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The Deputy's Widow Paperback – January 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Arctic Wolf Publishing (January 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980219744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980219746
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,302,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Well researched and fantasticly written.
AngelLesa
J.B. Kohl is a name to remember and I for one will be waiting impatiently for Detective Baker's next adventure.
Alan Draven
You will flip the pages and be entertained.
David Boyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Draven on October 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
1948. Detective Baker is hired by Diana Kramer to track down some love letters she wrote Deputy Chet Ferrebee. Chet's getting married to Marian Drake and the letters might prove to be a problem. Baker's on the newlyweds' trail but before too long, Chet is murdered and Marian is left in a state of shock. She can't identify the killer but she's deeply troubled by the whole affair. It seems Baker's not the only one after those letters. Murder and mayhem ensues.

J.B. Kohl's debut novel is splendid. In fact, it feels more like this book was written by a seasoned writer. Her command of the craft is impressive. Her dialogue is sharp, her characters leap from the page, and the story unfolds at the perfect pace. The Deputy's Widow is a hard book to put down. It reminded me of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer books and I could picture a film similar to the Big Sleep being made to adapt it. I really enjoyed the relationship between Baker and his secretary Edwards, a tough British guy with a shady past. Their back and forth often made me chuckle. Kohl fills the pages with a repertoire of corrupted characters set against a cold winter in Crane Haven.

Whether you're in the mood for a fine mystery done in the tradition of the good old pulp novels of the forties and fifties or simply want to read a page turner that sucks you in from the first chapter, the Deputy's Widow is the book for you. J.B. Kohl is a name to remember and I for one will be waiting impatiently for Detective Baker's next adventure.

Alan Draven,
Author of Bitternest
Editor of Sinister Landscapes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Noirguy on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Modern Noir novels fall into two categories: the neo-noir world of sex and ultra-violence and the retro Noir, period-set books that harken back in plot and style to the glory days of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. The Deputy's Widow is the former. The first in a series about Detective Hamilton Baker there is plenty of set up for the sequels and a charming cast of characters that feel like they could surely go the distance. While the set up of the quirky small town and the seeds of mysteries to come does add some padding not essential to the central case the plot moves briskly through a host of suspects and intertwining mysteries that all come to a satisfying conclusion that is unexpected while not succumbing to the all-too-common mistake of total incredulity.
JB Kohl wears her influences on her sleeve but seeing as we're not getting any more Raymond Chandler books then she has proven herself a worthy author who is here to satisfy those of us who still like a good old fashioned detective story. It's familiar not in a worn-in blanket sort of way but in the way a favorite revolver fits snugly in your hands on a cold winter night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Lloyd on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite a different "Sam Spade or Mike Hammer" cast of characters in this novel. Younger readers will wonder if anyone could smoke that much or get beat up that much, but back in the late 40's that's the way it was. Usually, every novel I read becomes predictable, but not his one. The author has created a great visual picture of the 40's country club, asylum, cafes, cars and old office buildings. I caught only one factual error in the book. See if you can find it too. It's trivial but dated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd F. Ritchey on March 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Deputy's Widow:

Hard-as-nails Detective Baker confronts bone-breaking wise guys, truculent cops, and sexually charged femmes fatales in this gritty murder mystery staged in a 40's New York town. Story and characters are evocative of Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett (Baker is perhaps like Sam Spade played by a younger, tougher Humphrey Bogart). But author J.B. Kohl has her own, strong noir voice.

This reader was sorry to reach the book's conclusion, wanting to spend more time with the colorfully drawn characters and linger in the tough world where men are quick with the "heaters" and fast with the fists--and the dames "fill the room with fire." I look forward to J.B Kohl's next Detective Baker novel.

Now, where did I put those unfiltered Camels?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Deputy's Widow by J.B. Kohl evokes the tough guy, private eye novels of Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane and Dashiell Hammett. The story takes place just after World War II somewhere in upstate New York. Kohl uses the snows of winter to create an atmosphere as thick as the fog of San Francisco or the sunlit boulevards of Los Angeles used by her predecessors. These snows reflect the impenetrableness of the mystery that descends on the small town of Crane Haven, suburb of a larger metropolis only know as The City.

Kohl's antihero is Hamilton Baker - though you almost never hear the first name. He's Baker to everyone. Why does a tough guy need two names? He's a down on his luck shamus, facing eviction and desperate for any case that will pay the rent. But Baker isn't just a stereotype. He still grieves for his lost wife, reads Edgar Allen Poe and Chaucer, and has moral dilemmas - at least for awhile. He's assisted by his polar opposite, Edwards, a sophisticated and prim British gentleman, with a mysterious connection to the underworld. These two make a team unique in detective fiction.

Of course Baker gets his case - or cases. First to hit him is the murder of his own brother, a feckless gambler who made the mistake of borrowing money from Leadfoot Barone. Now Barone wants Baker to assume the debt and uses the logic of his boot to convince him to pay. Naturally Baker doesn't take this lying down, but manages to alter Barone's face and lame the two goons he brought with him. This puts him in trouble with some serious people.

Then Baker is tossed an easy lob - a dame named Diana Kramer wants to recover some letters from a not so ex-lover named Chet Ferrebee. Only trouble is Ferrebee is the Deputy of the title and son of the local Sheriff.
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