Thursday, November 11, 2021

Book Review: The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams

Pages: 288
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: October 26, 2021
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Wicked City
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "June 1925. Audacious Appalachian flapper Geneva "Gin" Kelly prepares to trade her high-flying ways for respectable marriage to Oliver Anson Marshall, a steadfast Prohibition agent who happens to hail from one of New York's most distinguished families. But just as wedding bells chime, the head of the notorious East Coast rum-running racket--and Anson's mortal enemy--turns up murdered at a society funeral, and their short-lived honeymoon bliss goes up in a spectacular blaze that sends Anson back undercover...and into the jaws of a trap from which not even Gin can rescue him. As violence explodes around her, Gin must summon all her considerable moxie to trace the tentacles of this sinister organization back to their shocking source, and face down a legendary American family at a rigged game it has no intention of losing.  June 1998. When Ella Dommerich's ninetysomething society queen aunt Julie ropes her into digging up dirt on Senator (and Presidential candidate) Franklin Hardcastle in order to settle old family scores, she couldn't be less enthusiastic. Pregnant Ella's recently ditched her unfaithful husband and settled into cozy--if complicated--domesticity with her almost-too-good-to-be-true musician boyfriend, Hector. But then the Hardcastle secrets lead to a web of shady dealings Ella's uncovered in her job as a financial analyst, and the bodies start to tumble out of the venerable woodwork. With the help of her ex-husband and her mysterious connection to a certain redheaded flapper, Ella digs up more than mere dirt...only to discover herself standing alone between a legendarily ruthless family and the prize it's sought for generations.  What ugly secrets lurk in the opulent enclaves--and bank accounts--of America's richest families? And can two determined women from two different generations thwart the murderous legacy of the demon liquor?"


It's 1998 and Ella Dommerich is pregnant except (if readers remember from The Wicked Redhead) things with her husband, Patrick, aren't good. She is moving in with her boyfriend, Hector, who is pretty much the perfect boyfriend despite her very complicated circumstances. Ella is having a tough go with morning sickness, but despite that, things are looking pretty good.  Her Aunt Julie asks for her help by investigating Senator Frank Hardcastle, who is a presidential candidate.  Aunt Julie has it against him for something he did to their family years ago. Then readers travel back to 1924 and are reunited with Geneva Kelly who lives in the townhouse that Ella and Hector currently reside in, but many years previously.  Geneva, otherwise known as Gin, is married to Oliver Marshall and things are looking up since we last saw her, except for the fact that Louis Hardcastle, a bootlegger, blames Oliver for his son's death as Oliver is a Prohibition officer.  Cue all the drama, especially as Ella uncovers some Hardcastle family secrets.  The third installment in The Wicked City series, The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams, will most certainly keep fans of the series flipping the pages.

Gin is one of my favorite feisty heroines. I have really enjoyed following her adventures in The Wicked City series. You can always count on Gin to be bold, entertaining, and she will always get the job done. She makes for an action-packed book.  However, in The Wicked Widow, readers get this from Gin, but they also see her a little more vulnerable as things don't go as planned for her life. Her husband, Oliver, is in trouble, and this time there isn't much she can do.

The Wicked Widow is a dual timeline novel shared between Ella and Gin.  Readers fast forward many years to the late 90s and revisiting Ella's story.  While she isn't nearly as adventurous as Gin, her story is still an interesting one as she is not only pregnant with her philandering husband's child and living with a new boyfriend, she is also knee deep in a mystery surrounding the famous Hardcastle family.  Her Aunt Julie has her do some digging and they uncover more than enough secrets.

The Wicked Widow is action packed. It has romance, bootlegging, Prohibition officers, mysteries, and wealthy family drama.  I hope that Williams continues Gin's story, because I think there is definitely more to explore. If you are new to The Wicked City series, I recommend it to fans of historical fiction that enjoy feisty and outgoing heroines who will keep you glued to the book.

So, are you a fan of Beatriz Williams? Have you read The Wicked City series? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. Gin is such a great character! I'm looking forward to continuing her story.

    1. Love her too! I look forward to your thoughts on this one! Thanks for dropping by.


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