THE LATE, LAMENTED MOLLY MARX by Sally Koslow

Real Simple magazine has a nice section on summer reading this month. One page has "Four Fabulous First Lines" from new books. I liked this one:

"When I imagined my funeral, this wasn't what I had in mind."

The book is The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow, "the story of a New York working wife and mother who witnesses her family and friends from the afterlife – or 'the Duration', as she calls it." Here is the description from Amazon:

KoslowThe circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her joie de vivre. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly, thirty-five years old, is delighted to discover that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and, of course, her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As a bonus, Molly quickly realizes that the afterlife comes with a finely tuned bullshit detector.

As Molly looks on, her loved ones try to discern whether her death was an accident, suicide, or murder. She was last seen alive leaving for a bike ride through New York City’s Riverside Park; her body was found lying on the bank of the Hudson River. Did a stranger lure Molly to danger? Did she plan to meet someone she thought she could trust? Could she have ended her own life for mysterious reasons, or did she simply lose control of her bike? As the police question her circle of intimates, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end: her marriage, troubled yet tender; her charmed work life as a magazine decorating editor; and the irresistible colleague to whom she was drawn.

Badger Books loved this book. She said:

Every character in the book, from Molly's parents to the detective investigating her case to her daughter's nanny, is well-rounded and well-written. The pacing is fantastic, and the book is quite a page-turner. Until the last few chapters, I was desperate to find out the truth about Molly's death, but by the end it almost didn't matter. Her death had never been the point of the story, as even Molly herself realized. I won't give away the ending, but it made me a little teary, and wrapped the story up in the most satisfying way I could imagine. I loved this book, and heartily recommend it.

Mary at Books, Gardens and Dogs also loved the book:

Exploring marriage, fidelity, friendship, family, and mortality, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a playful yet tender love story about a flawed but charming woman, forced—better late than never—to take responsibility for the choices in her complicated life.

I can't gush enough about this book! This is going to be the perfect book for this summer. The only issue I had with the story was that you aren't specifically told "whodunit"! I think it is an easy guess though.

Sounds like a fun, light, summer read. Anyone out there read this yet?

8 Comments

  • May 22, 2009 - 7:21 am | Permalink

    I have it, but I’m not planning on reading it until after BEA. It looks so good though! I can’t wait!

  • May 22, 2009 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    This one has really caught my attention. Thanks for the nice review.

  • May 22, 2009 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I saw that Real Simple article while getting my hair done the other day. It has some good titles in there. Haven’t read this one though.

  • May 23, 2009 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read it, but I’d like to. I love the cover!

  • Nancy West
    May 26, 2009 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to take a look at the Real Simple articles on summer reading, but the link took me to a YouTube video of someone singing “Don’t Stop Believing”…??

  • May 26, 2009 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the “Don’t Stop Believing” link! I’ve fixed it now.

  • E. Thimons
    August 18, 2014 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just finished reading The Late, Lamented Molly Marx. I am feeling either really stupid, or like I’ve just watched a Dateline “Who Dun It” where the murderer is never truly identified. What is your best guess and why? Has anyone ever asked Koslow?

    • gayle
      August 19, 2014 - 7:52 am | Permalink

      I never actually read this one, so unfortunately I can’t help you!

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