Super action-filled entry in the continuing story of Betty Jones, Avon Lady extraordinaire!
Episode 18, “A Jar of Pickles,” opens in the middle of a maelstrom! Betty’s daughter, Nancy, has unwittingly discovered and revealed that the man she’s always known as her father is not her biological parent. The shock of her uncovering this secret not only has Nancy reeling but Jacob Lawrence and Adina Sonberg as well, and it leads to a bitter, perhaps relationship-ending, argument between the two.
Hurt and feeling betrayed by the revelation, Adina still heads into work at St. Augustine’s to prepare a big library program for the boys and to spend some time with her favorite orphan, Teddy. Her emotional rollercoaster continues when a woman arrives looking for her son, who had been taken from her at birth and sent to an unknown orphanage. Shocked, Adina covers up the possibility that the child the woman is seeking may actually be Teddy.
Meanwhile, Betty and Jacob follow up on a new lead to the whereabouts of “The Tin Man,” which takes them to the home of Jacob’s mother and father. They believe that his father may hold the key to “The Tin Man’s” background from the time when he was the police commissioner.
Still hurting about her discovery, Nancy is supposed to be babysitting Georgie while her mother is making her Avon appointments. Since Adina had brought Teddy to her home next door to hide him from his birth mother, he and Georgie are happily playing together in the yard, so Nancy leaves them on their own and heads to the neighborhood park to sulk and brood. There she is approached by a sympathetic stranger, a woman, to whom she confides all her woes. But the woman is not just some helpful neighbor, she’s the diabolical mind behind “The Boudoir Butcher” murders, and Nancy has just played into her evil hands.
“A Jar of Pickles” is another super episode in the ongoing Betty Jones series, and it is bigger and more action-packed than ever. Betty’s and Jacob’s pasts are unfolding, and their joint investigation into “The Boudoir Butcher” killings is finally gaining ground. Emotions run high throughout, and Betty pulls out all the stops to save her daughter. Once again, the fight scenes are fabulous, and the WWII-New York setting remains a winner.
I highly recommend this episode to readers following the exploits of this kick-ass Avon Lady and the entire series to those that enjoy historical mystery/thrillers featuring a strong female protagonist. The books are episodic, and I recommend they be read from the beginning in chronological order.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author.
(The Lady Vigilante series was formerly titled Avon Calling!.)