Book Review: Diana Orgain’s Bundle of Trouble

Posted January 7, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Diana Orgain’s Bundle of Trouble

Bundle of Trouble

on August 4, 2009 and has 296 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Maternal Instincts Mystery series based in San Francisco and revolving around a new mother who doesn’t want to go back to work.

My Take

I’m torn. Orgain writes well. And I can’t stand her stupid protagonist. What mother takes her newborn baby out to chase down a murderer? This just boggles my mind. And stupid. Omigod, she’s constantly forgetting stuff — I will give her points for never forgetting her baby. She doesn’t want to go back to her job because she just wants to stay home with her baby. Okay, yeah, I get that. And maybe the post-partum aspect is affecting her mind and that’s why she’s making all these incredibly dumb moves.

And, again, I get that Orgain is using a mother’s need to be with her baby to ramp up Kate’s panic about finding a way to make an income that will let her stay with her baby. But, private detective? As clueless as Kate is? I just ain’t buyin’ it.

It’s something of a Keystone Kops with half-truths and lies and Kate running into danger with baby and without. Every other moment finds Kate missing, losing, or forgetting something. God only knows what she’s missing when she’s talking to people. And she trusts everybody! She thinks they’re all telling her the truth. I mean, duhhh. Of course she’s also running around accusing people right and left. It’s a darn good thing Kate stocked the freezer with frozen dinners and they have all those takeout menus, ’cause Kate never seems to get to the grocery store.

Then there are the break-ins on her car. And she keeps carting her kid around with her. In the first six weeks of giving birth.

On the plus-side, it was a very realistic rendition of a new mother with all the frustrations, aches and pains, and panic over her daughter. I adored Jim’s patience. And the wrap-up at the end was cute.

The Story

Kate is two days overdue, so naturally her water just has to break when they get some fearsome news on the phone. It’s a worry that Kate and Jim put on hold until a few days after Laurie’s birth when Kate goes down to the morgue to pick up George’s personal effects. Where she meets Michelle on the same errand. Just not picking up effects.

People are dying right and left with Kate poking her nose in everywhere.

The Characters

Kate Connolly is pregnant and on maternity leave from her job as an office manager for an architectural firm. She’s a fanatical list maker, which I’m assuming is supposed to be cute. Jim Connolly works for an advertising firm that isn’t particularly loyal to its employees. Laurie is the new baby. Kate’s mom is amazing. She’s always there to help out, and she adores Jim. Hanks is a guy mom hooks up with on

George Connolly is Jim’s ne-er-do-well younger brother. Uncle Roger took George in when their parents died, and just never left. Until recently. The pregnant Kiku Ajari met and fell in love with George at El Paraiso. Even she doesn’t know the truth.

Paula is one of Kate’s best friends but currently living in France.

Michelle Dupree Avery is an old school friend/rival of Kate’s. Her husband Brad was planning on leaving her. Rich Hanlen is Brad’s best friend and the assistant manager of El Paraiso, Michelle and Brad’s restaurant. Svetlana Avery is Brad’s first wife; their daughter Penny drowned when she was three. Jennifer Miller used to work at El Paraiso and switched to Svetlana’s store, Heavenly Haight. KelliAnn Dupree is Michelle’s half-sister.

Nick Dowling is with the medical examiner’s office. Inspector Patrick McNearny, a major jerk with discretion issues, and Jones are with the SFPD. Josh Garner is a top partner at Jim’s firm and plays poker with McNearny. Investigator Galigani was hired by Brad’s mother, Gloria, to find out the truth, only he has a heart attack and Kate just slips into place.

Dr. Clement is Laurie’s pediatrician who spends more time on initial interviews than in follow-up appointments. Charles Crane is the lawyer they hire when George wants Jim arrested.

The Cover and Title

The cover fits the style perfectly with its cartoonishly messy kitchen littered with baby toys, carriers, and accessories, mom’s endless lists, and, just in case we miss the theme, mom holding the baby and a magnifying glass.

I suspect the title is meant to refer to the baby; in my mind, the Bundle of Trouble is mom.