Introducing Art Woods: Murder at the Book Group’s Shadow Son

I told her that I was a flop with chicks, I’ve been this way since 1956 … Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller could have written their 1959 hit song, “Love Potion No. 9,” for Murder on Tour’s Art Woods, the group’s sole male member. Art’s last date was … when? Has he ever had a date?

The other members of Murder on Tour love Art, but in an isn’t-he-the-cutest-thing-you-ever-did-see way—not in the way that leads to romance and happily-ever-after. It doesn’t help that Art’s a mama’s boy, living in his mother’s shadow and enduring her verbal abuse. His mother is Helen Adams, that political junkie I blogged about two weeks ago. See her introduction here. Really, if Art expects to ever go on a bona fide date he needs to get untethered from mama.

Art is a history buff and usually selects a historical mystery for book group. In chapter one he reports on The Paperboy by Pete Dexter, set in Florida during the late sixties. He was probably a good student, but good students don’t always go on to success in life. His current job selling electronics at Walmart is a step up from the convenience store clerk and telemarketer stints that checker his work history.

But Murder at the Book Group is a mystery so the main concern we have about Art is this: did he murder Carlene?

As sleuth Hazel Rose considers her roster of suspects, she wonders if Art was in love with Carlene. It’s entirely possible as Carlene drew men like a magnet. That would mean Art had a case of unrequited love—and that’s led to many a murder.

If only he’d visited Madame Rue with the gold-capped tooth.

Listen to Love Potion No. 9 here.

Do you know anyone like Art?






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