The Widow's Son: A Rare Book Mystery - Thomas Shawver

This is book #3 in the "Rare Book Mystery" series, featuring former lawyer Mike Bevan. Now he's the proprietor of Riverrun, a book store specializing in antique & first editions, along with main squeeze Josie Majansik. Sounds idyllic, right? Not so much.

Mike's knack for tracking down valuable books frequently lands him in situations more befitting Indiana Jones than a mild mannered bibliophile. In this outing, his attempt to sell an original "Book of Mormon" has dangerous consequences for almost everyone involved.

The book belongs to Emery Stagg, fiance of Mike's friend Claire Phelan. And it's tied to a 170 year old blood oath that began with the murder of Joseph Smith (the widow's son) in 1844. The more Mike learns from Emery, the weirder things get until all of them are dealing with murder, kidnapping, scary ex-cons & even scarier Irish dancers. 


This is a fast paced read with plenty of action & solid plotting. It's narrated by Mike, a decent, likeable guy who's just enough of a smartass to keep things amusing. He tells the story in a chatty style sprinkled with humorous comments about the people & events he encounters. And he's got some serious skills. Think of him as kind of a Cotton Malone "light". 

There are some hair raising moments from the past & present but these are nicely balanced by the banter between Mike & Josie. As the story plays out, the author weaves in sections on the history of the Mormons. If you're a fan of the series, there are some surprises in store regarding Mike's daughter & his relationship with Josie.

It's a quick, entertaining read. And while Mike's adventures may stretch credibility a tad, it's easy to forgive as he & his crew provide a few enjoyable hours of escape from reality.