A Way With Widows: A Carl Wilcox Mystery (Walker Mystery)

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9780802731906: A Way With Widows: A Carl Wilcox Mystery (Walker Mystery)

Aaron Feist is dead, his body found halfway up the stairs in Darlene Singer's house. Stella Feist is the prime suspect. The bloody knife lying in the yard is hers, and Aaron and Stella hadn't been getting along all that well recently. But according to Carl Wilcox's sister, Stella would not have murdered her husband.
For Wilcox, the town of Red Ford, North Dakota, harbors plenty of suspects: Feist had been a mite too neighborly, especially around Darlene and her very shy and protected daughter, Carrie.
Stella was known to have a temper.
The members of Feist's swing band weren't happy with their boss.
His business partner may have been giving Feist the business.
And Carl's nephew, Hank, was in love with Stella. Just about a year ago, in fact, he'd briefly laid Aaron Feist out cold.
As Wilcox sorts through the lives of the people of Red Ford, touching wounds old and new, two things are guaranteed: Aaron Feist's murderer will be discovered and Carl certainly does have a way with widows.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In a voice rich with the nuances of the post-Prohibition rural Midwest, Adams's ( A Perfectly Proper Murder ) Carl Wilcox relates his investigation of the death of Aaron Feist. Found on Darlene Singer's stairs "in a puddle of gore," Feist had been stabbed over 12 times. His wife Stella is the prime suspect: the butcher's knife used in the murder was hers, and she believed Feist was being overly attentive to the widow Singer. But Wilcox's sister Annabelle can't believe her friend Stella is guilty and convinces him (he was once a policeman in South Dakota) to look into the case. What he finds is a group of unlikely but possible suspects. They include Frenchy, the tenor-sax player who wanted to take over the dance band that Feist led, and Gene Fox, who co-owned and managed the clothing store founded by Feist's father and who hated paying half the profits to Feist, who did not work there. And there is Stella, who just might be guilty after all. But a second murder prompts Wilcox to search further for a motive. Rich in texture, spare in verbiage, Adams's latest mystery is a trim, satisfying delight.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

The return of Carl Wilcox is always cause for rejoicing, and this installment in his adventures is a pleasure. Called by his sister Annabelle to Red Ford, North Dakota, Carl is supposed to help Annabelle's friend Stella Feist, who has been arrested for the murder of her husband, Aaron, found stabbed to death with Stella's butcher knife. Since everyone in town knew the couple did not get along, the local police lack incentive to look for other suspects. Carl, in his inimitable manner, starts nosing around and comes up with any number of other possibilities, including the attractive Darlene Singer who is so highly protective of her beautiful and retarded daughter, Carrie. As usual, Adams creates a convincing picture of Depression-era, small-town life in the Dakotas. Carl's relationship with his family again provides the subplot, this time centering on his two nephews, Hank and Kip. And for those who always wondered who inspired such a wonderful character as Carl, Adams dedicates this book to his uncle, Sidney Dickey, identified as the genesis of our ne'er-do-well hero. Stuart Miller

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