Pins by Christine Todd
One of my support-a-small-press purchases, which I heard about first on Sally Zigmond's blog (again). Molly finds concrete evidence her husband's been playing away, and buys voodoo dolls of him and his lover to stick pins in. Next morning her husband wakes up dead of an aneurysm.
Molly's guilt-ridden, and worried when the handsome detective seems to take quite an interest in her. As the months pass she finds hubby had a string of lovers, and had been undermining her ad agency business. She rebuilds her business as she rebuilds her life, and eventually realises the detective's interest in her is personal rather than professional. A year on, there's hope for her future.
It's a novel about finding yourself, being who you need to be rather than who someone else expects you to be. Why did her husband keep hurting her like that? Well, says the wise funeral-director character, probably because he wanted to.
I enjoyed this novel - it's written in first person present tense and has a snappy style. It's quite American in places (set in Chicago; the author is English but lived for years in the US) and there's plenty of humour. Couple of small points didn't work for me - Molly had a secondary career as a non-fiction writer and had this career to get back on track as well which seemed unnecessary. (Why do writers so often make their characters writers as well?) Related to this, she was writing gardening articles but preferred to sell her marital home with a big garden and look for a high rise condo which she felt was more 'her'. I'd have had the properties the other way round.
Overall a good read and definitely recommended.