The Undertaker's Widow
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The Undertaker's Widow

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  896 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In this legal thriller, a young judge in Portland, Oregon, struggles to save his marriage and his career after he becomes personally involved in the murder case he's adjudicating. The judge, Richard Quinn, is a deeply principled man who has proven himself an honorable and fair-minded public servant. When an extremely wealthy undertaker is murdered in his mansion in the Wes...more
Published (first published 1998)
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Jenn
Well I don't know why this book was on my "Read" bookcase...because I just finished it and I KNOW that I haven't read this before.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable thriller as thrillers go. Judge Richard Quinn is a very solid, upstanding, and honest judge who is faced with some incredibly hard choices as he is given a high profile murder case. He makes for a good lead character and one that you do root for as he tries to balance upholding the law with some unexpected personal upheavals.

It's important...more
Ron
Good story in the mode of John Grishim. Takes place in Portland, OR and includes homocides, double crosses and who-dunnit with a lot of twists and turns. Light reading and not very deep but still interesting.
Linda Fast
The Undertakers Widow was an ok read but there were too many people involved in the murders and deceipts. I found myself going back and rereading to get everyone straight.
Ellen Crease shoots an house intruder who has murdered her very wealthy husband Lamar in an apparent robbery attempt. Crease is an ex cop who is running for the Oregon Senate and after the intruder is identified with a large amount of money located in his residence allegations begin to surface.
Who was behind the murder? Was it...more
Colette

Phillip Margolin writes some really good books! I will admit that this one took me a few chapters to get into but then the twists and turns started. A conscience judge presides over the trial of a woman running for senate that has been accused of killing her husband and an intruder. He is dealing with his marriage on the rocks and a separate vacation/business trip that doesn't turn out to be what they expected. The lives of the two people running for senate and their respective supporters vs eac...more
Mary
Have enjoyed this author in the past. Starting out with a murder in which the intended victim may have killed the shooter when her husband was shot. (not sure yet) Tension and mystery right to the end. Keeps you guessing.
Michael Harrington
Another good read by Margolin. He is very consistent. He writes well--not over the top, with too many turns and endings.
Susan
This is not the most finely crafted novel I have ever read but it is one who's plot I hope I forget soon so I can read it again. Sometimes you just need the kind of book where you step into the first chapter and step out the last page and just enjoy it. That's this one. Judge Richard Quinn is working his way up the judicial ladder but he's still a man - pretty flawed as it turns out and not able to pick up on the big clues, but you like him. The philandering husband of a local husband is murdere...more
VLynch
I am a big fan of legal thrillers, and this book was right at the top with some of my favorites. I enjoyed talking to my family and thinking about "Judges, should we hold them at higher standards? Or are they just humans who make human mistakes?". This book is a great book at a judge who finds himself in a rather difficult situation and how tries to handle it. I recommend this book for those who enjoys Rebecca Forester and John Grisham books. The style is very similiar.
Dennis
Mar 19, 2008 Dennis rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking to pass time painlessly
As mass-market mysteries go, this was better than most as it didn't rely heavily on incredible coincidences or stretches of the imagination, nor was it too predictable - but it wasn't full of surprises, either. What was best about it was the moral dilemna posed for the main character but neither this nor the hunt for the killer took me too deep. Disposable reading at its best.
Kristen
In three days, I finished my first of my January books, while I'll pick up three on Tuesday and start reading them on Wednesday, to report for this week. This is a great legal thriller with lots of drama, intrigue and suspense, throughout the book, right into the ending. I'll be reading two more of his books this month, when they come in from the library (both requested yesterday).
Sarah
I really liked Judge Quinn. He gained so much trust from the reader in this story. I always knew there was something sketchy about Ellen Crease. I'm happy with the way Quinn's life panned out. I missed what had happened to Prise or it may not have been touched on again in the story. But all inall a great first read for me from Margolin. I hope to read a few more.
Kristen
This is a great story with lots of twists and suspense. It begins as a murder mystery, and then ties in a story about the judge who will be on the murder case. The judge is being blackmailed by the murderer, and other people end up dying throughout the novel. The ending ties up the story very well. I would love to read other novels by this author.
Breia
I really like Phillip Margolin. He is an excellent author and really keeps me interested in his stories. This book was slightly predictable but it kept me turning the pages. There were a lot of characters and found myself having to think who each one was at times. If you like crime/legal books, Phillip Margolin is the way to go.
Eric Mann
I am becoming a fan of Margolin. He brings interesting characters, great plot and easy pace to legal thrillers. I really appreciate that he doesn't feel the need to spend too much time in the courtroom or on the crime scene like some rehashed Law & Order episode but rather we get to follow the characters and see how the story unfolds.
Maurean
I LOVED this book! A great story from start to finish, with unexpected turns right to the very last page!!

A cold-blooded murder. A beautiful suspect. An honest judge forced to do the unthinkable.

As always, Margolin delivered a remarkable and suspenseful page-turner! One of his best
Pat Phillips
Once again, Margolin's main character, a judge, faces conflict as he presides over a case. He is threatened to "fix" a case. He does, but perhaps not the way he was ordered to do. There are more bad guys than good guys in this one, and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. Good story.
Ruth Niles
First time I've read Phillip Margolin, I will read more by him. A Senator is accoused of hiring a hit on her husband, she's not really guilty......or is she? Margolin keeps you guessing and presenting facts that make you change your mind a couple times.
Jerry
This is for the audio book. Started off great, four stars for the first half, but lost momentum as it got closer to the end. Not crazy about the narrator for this one, and that might be part of it.. otherwise, okay, but doesn't stand out as anything great.
Sarah Jowett
It was an interesting story, even though it took a while to get into because I didn't understand the connecting with all the characters at the beginning and it took a while to get them together.
Iris
This book was a fast paced thriller which had me wrapped in the story from the beginning. With lots of twists and turns, I had no clue that it would end the way it did!! I am now a fan!!
Marilyn
Judge Richard Quinn is very young for a judge. His ethics are impeccable, until the day arrives when he finds himself blackmailed into a situation that looks absolutely hopeless.
Will
Not much surprise in this book since we "feel" what's coming while reading it ... except in the end!!! but I have to admit that the plot is quite interesting...
Joe O'c
Excellent; judge works to find out if Senate candidate murdered her husband, or whether it was her opponent or step-son; meanwhile, he's being blackmailed.
Darlene
I can't say enough about this author. Have to slow down my reading because I'm already dreading have no more books of his to read!!!! Super!
Jill
Dec 31, 2011 Jill rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: legal thriller, mystery, phillip margolin
I thought this book was just okay. It was a little too predictable. But the characters were fun and entertaining. The setting was different.
Lisa Ullmer
Plot was contrived. The last half of the book was gripping but the first half was so obvious that I nearly stopped reading the book.
Lily
Writing is too descriptive for me, and that bores me. Too many metaphors etc. Just get to the point already.
Debbi
I give 5 stars plus. I can't put any of his books done. I've read one after another. I love this man's writings.
Susan Rowe
Meh. A waste of time. I wish I had followed my rule and quit after 100 pages, but I thought it was getting better.
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