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Nina Simon: Mother – Daughter Murder Night

September 5, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm  |  Bookshop Santa Cruz


Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes local author Nina Simon for a launch event to celebrate her captivating new novel, Mother-Daughter Murder Night—a fun, fresh, and twisty debut whodunnit about a grandmother-mother-daughter trio who come together as amateur sleuths to solve a murder in their coastal California town. This event is cosponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.

“A mysterious murder set in the tranquil waters of Elkhorn Slough is not the only tension of local writer Nina Simon’s exquisite debut novel. It is the fraught, but ultimately loving and powerful relationship between three generations of women who work to solve the crime that gives this story the heart to match the suspense. Filled with wit, adventure, emotional insight, and an abundance of nature from our beloved shores, this page-turning mystery is the height of effective storytelling.” —Casey Coonerty Protti, owner Bookshop Santa Cruz

“Nina Simon’s Mother-Daughter Murder Night is the rarest of novels. A lively and tender story of family that Simon deftly transforms into an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery set against the polarizing backdrop of land conservation, no novel has ever made family drama (or murder) this much fun. One part The Maid and one part family drama à la The Nest, Mother-Daughter Murder Night is a resounding and impressive triumph. I fell in love with Tiny, Lana, and Beth immediately, and so will you.” —Katy Hays, New York Times bestselling author of The Cloisters


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Nothing brings an estranged family together like a murder next door. High-powered businesswoman Lana Rubicon has a lot to be proud of: her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she’s built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage—and hoping that boredom won’t kill her before the cancer does. Then Jack—tiny in stature but fiercely independent—stumbles upon a dead body while kayaking near their bungalow. Jack quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She’ll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power. With Jack and Beth’s help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn do the one thing they’ve always resisted: depend on each other.

Nina Simon has worn many hats: NASA engineer, slam poet, mystery game designer, museum director, and global nonprofit founder. She is an Ashoka fellow and the founder of OF/BY/FOR ALL, a global nonprofit that creates digital tools to help civic and cultural organizations become more inclusive, relevant, and sustainable. Nina is an in-demand writer and speaker about community participation in museums, libraries, parks, and theaters. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, and on the TEDx stage. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nina now lives off-the-grid in the Santa Cruz mountains with her husband and daughter. Mother-Daughter Murder Night is her first novel.


September 5, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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