The Winter Mystery by Faith Martin – Book Review

 

Thank you to Faith Martin and Joffe books for a copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.  Also thank you to Jill @books_n_all for organising this blog tour.

WINTER MYSTERY

Synopsis

Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is.

“Classic murder mystery story with a twist at the end” Oxford Times

Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Please note this book was first published as “A FATAL FALL OF SNOW” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

Jenny Starling is spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional food she loves. But the family she’s working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. In fact, they seem to hate each other.

On Christmas Eve, someone is found dead on the kitchen table. And the head of the family is blaming Jenny!

But with an incompetent detective called in, and seemingly no motive for the murder, Jenny will have to give the police a hand.
 
She will stop at nothing to clear her name and find the real murderer.

This is the second of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.

Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.

THE SETTING
A snowed-in farmhouse in rural Oxford. A big Cotswold-stone Georgian house with stables, outhouses, cobbled courtyard and resident sheepdog. Charming, but cold and uncomfortable in winter.
 
JENNY STARLING

In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.

THE AUTHOR
FAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year.

JENNY STARLING MYSTERIES
Book 1: THE BIRTHDAY MYSTERY
Book 2: THE WINTER MYSTERY
More JENNY STARLING mysteries coming soon.

 

Review

Meet Jenny Starling.

In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1 inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother.  Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.

I came into reading The Winter Mystery straight from finishing The Birthday Mystery, (read my review here) so I was still very much in the character of Jenny Starling.  It can be read as a stand alone novel but you find out more of Jenny’s background if you read the Birthday Mystery.  They can also be read non-sequentially.

The second installment in the Jenny Starling series takes us to a remote farm at Christmas time with a very dysfunctional family.  Jenny seems to have a bad habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and it isn’t long before there’s a brutal stabbing and a house full of suspects.

The  murder happens much earlier in the book this time and to be honest, is a bit of a shock.  This makes the book a lot pacier than the previous one and we get to business straight away.  I love the old-style ‘who dun it?‘ where all the possible suspects are under one roof and being investigated daily.

The Winter Mystery is story telling at it’s best.  It’s simple but riveting and completely demands reader participation.  I’m often drawn into books and imagine myself as one of the characters but with Faith Martin’s books it’s as though I’m watching a Sunday afternoon detective T.V. programme and I love that I can just get lost in the fun of playing amateur detective.

Figuring out who the murder is isn’t necessarily the difficult part, it’s working out the motive from all the very subtle clues Faith Martin leaves sprinkled throughout the earlier parts of the story like a cookie crumb trail.

If you love shows such as Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote, Midsummer’s Murders etc.  You’ll really enjoy reading these.

Let me know your opinions if your read it.

 

Author Bio – Faith Martin

Author Photo (1)

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.

 

Check out the other reviews by following the other bloggers on the blog tour.

Winter Mystery Blog Tour Banner

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9 comments

  1. I love a good mystery – and I love that there’s an awesome female lead too! I don’t think there can ever be too many narratives like this and I love the shows you mentioned like Midsummer Murders etc. They give me such a cosy, afternoon at home vibe haha x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] The Winter Mystery is story telling at it’s best.  It’s simple but riveting and completely demands reader participation.  I’m often drawn into books and imagine myself as one of the characters but with Faith Martin’s books it’s as though I’m watching a Sunday afternoon detective T.V. programme and I love that I can just get lost in the fun of playing amateur detective.  Read more here […]

    Liked by 1 person

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