The Winter Widow Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Winter Widow

Susan Donovan , a cynical San Francisco cop, probably didn't believe in love at first sight - until she happened to meet Daniel Wren at a police convention. The two wed quickly, and Susan makes the difficult decision to leave S.F. and move to Hampstead, Kansas, the small town where Daniel is the Chief of Police.
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About six weeks later, Daniel is felled by a sniper's bullet. Suddenly widowed, alone in a new place and in the mood for revenge and closure, Susan somehow manages to convince Hampstead's mayor to name her interim chief, so she can investigate Daniel's murder.

Susan knows all eyes will be on her because she is an outsider and a woman, and must earn the respect of her fellow officers she now has under her.

Before long, she has another murder on her hands: that of Lucille Guthman, a young woman who worked for the local newspaper, found strangled to death in a hotel room. Susan suspects that Lucille's own investigations into Daniel's death and other possible clandestine activities in the town made her a danger to the killer.

But with little progress being made, the mayor of Hampstead threatens to remove Susan from her position. Susan must put aside her fears of failure and grief in order to get to the bottom of things before she is yanked from the job. While the rookie chief makes mistakes and stumbles several times, her single-minded pursuit of justice makes up for her inexperience. In the end Susan must play a dangerous game of hide-and-seek against a killer who will do anything to elude capture, with a rifle in his hands.
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Chapter Analysis of The Winter Widow

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript
Charlene Weir Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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