cover image The Wicked Widow

The Wicked Widow

Beatriz Williams. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-314244-2

Williams continues her Wicked City series (after the Wicked Redhead) with an engrossing New York City mystery spanning several decades. In 1998, Ella Dommerich moves into her boyfriend Hector’s Greenwich Village walk-up, following her separation from Patrick, the father of her unborn child. Ella’s aunt Julie asks her to use her investigative skills as a financial analyst to dig up dirt on Senator Frank Hardcastle, a presidential candidate who was once married to another relative of Ella and Julie’s, and to whom Julie bears a grudge. In a parallel narrative set in 1924, Geneva Kelly marries Oliver Anson Marshall and they move into the townhouse later occupied by Hector and Ella. After Louis Hardcastle, the head of an East Coast bootlegging organization, is murdered, Louis’s son blames Anson, a former Prohibition enforcement special agent, and Anson decides to fake his death and go into hiding to protect Geneva. As Ella continues to delve into the background of the Hardcastle family while enduring prenatal nausea, she discovers connections to Patrick’s employer and some financial anomalies, and ropes Patrick in to an increasingly dangerous situation. Williams’s fast-paced story line features engaging dialogue and thematic connections between Ella and Geneva. Series fans will eat this up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Oct.)