Our hero, Brett Murphy, is every girl’s dream, but he has a problem with our heroine, Serena Murphy. Besides the fact that they are related by marriage, there is more between them than first meets the eye. Serena’s deteriorating state is lost on him at first when he comes to town asking questions about his brother’s mysterious disappearance. In his eyes, the residents of Victory Cove are all suspects including Serena.
Serena, on the other hand, seems to have a death wish regarding her brother-in-law, which appears to be insurmountable. She has her own ideas about her husband’s disappearance which leads the reader to assume that she is either deranged or at the very least deserving of Brett’s suspicions. As the story develops and the mystery unfolds, so does their on again, off again relationship. In the end, it was not what either of them expected. Her warm descriptions of O’Flanagan’s Tavern has me yearning for a trip up the eastern seaboard and a bottle of Allagash beer.
Grammar/Spelling: I found very few typos and/or grammatical errors in Widow’s Tale. Maureen put together an excellently edited work with no more errors than a reader might expect to find in a Danielle Steele novel.
Character Development: The characters are very well developed over the course of the novel with emphasis on the two main characters, Serena and Brett. Her descriptions of them paint wonderful pictures of two very real persons with real issues and real emotions.
Two secondary, but very distinct personalities were also well portrayed. My personal favorite was Harriett, who ran a local fishing tackle and charter boat operation. She is a very colorful character that added a touch of humor to the situation.
Writing Style: Ms. Miller’s writing style is fresh and clean with little if any distraction from the storyline. The action flows as smooth as melted chocolate. Mmmm. And is just as sweet. She draws the reader into a frenzied state of anticipation and then backs off (I would say just like a good lover, but that might offend someone.) She knows how to bring her characters and scenes to life without exaggeration or graphic displays of affection. Certainly, she is able to turn out a grand romance with style, mystery and adventure woven into the tapestry.
The dialog is realistic and believable and quite colorful according the coastal folks in the area.
Continuity: I did not notice any problems with time-lines other than the fact that it seemed we would never get to the nitty-gritty and that just keeps the reader interested.
Overall Rating: 5-
Overall, I gave the book good marks in everything from plot to grammar and spelling. Widow’s Tale does justice to the romantic suspense genre and is well worth the reader’s time. I would recommend it to everyone who likes romance stories tied into quaint settings, mysteries, thriller and just a bit of ghost suspense thrown in for a very pleasing experience.
Character Interview with Harriett Morgan
Harriett Morgan of Widow’s Tale talks about Maureen Miller and other things related to the novel in which she plays a supporting character.
Celia: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Harriet: I wanted to catch the killer, but they said I was overweight…well, actually they weren’t that delicate.
Celia: Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
Harriet: God no! The last time I tried to get into one of her dreams she had me battling a giant fly armed only with a mozzarella stick.
Celia: What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Harriet: Drink beer and catch up on gossip. I do that while I’m being actively read as well. I enjoy it.
Celia: Are you currently in a relationship?
Harriet: No. No. There was one man for me and he passed on ten years ago.
Celia: Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
Harriet: Romantic suspense. That’s just fancy mumbo jumbo for ‘you get to have hanky panky while you run around saying, “Oh my God. Oh my God.”‘ Yeah, it fits.
Celia: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Harriet: I’d make Cooper Littlefield open up his wallet for once in his life and buy something at my tackle shop. Cheap #$%@!
Celia: Do you like the way the book ended?
Harriet: Oh yeah. I was there. I liked it.
Celia: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?
Harriet: I hear rumors she has me in one.
Celia: Do you believe that you are suitably portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?
Harriet: E-books flatter my figure.
Celia: Did you have any input into the book cover design?
Harriet: Yeah, I told her to hold the camera steady.
Celia: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?
Harriet: The ability to eat without gaining weight.
Note from Celia: Harriett was a good sport, though a bit gruff at times. She has a good sense of humor and certainly has the ability to put a person at ease. Not a bad person to have around in a pinch! Thanks, Harriett!