile, though, and I thought I'd give it a try. I am so, so, so glad I reached for it!

As you might have guessed from previous book reviews, I love Elizabeth Peters. Love, love, love Elizabeth Peters. She's used her study and love of Egyptology to write more absolutely delightful books than I can count. We
Mar 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Unlike the last mystery I read, Tree Huggers by Goodreads author Judy Nichols, Mummy Dearest was pretty easy to put down, at least for the first 170 pages. Because I enjoyed some of the earlier Claire Mallory mysteries, I plowed on. It actually did get a lot better about page 170 so I recommend starting there. Still, if over half the book is sort of silly and boring, 3 stars seems like enough.
May 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: other lovers of humorous mysteries
I am a mystery reader and, therefore, love series of favorite authors. I have read Joan Hess and have always liked her Maggody series better than those featuring Claire Malloy. For some reason I just couldn't warm up to Claire.

However, Mummy Dearest held my attention and was LOL funny. Perhaps it was because Claire had more in common this go-around with a favorite character of mine: Amelia Peabody. In fact, Joan dedicates this book to Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters).
May 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Hess wanted to write a book based in Egypt; I suspect she also avoided dealing with Clare and Peter as a married couple seting up house in Farberville this way. As reviewed elsewhere, the supporting characters are cartoon-ish; the series isn't particularly "advanced" on the whole, except perhaps the relationship betwen Caron and Inez. Not particularly recommended.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
This is one of the worst books I have tried to read for a long time. I got to about the last 10 pages and decided it wasn't worth the effort to even finish. So, don't ask me what happened. The characters are silly and very poorly drawn.
Holly Booms Walsh
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This is a cheap knockoff of the Amelia Peabody Emerson series by Elizabeth Peters (a friend of the author). An English drawing room comedy of a mystery set in Egypt that falls flat.
May 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
These books are clever and quick and fun to read. Nothing memorable however
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Love CJ Critt's narration.
Honeymoon to Egypt. Interesting details about the setting. Hess's books are humorous, but this one is not her best work. Planning to skim the end in print.
Sharon Schlegel
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
2nd book I've read in this series. Lots of humor yet solid intrigue. I enjoyed it.
Jun 20, 2017 added it
One of her consultants was Elizabeth Peters who wrote all the Amelia Peabody books. And that is why it is so much like her books! I did have a rather hard time keeping track of all the characters though. Really liked it. Am going to try a Maggody series next.
Alannah Davis
#17 in the Claire Malloy mystery series. Claire finally marries Peter Rosen of the Farberville Police Department. Peter has been trained in international copspeak in order to go on special assignment in Egypt, so that is where he and Claire spend their honeymoon. Unfortunately, much of their honeymoon in Luxor, Egypt is spent apart while Peter is off doing...whatever policework he's there to be doing, leaving Claire behind at the luxurious Winter Palace hotel along with 17-year-old daughter Caro ...more
Lori Whitwam
Aug 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-general
No such thing as a bad book by Joan Hess. I prefer her "Maggody" series more than this, one of her "Claire Malloy" books, but both series are smart-funny with great plots and offbeat, memorable characters.

This was only three stars, though. Part of that may be my distraction with the Olympics and a craft project, but this seemed to move slowly. Or it had a lot going on, but none of it seemed directly connected to a crime. The murders all happened "off-screen," and seemed very remote. Plus, this e
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Claire Malloy is actually likable in this book. I would love to continue this series based on this book, but; unfortunately, I know she reverts true to form in the next - totally self-centered, over-confident in her detective ability and extremely annoying.

She is more laid back in this book and it almost gives you hope that she and her husband, Peter Rosen, can forge a working partnership (in terms of her amateur investigations and his professional law enforcement role). She is not in your face
The Badger
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Claire Malloy series is a step above a Cozy, mainly because you actually LIKE the characters. Claire is the single mother of Caron, a teenaged daughter who's at the age of speaking in ALL CAPS. Claire is also the proprietor of a bookstore (which she doesn't seem to spend much time in, on account of solving murders and trying to calm Caron down to at least italics). Peter is Claire's detective boyfriend whom she's lucky to have, otherwise she'd spend the majority of her time in a holding cell ...more
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I have read a TON of this mystery series, but it's been a few years since I picked one up. I've mentioned before that I will stick with an entertaining and engaging heroine through less-than-stellar-plots. Though this one is a little slow going at first, the new setting of Luxor, Egypt, is a refreshing change that makes up a bit for the lackluster plot. It ended up being quite an amusing denouement, and her sly wit comes through especially well in the end.

Caron and Inez's relationship is taking
Feb 03, 2010 rated it liked it
I love Claire Malloy, and I'm glad to find that she and Peter have finally taken the big step. Their honeymoon in Egypt is anything but romantic, though, with her teenage daughter Caron and Caron's best friend Inez in tow, and Peter off on "special agent" training more than half the time.

Moving the action to the banks of the Nile doesn't reduce Claire's curiosity. With more than a hint of Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile," Mummy Dearest is rife with suspicious characters, suspicious Egyptia
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an entertaining mystery series with comedic and eccentric characters, quick-paced story, and witty dialog, especially the conversations that take place between Claire Malloy and her teenaged daughter Caron. I really loved the Egyptian setting and antiquities details, but I wish there was more ancient Egypt. I watched the BBC production of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile after reading this book for the spectacular scenery and settings, so similar to those in the book. If you are a fan ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite Joan Hess to date. (Side note ... I kept thinking during the book how funny it was that she was writing about Egypt as it kept making me think of Elizabeth Peters. Then she mentioned Peabody and I knew it had to be more than coincidence. Imagine my surprise in the end when she mentioned traveling to Egypt with Elizabeth Peters.) I've always liked the Claire Malloy books better than the Maggody series. Maybe because I always had dreams of owning a book store. This one, ...more
Sandi Willis
While others didn't like this book because they didn't think it was up to Hess' high standards, I enjoyed the book for the humor of the book. It was fun to listen to the strange cast of characters that were written by Hess. I read to be entertained and to get away from reality so it was fun to just listen to the book and laugh. However, that said, I also wanted to slap Alexander and a few other characters upside the head since they were always walking into Clare's suite. Sure sometimes things we ...more
Janet York
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I usually enjoy the Claire Malloy series. Sometimes they are laugh out loud funny. This, however, was not one of my favorites. I found it rather convoluted and at times just boring. I didn't figure out who done it, but it didn't really matter. It was still predictable in most of the outcomes. And although this was my least favorite book in the series so far, the excerpt for another book at the end made me want to read it. So, I will continue to read the series and hope others will give the Clair ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Decent trip to modern Egypt with Claire Malloy. Mystery is a little obvious and as usual I wish I liked these enough to read them all in order so I'd have some better character development. Best parts are the mother-daughter interactions, and Inez. I think I like Inez better than anyone else in the series. Bonus 1/2 star for Elizabeth Peters references, subtracted again for my dislike of future Emersons as portrayed.
Brenda Worley
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cozy Mystery Fans
Joan Hess is one of my absolute favs. when it comes to "cozy mysteries". She doesn't let the reader down in this one either. Claire, the character is a humble bookseller in a small town, who is recently married. In this book Claire is on her honeymoon with dh, AND her teenage daughter and dd's best friend. It's definetely a different background for the main character but still an excellent read if you like lighthearted mystery.
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I am usually a big fan of Joan Hess, however, this book was not quite as good as the rest. It took almost half of the book to really get going. For me is was a little far fetched that a small town detective would be working out of country when there has been very little reference in past books abount him training for higher positions or expressing a desire to expand his career. It seemed out of place and out of character. I hope that future books go back to her previous style of writing.
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
In the latest book of the Claire Malloy series, bookseller/sleuth Claire can't stay out of trouble even while on her honeymoon in Egypt. She stumbles into a mystery involving murder, archaeology, antiquities, and kidnapping. The book is filled with Joan Hess's signature assortment of over-the-top characters, and it kept me entertained through 4 airports and 4 flights, but I was a lot more charmed by her writing style earlier in the series.
In spite of a premise with potential, this turned out to be a dreary slog. I got more than tired of the endless bickering between all the characters -- it's difficult to believe any of these people care about each other. The secondary cast of British aristocrats seemed to be pale and disagreeable imitations of Noel Coward characters. And Egypt -- which could have been such a fascinating setting -- seemed to be almost entirely inconsequential. Read something else.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I checked the audio book out for this novel because I'm working on a book that takes place in Egypt, and as the current political situation makes it impossible to travel there myself, I'm watching, reading, and studying lots of stuff about Egypt.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked the story and the characters. Claire Malloy seems like a fun heroine and I'd like to read more books about her.
Renee Pawlish
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I love the Claire Malloy series but I had a hard time getting into this one. It just didn't seem to flow very well. Now, I have to say that I usually read a book in a few days and I've been so busy it too me longer to read it, and that may be in part why the book felt disjointed, but it just seemed like it was lacking in...mystery (and it's a mystery book).
I'll continue to read the series but I hope the next one is better.
May 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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Joan Hess is the author of both the Claire Malloy and the Maggody mystery series. She is a winner of the American Mystery Award, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Joan Hess also writes a mystery series under the pseudonym of Joan Hadley.

Series contributed to:
. Crosswinds
. The Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mys
More about Joan Hess...

Other Books in the Series

Claire Malloy (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Strangled Prose (Claire Malloy, #1)
  • The Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn (Claire Malloy, #2)
  • Dear Miss Demeanor (Claire Malloy, #3)
  • A Really Cute Corpse (Claire Malloy, #4)
  • A Diet to Die For (Claire Malloy, #5)
  • Roll Over and Play Dead (Claire Malloy, #6)
  • Death by the Light of the Moon (Claire Malloy, #7)
  • Poisoned Pins (Claire Malloy, #8)
  • Tickled to Death (Claire Malloy, #9)
  • Busy Bodies (Claire Malloy, #10)
“I did not add that we would pass by a bookstore on the way. It's an addiction that cannot be easily explained and can rarely be overcome.” 12 likes
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