The Wolfe Widow is the third installment in the Book Collector Mysteries. Jordan Bingham’s job is to help the formerly wealthy Vera Van Alst improve her vast mystery book collection, while finding deals on other mystery books that they can sell and make a profit on. It is her dream job in spite of the fact that she must put up with a cranky, sharp-tongued employer, an accident-prone and attention deficit Uncle Kevin, who has been hired as maintenance man and gardener and the Senora, Vera’s elderly cook who is constantly urging them to “eat, eat” her delicious Italian food. But after one visit from the mysterious Muriel Delgada, Jordan finds herself fired and cut off from everyone at the Van Alst Mansion. Jordan believes that Muriel is up to no good and she intends to prove it.
But Jordan finds herself on her own as her best friends seem to have gone AWOL and her loving but thoroughly shady Uncles are busy with a “project.” (Better not to ask.) To make matters worse, Tyler “Smiley” Decker is away for police training and not even allowed to use the phone. So Jordan channels her current fictional mentor, Archie Goodwin, to help her get to the bottom of this mystery.
The Book Collector Mysteries are fun, fast-paced, funny adventures with a literary twist. They have witty dialogue, quirky characters and lovable, if not always well-behaved pets. This series is a real treat for cozy mystery lovers. I believe The Wolfe Widow can be read on its own, but I’d recommend starting at the beginning with The Christie Caper and following up with The Sayers Swindle before moving on to The Wolfe Widow. And if you are already a fan – great news – the next installment of this series, The Marsh Madness, is due out in September. I am not familiar with the spotlighted author, Ngaio Marsh. Hopefully I can be up to speed by September. I am hoping to see Dashiell Hammett and/or Raymond Chandler featured in upcoming books.
The Book Collector Mysteries are written by Victoria Abbott, the mother-daughter team of Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini. This is Victoria’s first mystery series but Mary Jane is the author of books starring Camilla MacPhee, Fiona Silk and Charlotte Adams.
I listened to the audio version of this series, narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer. She has narrated over 50 books and won an audioFile earphones award. Mercer-Meyer did a great job of voicing the many different characters. Her comic timing and pacing were perfect. She has also narrated Heather Blake’s Magic Potion books.