Monday, September 29, 2014

Review and Giveaway: The Wolfe Widow

The Wolfe Widow (Book Collector Mystery - Book 3) by Victoria Abbott

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425255301
ISBN-13: 978-0425255308

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Victoria Abbott on the WEB: website, twitter, facebookgoodreads

Books in the series

Book Collector Mystery

1. The Christie Curse
2. The Sayers Swindle
3. The Wolfe Widow

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, The Wolfe Widow, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Check out the quote from Debbie's Book Bag on the cover!


As Thanksgiving approaches, Jordan Bingham is grateful for her job researching rare books for Vera Van Alst, the infamous curmudgeon of Harrison Falls, New York. But when an uninvited guest makes an appearance, much more than dinner is disrupted—and Jordan is thankful just to be alive…
Vera Van Alst doesn’t normally receive visitors without appointment, but she agrees to see the imperious Muriel Delgado upon arrival. Shortly thereafter, Jordan is told that her position is being terminated. Evicted from the Van Alst House, Jordan is determined to find out what hold Muriel has over her erstwhile employer.
It seems Muriel has designs on Vera’s money and property—not to mention a particular interest in her collection of Nero Wolfe first editions. When Jordan discovers a deadly connection between Muriel and the Van Alst family, it’s up to her to put the house in order and stop a killer from going back to press.


Calling all book lovers! The collaborative effort which is Victoria Abbott has released the latest book in the Book Collector mystery series, The Wolfe Widow. Readers who are in love with books will truly find this series captivating. Each book in the series has focused in some part on a particular author and this time it is Rex Stout and his infamous character, Nero Wolfe. Readers are treated to a mystery that doesn't necessarily involve a murder. A rare thing for the cozy genre. Victoria Abbott once again thrills readers with humor, plenty of sleuthing and some very eccentric characters. A great addition to the series!

What I liked:

Did I ever mention I love a good mystery? LOL! The Book Collector Mystery series, strikes a cord with me on a lot of levels. First and foremost, I have been a cozy reader all the way back to high school when I started reading Agatha Christie, who in my opinion was the forerunner to the cozy genre we have today. Victoria Abbott's nod to some of the great mystery writers of the past with this series, is phenomenal. Some readers may not have read these authors, but they certainly have heard of them and getting to find out more about their work in the form of a good mystery is so much fun. Abbott knows how to incorporate interesting facts about authors and books into her mysteries and I think real book lovers truly appreciate that.

Jordan finds herself in quite a pickle with this book, not only does a mysterious woman appear who seems to have some kind of ominous control over her employer, Vera Van Alst, but she ends up back where she started. Jordan is the one member of her family that has chosen the straight and narrow way instead of a life of crime and getting fired from her job as the procurer of Vera Van Alst's rare book collection has certainly set her back. Abbott uses a lot of humor in her writing and it often centers around Jordan's rather dubious uncles who still have their hands in a few pots too many. I loved the development of Jordan's story in this one. She has to fight for position and her uncles actually come to her rescue in a few situations. The more I learn about this family the more I like them. Not only is Jordan a great sleuth, but she is also a great person. Her growth in this one was a joy to read.

Now I am all for a good murder or two to give a cozy mystery the oomph it needs to get going, but sometimes it just isn't necessary. There was a murder attempt and some murder in the background so to speak but Victoria Abbott proves you don't have to have murder as the main conflict to make a cozy mystery work. The real story in this book was what kind of control did Muriel Delgado have over Vera? How does anybody have control over Vera? I love that old lady, she has spunk, determination and she doesn't give a darn what anybody thinks about her. She is an amazing character and I loved the fact that Abbott makes her curmudgeony and grumpy and very likable underneath it all. Abbott pulled it off... a cozy that doesn't rely on a murder. Well done!

What I didn't like:

When you have a dastardly villain appear on the scene, you want to dislike them. You want to feel that thing in your gut go, hmmmm, I don't like that character. Muriel, though certainly formidable, didn't make me scared. She kind of made me mad, but she didn't strike fear into me, like some bad guys do. Though that's often the case in cozies, I wanted to be a little more afraid of what she was up to. Not a deal breaker though, this was a fantastic book, regardless of the fear factor.

Bottom Line:

This series just keeps getting better and better. Abbott obviously loves good mystery writing and she uses it to her advantage. Book lovers and mystery lovers alike will love the nods to the greats, the humor that pervades this series and the great characters that are hard to forget. I want some of Signora's prosciutto sammies!

The Wolfe Widow is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Victoria Abbott is a pseudonym for a collaboration between seasoned mystery author Mary Jane Maffini and her daughter Victoria. Mary Jane, a former mystery bookstore owner, is the author of the Camilla MacPhee, Fiona Silk, and Charlotte Adams series. They live outside Ottawa, ONT.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Wolfe Widow by Victoria Abbott.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 13th.

1. Please leave a comment about your favorite mystery series growing up? The main character mentions the Trixie Beldon series which is my favorite. 

2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

Mysteries which I enjoyed greatly were Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks for the great review. We are happy about FIVE APPLES!!! We hope to scare you one of these days, but only in the nicest way.


Victoria and MJ

Unknown said...

The only one I can think of was Columbo

Linda Kish said...

I liked the Nancy Drew books.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I really liked Trixie Belden too! Read lots of Nancy Drew, and my mom dug up some old Phyllis Whitney books that were young adult mysteries and always very interesting. Many took place in other countries. Thanks!

Rita Wray said...

I grew up in Australia and loved the Secret Seven Series books by Enid Blyton.

cupcake58 said...

I loved the Nancy Drew books growing up.

lag123 said...

Nancy Drew was my favorite.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Karen B said...

Nancy Drew. Three of us bought and shared so we could read them all.

justpeachy36 said...

Trixie Beldon was definitely my favorite!

Thanks for stopping by Mary Jane! Loved the book!

Sue Farrell said...

Nancy Drew was my favorite.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I didn't read a lot of mysteries as a child but when I was a teenager I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark w/ my step mom.

cyn209 said...

oh, it would have to be the NancyDrew series!!!!

Unknown said...

In book form: Nancy Drew and for TV: Murder She Wrote

Texas Book Lover said...

Like many other commenters Nancy Drew was my favorite too!

Unknown said...

I loved Nancy Drew followed by the Dana Girls, The Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden!

Donna E said...

Nancy Drew &/or Hardy Boys were probably my early favorite mystery series growing up. But Trixie Beldon was certainly a close 3rd. But then I started reading Agatha Christie when I was a bit older. Loved Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

donna {dot} durnell {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

Malka E said...

i loved Trixie Beldon and Robin Kane,and Phyllis A Whitney's children's mysteries

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite mystery series growing up was Nancy Drew. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Natasha said...

I loved Nancy Drew.
Thanks for the chance to win!

bn100 said...

Sherlock Holmes

Michelle F. said...

I also loved Trixie Belden, The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys. I started reading Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and other British mysteries when I was about 13.

Unknown said...

I remember the Trixie Beldon books. I made my dad name a dog after her. :D