The Three Widows by Bernice Carey (1952)

The Three Widows by Bernice Carey

7 Stars (7/10 stars)

“Elsie seemed to be very calm about the whole thing. She had figured out the reasons—you might even say the excuses—with an astonishing lucidity.

The idea of a woman ‘feeling like murdering her husband’ was not at all inconceivable to her.”

The city of Santa Cruz would rather that no one hear about the dead man on the beach. It is strange that he died of an overdose, yet was found with no pill bottle or personal effects. Still, why disrupt tourist season for what is surely a suicide? The Bladeswells are just passing through town when they happen to overhear a conversation about the death, and two others that have taken place in Yellowstone and Yosemite. “Always middle-aged men an’ no identification, always summer, and in vacation spots, where there’s thousands of tourists coming and going.”

When Mel and Elsie Bladeswell reach the tourist cabins where they have planned to meet their friend Chet, they are amused to find him the target of three husband-hunting widows. The more Mel thinks about those other deaths, however, the less funny it becomes. One of these women may be a little too fond of widowhood. Continue reading “The Three Widows by Bernice Carey (1952)”

Go, Lovely Rose (1954) by Jean Potts

Go Lovely Rose by Jean Potts

8 Stars (8/10 stars)

“Aren’t we ever going to get rid of Mrs. Henshaw? Hasn’t she done enough to Hartley and me without this. She might at least have the decency to die a natural death. But no. She’s got to get herself murdered […] Nothing can stop people like Mrs. Henshaw. I ought to know. I grew up under her thumb.”

Since they were children, Rachel and Hartley Buckmaster have been terrified of the family housekeeper, Rose Henshaw. They can’t even pretend to be sorry when she’s found dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. But it turns out that Rose may have had a little help falling down those stairs. When her brother Hartley becomes the prime suspect, Rachel must probe the town’s deepest secrets to learn why so many people were so afraid of Rose. Continue reading “Go, Lovely Rose (1954) by Jean Potts”

The Man Who Got Away With It (1950) by Bernice Carey

The Man Who Got Away With It by Bernice Carey

6 stars (6/10 stars)

“It was strange how, since it first came up in the Sterling living room, Inez Bailey’s murder had infused his thoughts. The girl had died; but for him at least the crime still lived, as it must live with her murderer, his inescapable companion. Would the twenty-year-old crime emerge even yet to affect the living?”

Two decades ago, Inez Bailey was found strangled beneath the lilacs. It was a shame, everyone agreed, but, after all, she wasn’t exactly a “nice girl.” With some of the most prominent men in Los Alegres rumored to have been involved with Inez, the town fathers quickly shut down the murder investigation. Everyone went on with their lives and forgot about Inez Bailey, except for one person…her killer. Continue reading “The Man Who Got Away With It (1950) by Bernice Carey”

The Evil Wish (1962) by Jean Potts

The Evil Wish by Jean Potts 1962 book cover

8 Stars (8/10 stars)

“We are stuck with each other and with our left-over murder till death do us part. Death. Not his, but somebody else’s. Because we set death in motion, we geared ourselves for it, and we can’t stop it now, we’ve got to…”

Life with a domineering father hasn’t been easy for Lucy and Marcia Knapp. Dr. Knapp sabotages his daughters’ relationships, endlessly criticizes them, and expects them to wait on him hand and foot. At least, they think, they’ll always have a home with him. Then they overhear their father’s plans to marry his nurse (and give her the house), a disaster that can be averted only by his death. Their father simply has to die. But the two sisters will soon learn to be careful what they wish for. Continue reading “The Evil Wish (1962) by Jean Potts”