By now, you probably know that I really enjoy all things mystery-related from true crime podcasts to thriller fiction. This means that a cozy mystery featuring two new mums who investigate a series of murders is right up my street. So today I’m going to be sharing my review of Murder on Maternity by Holly Greenland.
Many thanks to Holly Greenland and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Murder on Maternity
by Holly Greenland
Publisher: Holly Greenland
Date of Publication: 13th August 2020
Format: eBook (137 pages)
Content & Trigger Warnings
Murder, cheating, postpartum depression, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact after birth, references to alcohol
Please note: Some of these are personal triggers for me based on my birth trauma and experiences of early motherhood.
Being a new mum is hard. It’s even harder when you are hot on the trail of a serial killer…
It is a beautiful summer and Emily has just begun maternity leave. She has big plans to batch cook organic meals, play enriching baby games and power walk with her stroller in the sunshine. But Emily is surprised to find that life with a new baby is exhausting, lonely and often a bit, well… boring.
That is until she meets Tabetha Tate through her NCT baby class, a no-nonsense detective on maternity leave from the CID. With Emily’s love of murder mysteries and late-night true crime, the two click. And when Tabetha receives an anonymous letter from Mr Naughty she enlists Emily’s help. The new friends juggle breast feeding and nappy changes with the hunt for a killer – but will they become the next targets?
Part whodunit, part new-mum memoir, Murder on Maternity is the story of first-time parenting, female friendship and serial killers.
What drew me into Murder on Maternity was its premise – two new mums investigating local murders while on maternity leave. As a crime-loving mum myself, this stood out as something I hadn’t really seen in a book before. Not to mention that I could barely finish a book while my son was a newborn let alone actually go out and solve a slew of murders. So here was a book that had huge appeal and potential relatability to me as a reader and while I can say that I did genuinely enjoy reading Murder on Maternity, this wasn’t always the case.
In my opinion, the first few chapters are a bit too overly explanatory about certain parenting things that I believe the target reader would already be pretty familiar with. I understand that these were important chapters for building characters and context but they were a little bit flat in comparison to the rest of the book – which is action packed and engaging.
When the story picks up, it becomes this compelling cozy mystery full of shocks and twists. I found myself second guessing everything and everyone. I thought I had it figured out – but I didn’t! And of course, the biggest marker of an engaging read: I let my dinner go cold because I couldn’t put it down until I’d devoured the final pages. Honestly, can’t wait for the next book in the series.
I also want to add that the representation of postpartum depression is done exceptionally well. There was no vilifying the characters for their struggles, just a lot of support, patience and understanding which was wonderful to see.
Read this if…
You like cozy mysteries or are a parent who considers yourself to be a bit of an armchair detective!