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Author Photo of Nina Simon

Nina Simon On How Her Bighearted Mystery Helped Her Redefine Strength

In Nina Simon’s witty and twisty Mother-Daughter Murder Night, three generations of women determined to live life on their own terms team up to solve a murder when one of them chances upon a dead body. Lana, a successful commercial real estate developer in Los Angeles, has been forced to move in with her semi-estranged daughter, Beth, following a recent cancer diagnosis. The decidedly independent Lana bristles at having to accept help from Beth, whose semi-bohemian home in Elkhorn Slough, a coastal town near Monterey Bay, is far from her mother’s more glamorous tastes. When Beth’s daughter Jack discovers a corpse while leading a kayak tour, Lana uses her considerable talents to turn amateur sleuth and solve the mystery. The three women are soon plunged into a complex plot that exposes their neighbors’ most closely guarded secrets and strains their complicated family dynamic. Mother-Daughter Murder Night is the first book by Nina Simon , and it was selected as a Reese’s Book Club pick as well as one of Barnes and Noble’s Best of 2023. Library Journal singled it out as a “dazzling debut [that] delivers everything a mystery fan could crave,” and Publishers Weekly stated, “Simon stocks her layered plot with plausibly motivated suspects and convincing red herrings, but it’s her indomitable female characters and their nuanced relationships that give this mystery its spark.” Simon spoke with us about the origins of her novel, writing strong women, and her plans for future novels.