A snow-covered cottage is nestled in the hills, all ready for Christmas… but inside a body lies dead upon the floor.
Melissa Craig is enjoying her first winter in the Cotswolds, taking brisk walks through the snowy fields and basking in the winter sunshine. The only thing Melissa is plotting is her Christmas shopping.
But after the unexpected death of local writer Leonora Jewell, Melissa is asked to complete Leonora’s final book. However, on her first visit to the cottage, she finds a gruesome object overlooked by the police: a metal bar covered with dried blood.
Terrified, Melissa rushes to the nearest telephone box to call the police. But by the time they reach Leonora’s cottage, the murder weapon has mysteriously vanished.
With no murder weapon, the detective in charge of the case scoffs at Melissa’s suspicions. Furious and frustrated, Melissa focuses on finishing Leonora’s novel. But as she reads Leonora’s notes for the book, she starts to wonder… did Leonora accidentally plot out her own murder?
As Melissa does some investigating of her own, she uncovers some pretty suspicious local characters. But with the police unwilling to help, can Melissa solve this vicious crime alone? By hook, by crook, or by the book, Melissa must find the killers before they strike again…
Winter always seems to enhance the attractiveness of murder mysteries, especially typically English ones like the Melissa Craig series. This is a particularly atmospheric story both in terms of snow and frost and the air of menace that follows the intrepid crime writer around as she becomes embroiled in another murder mystery.
This story sees the reappearance of Bruce, from earlier books in the series and he definitely brings out Mel’s impulsive personality traits. There is a lot going on in the background of this story, some of which seems superfluous to the plot. I worked out whodunnit, early on, this is possibly the author’s intention, as it shows up Mel’s fallibility, and increases the danger she faces.
Perfect for reading on a cold, stormy Winter’s day like today.
I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.