cover image The Last Housewife

The Last Housewife

Jon Katz, K. C. McKeown. Doubleday Books, $19.95 (131pp) ISBN 978-0-385-47389-7

A onetime Wall Streeter, Kit Deleeuw is now a station-wagon driver, Labrador walker and principal caregiver to his children. He's also the PI star of Katz's Suburban Detective series (The Family Stalker) and a living lexicon of political correctness. This entry, the third and best, begins when Shelly Bloomfield, one of New Jersey's last professional moms, is accused of shooting the new-and feminist-junior high school principal. Shelly, whose husband's gun was the murder weapon and whose son was on the verge of suspension from the school for sexual harassment incidents involving bra-snapping and groping, hires Kit to exonerate her. Katz writes as though his readers were visiting from Mars as his hero-narrator endlessly details suburban, child-centered life, pats himself on the back for being a caring dad and only occasionally pauses to let the plot inch forward. Yet, while most of the characters whine at being torn between parenting and power-lunching, dark hints of evil lurking in the minds of children surface to give the tale some depth. Ultimately, however, Katz shies away from such possibilities to offer a pat solution that draws on hormones and peer pressure. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)