- 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 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,363,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Deputy's Widow Paperback – January 28, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Author of Bitternest
Editor of Sinister Landscapes
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.
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?
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's 1948 in Crane Haven, New York. Detective Hamilton Baker is on the case. Welcome to The Deputy's Widow. J. Read morePublished on April 14, 2009 by David Boyle
The Deputy's Widow by J.B. Kohl is a great read. I instantly found the characters intersting and fun to read about. Read morePublished on January 6, 2009 by J. Kretschmer
The Deputy's Widow. A must read from JB Kohl. She has traveled through a time warp and brough back the 40's detective and the tommy gun. Read morePublished on September 6, 2008 by AngelLesa
J.B. Kohl has brilliantly succeeded in capturing the noir essence in her debut novel "The Deputy's Widow. Read morePublished on May 1, 2008 by Mary Menzel
I am sure that this is a great author just based upon her love of a cheater!
Since I don't read anything but technical manuals, I can not give an accurate review, but I... Read more