Sunday, September 21, 2014

THE WOLFE WIDOW by Victoria Abbott

Victoria Abbott’s The Wolfe Widow hit home for me.

In my work, I’ve seen widows fleeced, sometimes by family, sometimes by hired helpers, and sometimes by professionals.

Often these women (for me, it was women, occasionally couples) refuse to admit what is happening. They end up impoverished.

Taking advantage of the elderly is an “under the radar” crime.

In The Wolfe Widow, curmudgeonly Vera Van Alst loses much of her collection of Nero Wolfe originals. She is in the process of losing her house when Jordan Bingham intervenes.

Murder, both past and present, forms the foundation for the story.

Jordan is a former employee who feels protective of Vera. One of the first things Muriel Delgado did when she gained control of Vera was to fire Jordan.

Again, this detail is true to life. People who want to fleece the elderly isolate them from their legitimate support.

If all this makes The Wolfe Widow sound heavy, I’m giving the wrong impression. The book is humorous, seasonal (Thanksgiving), has interesting characters, and includes many references to Nero Wolfe. The book pays homage to Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

Jordan’s repeated harping on how alone she is  irritated me. Other than that, I found the book to be a joy.

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