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All the Dead Fathers (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries) Hardcover – March 10, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Wild Onion Ltd. Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Walker's riveting fourth mystery to feature Dugan, a lawyer, and Kirsten, the proprietor of the Wild Onion detective agency, the sleuthing couple pursue a savagely efficient murderer. A self-appointed executioner has targeted priests charged with various abuses, and Kirsten's estranged uncle happens to be on the death list. Against the protests of lawyer Dugan, who has no sympathy for his wife's formerly beloved relative, Kirsten agrees to help the marked priests, whose crimes weren't all proven and who are now isolated in a purgatorial prison outside Chicago. Subtle threats chillingly appear in Kirsten's home and office the same day as the first slaying, confirming her theory of the killer's identity, sussed out from a shortlist of known enemies. Kirsten adopts the murderer's malignant logic as she struggles to stay a half-step ahead of her nemesis. Though warned off by the stereotypical FBI suits, she's unable to quit when her blissfully unaware hubby is thrust into the center of the bloodthirsty campaign. Despite a somewhat formulaic plot, the fast pace, well-rendered cast and solid Midwest flavor make this a potential crowd-pleaser.
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"A chilling backstory makes Wild Onion's fourth a complex and creepy puzzler."
--Kirkus Reviews

"[R]iveting fourth mystery…the fast-pace, well-rendered cast, and solid Midwest flavor make this a potential crowd-pleaser." --Publishers Weekly

"A chilling backstory makes Wild Onion's fourth a complex and creepy puzzler."--Kirkus Reviews

(Kirkus Reviews)

"[R]iveting fourth mystery…the fast-pace, well-rendered cast, and solid Midwest flavor make this a potential crowd-pleaser." --Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

Product Details

  • Series: Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (April 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312334540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312334543
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,671,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DAVID J. WALKER is the author of twelve crime novels. His most recent is Company Orders, a 2012 release. David is a former Catholic priest, and this is his first book in which a priest is the protagonist. Its tagline is "Catholic priest meets CIA," and it tells of a priest who learns how much harder it can be to live love than to preach it.

David is the author of the popular "Wild Onion, Ltd." series, a private eye series set in Chicago. The most recent entry in that series, The Towman's Daughters, was published in 2011 to rave reviews, including a "Starred Review" in Kirkus Reviews.

David also wrote the acclaimed 2008 stand-alone suspense novel, Saving Paulo, and co-wrote, with Libby Fischer Hellmann, a novella called The Last Page, which continues to be a big hit in ebook form. David's short story, "A Weekend in the Country," was published in the popular 2006 anthology, Chicago Blues, was reprinted as an ebook addendum to The Last Page, and is available in audiio format as well.

David has been short-listed for the Society of Midland Authors "Best Novel" award. He has been an Edgar® nominee and he has won several Lovie Awards, most recently in 2012 for "Best Private Eye Series." He has served on the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of Private Eye Writers of America, and has been a judge for both the Edgar and Shamus awards.

David is a life-long Chicagoan. He has been a parish priest in Chicago, an investigator with the Chicago Police Department, and an attorney. At present, he is a full-time writer and lives with his wife just north of the city.

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Format: Hardcover
When she was younger Kirsten's uncle Father Michael Dugan helped her through personal problems. Now he has troubles having his name appear on a list of priests who allegedly abused their positions of authority; someone plans to execute those on the list. Kirsten, owner of the Chicago-based private detective firm Wild Onion, Ltd, plans to stop the killer from harming her uncle accused of sex with a seventeen year old minor female.

Her friend lawyer Dugan does not hold Father Michael in the same regard as Kirsten. When she agrees to help her uncle and the other condemned priests, all locked away though the evidence has not yet proven the charges in all cases, Dugan knows he will do likewise. Kirsten develops a short list of probable threats, but when the menace targets Kirsten, she feels she knows the identity of the priesthood killer. Now she must stop him and prove she is right although the FBI wants her off the case and her husband remains oblivious that she is in the eye of the storm.

Readers will enjoy this strong cat and mouse murder mystery because of the antics of Kirsten who though her uncle has crumbled from his exalted spot, will still be there for him because he was there for her when she needed someone, which bewilders Dugan. Although the tertiary characters like the Feds and to a degree the culprit are stereotypes, the lead pair, her spouse, Father Michael, and several other accused priests make a wonderful cast. Fans will enjoy this modern day priestly version of the List of Adrian Messenger.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Occasionally there's an author that makes you say, "Hey, this guy's good. Why haven't more people been reading his work?" They have a style that is readable and engaging without being overly pushy with their story. One such unassuming writer is David J. Walker. This isn't to say that Walker's not been noticed. His first Mal Foley novel, Fixed in His Folly, was nominated for the coveted Edgar award. Even so, it seems not enough people are talking about this talented ex-priest, ex-investigator, ex-lawyer (if you can ex- out of any of those careers to be a writer). Even I haven't given any time to him here. Well, now that's about to end.

Kirsten is an ex-cop turned private eye who loves her lawyer husband. She is the owner/operator of the Wild Onion, Ltd. private investigation firm of Chicago. Her latest case is one brought to her by her uncle, the priest. Fathers who have been listed in the paper as being accused (if not convicted) of child molestation are being brutally murdered one by one. Michael, the uncle, is on the list and that brings a lot of back-story baggage to the novel. Walker makes it work.

Kirsten hires on to provide "protection" for those left on the list (especially those who are appealing their cases to Rome and living for the duration at the Villa St. George monastery). Interspersed with chapters that focus on the killer who has a history of their own that includes priests and Kirsten, Walker weaves a story that hooks you and makes you want to read--on into the night.

All the Dead Fathers is not your run-of-the-mill, weepy-eyed, politically correct whodunit. Nor is it your normal offering of the hardboiled variety.
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