Thursday, June 17, 2010
The Winter Widow by Charlene Weir
Title: The Winter Widow
Author: Charlene Weir
ISBN: 0373261284, Worldwide Mystery, 1993
Genre: Police Procedural, #1 Susan Wren mystery
Source: Paperback Swap
First Line: Definite disadvantages to being chief of police, Dan Wren thought as he headed the pickup along the graveled, hilly road past tree-dotted fields with barbed wire fences.
Thirtysomething San Francisco police officer Susan Donovan meets the man of her dreams at a conference. Within six weeks, she's married, she's moved to northeastern Kansas with her police chief husband, Dan Wren... and she's a widow. Susan gets herself appointed temporary chief of police and vows to find her husband's killer. When another person dies, the mayor wants her gone, but Susan manages to get a five-day reprieve. Will she find the killer before time runs out?
Mysteries set in Kansas are not common, and Weir skillfully guides us through a Great Plains winter, the vagaries of the multi-million-dollar bull sperm business, and a search for a toxic waste dump. All that was interesting and the pace moved right along. What didn't work for me was the main character. It wasn't until the end of the book that I ever felt that Susan had been a police officer on the San Francisco police force. She didn't use her brain; she let her rage and grief take command and lead her into numerous dangerous situations. I tried to take it easy on her, allowing her time to grieve, but sooner or later when a character keeps behaving like the blonde bimbo in a slasher movie, I'm going to hold the basement door open for her the next time there's a weird noise down there.
To sum it up: fine setting, good pace, and the murderer was not easy to spot; however, the main character got on my last nerve. Toto, I took the first plane out of Kansas.
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.