From: jim ( jim@feltoncpa.org)
Date: 08 Jul 2005

I can recommend Once A Widow, first of the 4 Dr Clinton Shannon novels, highly but then again I am making a study of the Lee Robert/Robert Martin stories. Not especially hard-boiled or noir, it's no cozy either. A lot of death surrounds the characters -- deaths of relatives that bring about present circumstances, as well as murders and other deaths occurring in the story.

What came to my mind when I read it a few months ago was Sherwood Anderson's Grotesqueries read several decades ago: small town people leading lives of quite desperation.

Martin/Roberts did work in a bank briefly in the 1930s and lived at the YMCA a block away -- neither building stands today.

I have found an actual incident in 1946 or so of someone being stranded due in Lake Erie on a small island due to sudden, fierce storm that may have inspired that portion of the story.

There is usually a doctor in his stories -- his brother was a doctor and possible also a coroner, and several of Martin's closer friends were doctors.

All that aside, the novel moves right along and I hope you enjoy it.

Jim Felton

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