Although prim and proper Miss Amelia Marshall is becoming the definitive town spinster, she nevertheless finds Frank Brody attractive (as do most of the other women in town). This would never have been a problem if they hadn't both ordered a piano and if he hadn't taken the only piano that arrived-the one meant to be hers. Now, if she's to avoid losing her home and the shame of poverty, she must conduct piano lessons at his Moon Rock Saloon until another piano arrives.

Amelia's income problems are solved. Town mothers who weren't going to enroll their children at first suddenly become interested in music lessons because they want an excuse to enter the forbidden sanctuary of their husbands. However, her education about saloons and problems with the amorous Pap and the stimulating Mr. Brody are just beginning. Frank doesn't want to be interested in this plainly dressed, unmarried, rather cold lady but, despite his need not to infringe on the plans of Pap to marry Amelia, he's more and more drawn to her.

Stef Ann Holm might have ended her story with the wonderfully detailed Fourth of July celebration where Frank buys Amelia's box lunch because Pap has the chicken pox. Instead, the celebration is immediately followed by Frank and Amelia hastily getting married, and then by the arrival of Frank's newly hired "hussies" for the Moon Rock Saloon.

Still, Amelia, true to the image of a small town, Western woman and Frank Brody, true to the not-deep-down-bad Western hero are consistently entertaining. WEEPING ANGEL is a love story with a touch of humor, and a town full of characters any Western fan would crave to visit. (June, 416 pp. $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger