No murder, not even a crime; yet this mystery was filled with suspense and tension throughout. So glad I read this bit of L.A. noir because it wasn't what I expected. I had no problem getting Joan Crawford out of my head because the real Mildred Pierce (well, the fictional Mildred Pierce, but the one in the novel) is much younger and complex than Crawford's onscreen character -- and the story is rawer. Still, this played out in my head in black and white. Plot: Mildred starts a chicken-and-waffle (!) restaurant that grows into a successful chain, but throughout the many stages of her business and life she remains at the mercy of her manipulative, demanding daughter Veda. You can find Veda on our library blog's list of evil scary children.
And speaking of chicken and waffles (we were talking about that, right?), I did not know that such places existed, nor had I ever used those two words in the same sentence. Ever.