The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow
Ballantine Books, 2009, 320 pages
Molly Marx, the wife of the successful plastic surgeon Barry, dies in a mysterious bicycle accident. She narrates this story from "The Duration," which is part of the afterlife in which a person can watch and listen in on the loved ones they left behind after their death. After Molly dies, she begins to only watch her daughter, Annabel, to make sure she is handling things well and is being taken care of. Slowly, though, Molly begins to watch the mystery of her death unravel by listening in on conversations with Detective Hicks, who has been assigned to solving Molly's... homicide? Suicide? No one quite knows. In "The Duration," people can also hear others' thoughts... while fully equipped with a BS detector. Through this capability, Molly soon finds out that Barry has been cheating on her for quite some time, and her mother-in-law has been very approving of his affair. Molly begins to have flashbacks of her own affair with her co-worker, Luke.
The story, while focusing on the complexity of a failing marriage, also focuses on Molly's relationships with her daughter, sister, and best friend. Molly pays a lot of attention to her sister, Lucy's life and thoughts while she's in "The Duration." This is mostly because Lucy becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Molly.
While I read this for my Women's Lives and Relationships genre pick, it fits into the Mystery genre as well. There are a lot of key players that could be Molly's killer, if, in fact, she was murdered. Did Barry do it so he could start a new life with his lover? Did his lover do it, so she could start a new life with Barry? Did Barry's mom kill Molly? She never really approved of their marriage in the first place, anyway. Did Luke do it? Molly broke things off with him because she couldn't handle the deception anymore. These different mysterious aspects of the story kept me engaged with the story. However, the ending left me wanting something more. I didn't feel satisfied after reading this book. It was a good story, humorous at times, touching, emotional, but the ending just didn't seal the deal.