Fowl Play (A Molly West Mystery) (Worldwide Library Mystery)

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9780373262731: Fowl Play (A Molly West Mystery) (Worldwide Library Mystery)

Molly West and her husband have settled among the hills and hollows of Appalachian south central Ohio, where her college professor husband was able to find work. Molly joins a meal delivery program in her area, and the murder of her neighbor's wife allows her to casually ask questions around town on behalf of the police. And though the answers she gets at first don't add up to much, they soon point to a motive--and a murder. Martin's Press.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The author of the essay collection Real Farm (1989) presents her first mystery, and a smooth-running model of a maiden voyage it is, too. Molly West--homemaker/meal-delivery exec, wife to college sociologist Ken (``Dr. K.''), and, after 15 years, still a newcomer to southern Ohio's rural culture--hears of a murder while listening to the morning news and interrogates her next-door neighbor, Sheriff Matins. It seems that the local dealer in chicken feed has been shot to death, and the woman's business partner and ex-husband is a prime suspect, particularly after he admits to embezzlement. But neither Molly nor Matins is happy with this picture, and in the spirit of nosey neighborliness Molly uses her role as purveyor of hot meals to isolated homesteads to crack the case. County fairs, illegal cockfights, and country-visiting propel the plot; meanwhile, sharing detecting honors with Molly and the Sheriff is the feisty matriarch Louella, a retired county commissioner with a taste for gambling. In this large-spirited book filled with likable characters, even the murderer, once targeted, wins our empathy. An amusing, nonhokey debut enhanced by sociological ruminations--thanks to Dr. K.--that would seem a mite slowpoke were they not on such riveting subjects as sex and cockfights. As is, this series-to-be promises valuable emotional access to our vanishing folkways. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Westfall's first novel reads more like a treatise on Appalachian lifestyles than a mystery, but it's an interesting diversion nonetheless. Molly West, 52, still an outsider after 15 years in Appalachian Ohio, helps direct the Meal Van program and is an obsessive list-maker. After hearing about a murder on the local news, she is shocked to learn from her neighbor, Sheriff John Matins, that the suspect is a friend, Dave Breyers, and the victim is his ex-wife, Cathy. Believing Dave innocent, Molly finds an unlikely ally in elderly Louella Chalmers Benton, a client on the Meal Van run with relations throughout the county. With guidance from husband Ken, a local college professor specializing in Appalachian culture, and tips from Louella, Molly discovers that Cathy was involved in a series of illegal cockfights and financial dealings with several good ol' boys. Molly's labors allow her to shorten her list of likely murderers, which includes Tom Powers, a prosperous chicken farmer, and Porter Wilton-Jones (aka Wrongbutton), a deejay. It all leads to an ultimately disappointing conclusion to a book distinguished more by its amusing characters and tender renderings of rural life than by any suspense.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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