The Master Butcher's Singing Club

Significant characters

  • Fidelis Waldvogel: A German American immigrant and former sniper in World War I who works as a butcher in North Dakota. As his name suggests, Fidelis is a stable man who remains faithful to his personal convictions and also to anyone with whom he builds a relationship. He possesses a beautiful singing voice which stands in stark contrast to his rather brutal profession.
  • Delphine Watzka: Partner to Cyprian Lazarre and daughter to Roy Watzka, she returns to Argus, North Dakota. Although she's never known her real mother, Delphine is forced to play the role as caregiver for not only her father but also to various other people of the town.
  • Eva Waldvogel: Former fiancé to Johannes, wife of Fidelis who helps run many of the operations of his butcher shop; mother of Franz, Markus, Emil and Erich. Eva becomes a role model, much needed mother figure and dearest friend to Delphine.
  • Johannes: Close friend of Fidelis who dies in World War I fighting for the Germans, leaving Eva alone and pregnant. He is Franzs' biological father.
  • Franz Waldvogel: Biological son of Johannes and Eva, Franz is raised to see Fidelis as his father. He is a strong intelligent athlete and develops a relationship with Mazarine. He also becomes increasingly interested in aviation, leading to his position as a World War II pilot.
  • Markus Waldvogel: Son of Eva and Fidelis. Named after Eva's father, he is the more sensitive of the brothers. He is also rather introverted and philosophical, and becomes deeply attached to the women in his family. Delphine becomes especially fond of him.
  • Emil and Erich Waldvogel: Twins born to Eva and Fidelis, they are the youngest in the family. Strong and simple-minded, the boys share a special interest in war games as children, which leads to their future position as soldiers.
  • Tante Maria Theresa Waldvogel: Fidelis’ jealous sister, controlling aunt to Fidelis' sons who prides herself on her strong German heritage and is one of Delphine's greatest rivals. Tante comes to Argus, North Dakota for an American life that her brother has found and finds nothing similar.
  • Cyprian Lazarre: Former U.S. Marine in World War I, traveling performer and balancing expert, who struggles with his own sexual identity, and even though he loves Delphine dearly, his relationship with her only makes his struggle more intense.
  • Roy Watzka: Delphine’s father, town alcoholic, who never stops grieving over the loss of the love of his life. Although Roy is not a pillar of the community, he exhibits moments of integrity. However, Roy carries deep and dark secrets that will shake the whole town.
  • Step-and-a-Half: She hoards not only the town's junk but a great secret as well. Her past, which she doesn't reveal until the novel's end, causes her to wander in and out of peoples lives much as she wanders about town.
  • Mazarine Shimek: Franz's girlfriend; becomes a close friend of Delphine's.
  • Clarisse Strub: Intimidating town mortician, and childhood friend to Delphine, who is constantly forced to fight off Sheriff Hock's sexual advances.
  • Albert Hock: Sherriff of Argus who uses his power of intimidation in an attempt to entice the Clarisse Strub and also in solving the death of the Chavers family.
  • The Chavers Family: Doris, Portland "Porky" and their young daughter Ruthie. In search of a bottle in the cellar, the family becomes the fatal victims of what started out as a practical joke.

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