“No Odes to Widows,” by Kay Taylor Burnett, iUniverse Inc., 287 pages, $18.95.


An ode is a lyrical verse, praising or glorifying a subject or individual or nature.

Originating in ancient Greece, odes were later refined by the Romans. As the author of the book notes, there are “no odes to widows.”

Perhaps there ought to be, if only to the three amazing women who have taken on an interesting avocation following the deaths of their husbands.

Widow of well-known lawyer from West Texas, Warren Burnett, Kay Taylor Burnett, who now lives in Naples, Fla., is founder of The Arts Alliance Center in Clear Lake, as well as CEO of an energy company.

If this book is an indication of what lies ahead, this Stanford University Graduate School of Business author will have readers flocking to book stores to purchase her future works.

The book is set in West Texas, near the Davis Mountains, a picturesque section of the state near the small town of Alpine, known for its stark beauty.

Three women have one seemingly unfortunate bond; all are widows. That fact binds the women through good and rough times in life in this small community.

They are now about to embark on two new ventures — supporting a new widow, the wife of a Texas Highway patrolman murdered in the line of duty and discovering who killed him.

Katherine Bell, Susanna Perez and Doris Kemp decide to do their own investigation for unique reasons — Katherine was nearly driven off the road by a small sports car the night of the officer’s death that is now seen in Alpine at a neighbor’s home.

Coincidence or is there something more to the incident? Doris, a criminal justice professor at a nearby college, wants to put into practice what she teaches.

Susanna senses unusual reactions in the newly widowed spouse of the patrolman; she wants to know more.

They also have resolution issues years after their own husband’s death. In investigating the officer’s death, each secretly hopes to put those issues to rest.

With Texas Highway Patrol and the local sheriff’s department both involved, the women realize they must tread lightly so as not to step on investing authorities’ toes.

They need to notify them should they learn anything pertinent to the crime.

It’s a well-developed plot, with characters equally as real. It’s no wonder it received the iUniverse Editor’s Choice Award. Readers will find the book difficult to put down.

Margaret Barno lives in Tyler. She is an avid reader, creative short story writer, mentor and enjoys crossword and jigsaw puzzles.

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