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The Wayward Widow (Prologue Books) [Kindle Edition]

William Campbell Gault
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Don’t Mention Murder

It was a vulgar word in the swank millionaire town of San Valdesto. But knocking off a few citizens here and there seemed more than a grave social error to a tough-minded detective like Joe Puma.

It made him sore when he discovered the natives would rather protect a well-bred killer than put up with a low-brow private eye.

So he taught them a lesson and his red-blooded tactics set the town’s blue blood to boiling.

The Wayward Widow. . . another mad whirl on a murder-go round with that damsel-chasing knight in amour - Joe Puma.

Product Details

  • File Size: 306 KB
  • Print Length: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Prologue Books (January 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006UCVK74
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,674 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good detective story July 5, 2012
By Retiree
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With this book I discovered a new (to me) author and a protagonist I enjoyed. Captivating plot and good character development. I'll enjoy Joe Puma again soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This time Puma nails it August 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Publication date: 1959

The elegant Mrs. Dennis Greene said, “Mrs. Witherspoon seems to think you’re some kind of space age Sherlock Holmes. Are you really as successful as your publicity man claims?”
“I have no publicity man, Mrs. Greene. I’ve been lucky lately.”
“She also said you’re quite often insolent. I won’t stand for anything like that, you understand.”
“I charge ten dollars a day extra for the non-insolent service,” I told her. “Why did you want to see me, Mrs. Greene?”
“I wanted you to check into the death of my husband,” she said calmly.

I have not read the Joe Puma series in order, but the ones I have read have always had something to recommend them- far better than OK, but falling short of outstanding. The Wayward Widow, however, was outstanding.

This in spite of the somewhat sleazy theme of a private eye who services his clients by day and by night. W. C. Gault pulls it off because his 'mantasy' stays fairly close to reality. And Puma is a self-deprecating narrator:

The eyes were cold for seconds and then they twinkled and she started to laugh.
“Oh, Puma, you’re well worth the money. Let’s eat. Pick up that phone and call room service, lover boy.”
By one-thirty, my hand felt a lot better but my vision was a little hazy. The urge to sit and soak in the sun and the booze was strong, but I am a man of great moral fibre. I rose resolutely and announced it was time to get back to work. She commended me for my attitude. She kissed me and wished me well and sent me out into the working-man’s world again.

The plot, which is usually WCG's weakest point (since his dialogue and characters are mostly superb), held up from beginning to end, although it might strike devotees of the genre as a bit tried and true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wayward Widow February 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Character driven hard-boiled mystery. Joe Puma, P.I., is tough, cynical, ready to use violence, but not proud of beating people up. Interesting characters, and I didn't guess the ending. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A FUN READ September 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This mystery was a fun read. It felt like I was actually inside the "action". Characters were well-defined and interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerously different July 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual Joe Puma is inserted into a confusing "who-done-it". This time he finds himself falling for the widow who is quite possibly the killer.
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