A Wrongful Death, by Kate Wilhelm, A Book Review

Pin It

Pacific Northwest Authors Series

Author Kate Wilhelm is part in the Pacific Northwest Author series.  Her series takes place in Eugene, Oregon.  This story spends time along the beautiful Oregon Coast as well as in the city.

The novel, A Wrongful Death, is the ninth in the popular Barbara Holloway series. It was the first for me from this author,  but won’t be the last.  I enjoyed it very much.

The characters are likable, the path they take following the clues intriguing.   It was a complicated story where several of the characters are not what they seem.

The Story

Barbara Holloway is an attorney who is considering a change, in career and perhaps in life as well.  On a trip to consider what she wants from her life, Barbara heads from Eugene, Oregon to the coast.  Staying in a cabin there, she nearly runs into a frightened young boy who seeks her help when his mother is hurt.   When she goes for help the woman and her son disappear.

Soon after the woman is found dead, her son missing.  Everyone thinks Barbara knew why the woman was hiding, what she had been doing.  Everyone thinks Barbara knows where the boy is.  No one will believe that she didn’t meet with the woman as her attorney.

The more she denies it, the further she in drawn in to the case, to the point where she can’t let it go. Why did someone want the woman dead?  Why had she run in the first place?  When she finally learns the truth, it is only the beginning of the danger.  Someone is willing to kill to keep the knowledge secret.

Barbara and her dad, Frank, have been successful partners in past books as well.  The two attorneys work well together, planning and executing the needed actions.  Private detective, Bailey, is there too, sometimes in the background, more often watching over Barbara.

Throughout the story, Barbara faces a life decision.  Her boyfriend has proposed.  Something is stopping her from saying yes.  The thread of that is well woven into the story.

The writing is smoothly done, an enjoyable read or listen. The book flowed well, with several major surprises and even more suspenseful moments. I did listen to the audiobook, narrated by Carrington McDuffie.  She does well, distinguishing the various voices quite well.

The Author

Over thirty novels written. Besides the Barbara Holloway series, the author has several stand alone suspense novels including some in the science fiction genre.  She was inducted to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2003 even.

She not only writes of the area, but has lived in Eugene, Oregon for many years.  Kate Wilhelm hosts regular writing workshops in Eugene today as co-founder of Clarion Writer’s Workshops.

The First Book of The Series

Death Qualified sounds like a suspenseful start to the Barbara Holloway series.  An attorney who had disappeared for 7 years returns home, and is immediately killed.  When his wife is charged with murder, Barbara’s father asks her to take the case.  Why the case involves the Chaos theory and a mathematician we will have to read to see.  Intriguing.

More features in the Pacific Northwest Author Series…



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment