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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, the 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 gripping 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. What readers are saying about THE WINTER MYSTERY “Really enjoying this series.” Nerys “Jenny is an attractive, intelligent Rubenesque heroine, and the cast of characters above and below stairs are captured affectionately and wittily.” EuroCrime “Really enjoyable and easy to read.” Anne-marie “A very nice cozy read.” Janet 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 com


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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, the 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 gripping 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. What readers are saying about THE WINTER MYSTERY “Really enjoying this series.” Nerys “Jenny is an attractive, intelligent Rubenesque heroine, and the cast of characters above and below stairs are captured affectionately and wittily.” EuroCrime “Really enjoyable and easy to read.” Anne-marie “A very nice cozy read.” Janet 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 com

30 review for The Winter Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    This is a perfect read for Christmas time: a snow-covered farm in the Cotswold, a murder and smell of delicious food prepared by a professional, travelling cook, Jenny Starling (sic!) who just happens to solve crimes in the meantime. Hired by one of the Kelton Brothers to cook and serve food over Christmas, Jenny gets involved in a crime committed on one of the family members. The relations within the Kelton family are rather complicated, and there is a plethora of suspects, which does not make This is a perfect read for Christmas time: a snow-covered farm in the Cotswold, a murder and smell of delicious food prepared by a professional, travelling cook, Jenny Starling (sic!) who just happens to solve crimes in the meantime. Hired by one of the Kelton Brothers to cook and serve food over Christmas, Jenny gets involved in a crime committed on one of the family members. The relations within the Kelton family are rather complicated, and there is a plethora of suspects, which does not make Jenny's task easy. Evetually she succeeds and leaves the Kelton Farm unscathed and its inhabitants in much higher spirits. Recommended to all cozy mystery fans. *Many thanks to Faith Martin, Joffe Books and Netgalley for providing me with ARC in exchange for my honest review.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    Clever, clever, clever! Another cozy mystery that would warm your heart and tingle your grey cells in this holiday season. This time Jenny is hired as a cook for the Christmas holidays. Her employer, the farmer Stan Kelton is despised by everyone, even his own family. He is rude, vulgar and domineering and as soon as Jenny arrives at the farm, she senses the tense atmosphere and the resentment emanating from each member of the family and realizes that this is going to be one of those Christmases! Clever, clever, clever! Another cozy mystery that would warm your heart and tingle your grey cells in this holiday season. This time Jenny is hired as a cook for the Christmas holidays. Her employer, the farmer Stan Kelton is despised by everyone, even his own family. He is rude, vulgar and domineering and as soon as Jenny arrives at the farm, she senses the tense atmosphere and the resentment emanating from each member of the family and realizes that this is going to be one of those Christmases! Gloomy and dispirited! The only person, doing his best to keep the peace, is Stan’s older brother Sid, a kindhearted and gentle soul who is housebound due to illness. Then the inevitable happens. Someone is murdered in the kitchen of the farmhouse. If you think the victim is the despicable Stan, guess again! None of the family has an alibi for the time of the murder. The police is baffled and once again Jenny comes to the rescue. But she soon realizes that in order to unearth the identity of the killer, she should find an answer to this simple question: Why? Why would anyone want to kill the victim? Thanks to Faith Martin, Joffe Books and the NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Jenny Starling in spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional meals that she's loves. But the family she is working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. Actually, they don't seem to like each other. Someone is found dead on Christmas Eve and Jenny is getting the blame. This is the second book in Faith Martin's new series in the Jenny Starling mysteries. Jenny works as a cook who hires herself out. She has taken a job working for a farming family that will last Jenny Starling in spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional meals that she's loves. But the family she is working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. Actually, they don't seem to like each other. Someone is found dead on Christmas Eve and Jenny is getting the blame. This is the second book in Faith Martin's new series in the Jenny Starling mysteries. Jenny works as a cook who hires herself out. She has taken a job working for a farming family that will last for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. The family are not very nice people. She knows that she has made a mistake taking this job. I did guess where this story was going and who the killer was, but when they are well written books like this one is, it does not put me off reading it. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I would like to thank NetGalley, Joffe Books and the author Faith Martin for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The Winter Mystery, first published as A Fatal Fall of Snow in 2011 under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, is another fantastic addition to the Jenny Starling cosy mystery series. In this second book, amateur sleuth and travelling cook Ms Starling dreams of a relaxing Christmas in a country farmhouse surrounded by snow but her version of utopia soon turns to dystopia when a murder is committed. I couldn't think of a more perfect read than this as the nights draw in, it becomes chillier and Ch The Winter Mystery, first published as A Fatal Fall of Snow in 2011 under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, is another fantastic addition to the Jenny Starling cosy mystery series. In this second book, amateur sleuth and travelling cook Ms Starling dreams of a relaxing Christmas in a country farmhouse surrounded by snow but her version of utopia soon turns to dystopia when a murder is committed. I couldn't think of a more perfect read than this as the nights draw in, it becomes chillier and Christmas is just around the corner. I didn't exactly warm to Jenny straight away in the first book, but I am beginning to like her nature and her integrity when investigating a murder that is baffling everyone around her. The pace is ideal, not too fast, not too slow and the characters are well drawn as ever. These novels pay homage to the greats of classic crime such as Agatha Christie and have the same feeling and atmosphere as many of her stories. You can't really go wrong, and this will be especially enjoyable to those who prefer clean reads with no profanity or graphic violence. The writing pulls you into the book after the first few paragraphs and holds your interest until the very end. Through the twists and turns, I followed the clues alongside Ms Starling as I enjoy using my powers of deduction to identify the killer. The ending is satisfying and ties everything up neatly. Many thanks to Joffe Books for an ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Please note this book was first published as “A FATAL FALL OF SNOW” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling, a traveling cook who always seems to find herself in the position of an amateur detective, is spending Christmas working for a dysfunctional family, to say the least. The farm is mostly snowed it and there's no signal for phones. Jenny feels a bit unnerved although she couldn't tell you why.... Until Christmas Eve when she finds herself sitting across the table from a man, Please note this book was first published as “A FATAL FALL OF SNOW” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling, a traveling cook who always seems to find herself in the position of an amateur detective, is spending Christmas working for a dysfunctional family, to say the least. The farm is mostly snowed it and there's no signal for phones. Jenny feels a bit unnerved although she couldn't tell you why.... Until Christmas Eve when she finds herself sitting across the table from a man, obviously dead, with a knife still stuck in his chest. The police who show up to investigate are of no help .... they have never worked a murder case and have no idea of where to start. Learning that Jenny has more experience with dead bodies than they do, they more or less give the lead to her and cross their fingers she can solve the case. This is the second in this series, and it's an entertaining read. Jenny is a jewel ... I love her attitude and her outlook on life. The mystery itself is a good one, although I figured out the why ... but I wasn't as sure of the who. It's well written, engaging, full of interesting characters ...including the goose and the Pooch ... and I look forward to see where Jenny goes from here. Many thanks to the author / Joffe Books / Netgalley / Books n All Promotions for the digital copy of THE WINTER MYSTERY. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    Four and a half stars rounded up to five. The Winter Mystery is the second book in the new Jenny Starling Mysteries series by Faith Martin. Both books have been completely independent of one another and it is not necessary to read them in order of writing to enjoy them. Jenny Starling is the central character and she works as a cook for hire. In this book she has accepted a job to cook for a farm family for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a c Four and a half stars rounded up to five. The Winter Mystery is the second book in the new Jenny Starling Mysteries series by Faith Martin. Both books have been completely independent of one another and it is not necessary to read them in order of writing to enjoy them. Jenny Starling is the central character and she works as a cook for hire. In this book she has accepted a job to cook for a farm family for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a cold that has been created by an extraordinary snowfall. They sympathize with Jenny and agree with her negative assessment of the situation and the inhabitants as the book opens with Jenny trudging through snow that hasn’t even been plowed, not to mention that although the farm’s patriarch has carts and horses he hasn’t bothered to send anything for her to insure she is spared ill effects from the elements. As Jenny meets the various members of the household she is quick to question how wise it was to agree to a two week stay. The patriarch, Stan, is filled with hatred and anger which he spreads around equally among his two sons, his daughter, his brother, and his grandson. Jenny comes in for her share as well, with his insistence that she will have to mop the floor every time someone comes in as they aren’t going to take their shoes off when coming inside for any one of their several daily trips. She learns almost immediately the only person who demonstrates any compassion toward others is Sid, Stan’s brother. While the children and grandson may have some positive personality traits, Stan has managed to bully them all to the point they have become defeated in any attempt toward kindness or independance. Martin is excellent in creating such an atmosphere it feels as if the reader is actually experiencing the cold, inhospitable weather and the equally unpleasant atmosphere that pervades the farm’s inhabitants. As expected, a murder occurs and Jenny hikes to the nearest telephone callbox to call the police. While not totally incompetent, the police as clearly out of their comfort zone in considering murder and are greatly relieved to learn of Jenny’s experiences in solving murders in the past. As soon as Jenny’s skills are realized, the police inspector in charge begins to include her in his efforts to solve the murder, all the while hoping she will prove to be as talented as her reputation indicates. The inspector’s sargeant is moderately more self-assured, but still needs Jenny’s help to reach the correct solution. The reader has ample opportunity to solve this mystery along with Jenny. There are logical clues throughout the book, although not so obvious as to call attention to themselves. I solved this mystery prior to the end, but didn’t have the clue as to what would provide the solution to Jenny until she was explaining it until she named the killer and explained how she reached the correct conclusion. This is an enjoyable series and was as excellent in terms of clues and solutions as the first book in the series. It was a little more difficult to read because Martin does such a good job of describing the scene, leaving the reader to desire some warmth and human kindness throughout the book. Jenny, the plus-sized and unexpectedly sexy protagonist is someone you want to know even better and would welcome in your world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet Newport

    Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for this arc. I really enjoyed this # 2 Jenny Starling story. Kept hearing echoes of Miss Marple during my reading. It wasn't a fast paced book, yet it was a very compelling read. I love Ms. Martin's characters and especially Pooch and the goose in this one. A very nice cozy read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Miglė

    The real mystery is how the h e c k is this set (and written!) in XXI century. Are you longing for the good old days when men were men, women were cooking and cleaning, grown up children were still completely dependent on their fathers and grandfathers, and the sole dream of the young man would be to marry a sweet girl next door, which the grandfather forbade? Oh, and did I mention, no phones, and an occasional murder? If this looks like your thing, then you might like the book. I, personally, did The real mystery is how the h e c k is this set (and written!) in XXI century. Are you longing for the good old days when men were men, women were cooking and cleaning, grown up children were still completely dependent on their fathers and grandfathers, and the sole dream of the young man would be to marry a sweet girl next door, which the grandfather forbade? Oh, and did I mention, no phones, and an occasional murder? If this looks like your thing, then you might like the book. I, personally, didn't. It wasn't bad, but just so ridiculously anachronistic. The thing I hated most was probably how the main character was written. She is a twenty-something year old travelling cook with an hourglass-figure (this is repeated almost to the nausea, comparable only to adjective "gaunt" in Ayn Rand) and extraordinary blue eyes. You know that feeling when someone sees you in a work-related situation and they sort of freeze because they didn't expect to see someone so beautiful? Yep, neither do I. I'm not saying really beautiful people don't experience this, but the way everyone's staring at the main character seems a bit of an overkill in this book. She is also very smart and has a way with animals, and agile despite her big frame. She is very perfect, get it, reader? P e r f e c t. Ok, so the travelling cook arrives to work at the farm, where all the residents are men, except one - an 18-year-old daughter. Apparently the daughter used to do all the cooking (unpaid work) and sort of went on strike, so that's why the travelling cook was called in. When the cook arrives, she asks the girl "How many days have the men gone without a cooked meal?" and is flabbergasted at the answer that the girl hasn't cooked for days, and the men even resorted to making some scrambled eggs themselves! Can you imagine! (again, the narrative is set in XXI century. After the year 2000) When the men arrive and refuse to take the dirty shoes off, the cook mops the floor after them and looks accusingly at the girl that she's not helping. You get the picture. I'm not against having characters with different views, but the cook's depicted mindset just clashes so bad with the ongoing descriptions of how perfect she is. The story itself is decently constructed, but in my opinion the reader is given too many clues and it's relatively easy to work out what happened before the main character does. Otherwise it is, as advertised, a 'cosy' mystery, if a bit anachronistic for my taste.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and I liked the characters. I will be reading the second one and hope there will be more in this series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Over recent months I've become a great fan of cozy mysteries so, when I saw this second book in the series featuring Jenny Starling being launched, I knew I had to read "The Winter Mystery." Also, it has a culinary theme which I love and a little light humour. The first book ‘The Birthday Mystery’ was so good, I knew it was likely that Faith Martin had written a winner with this book, too, and I was right! Best-seller author Faith Martin has also written the ‘Detective Hillary Greene’ mysteries. F Over recent months I've become a great fan of cozy mysteries so, when I saw this second book in the series featuring Jenny Starling being launched, I knew I had to read "The Winter Mystery." Also, it has a culinary theme which I love and a little light humour. The first book ‘The Birthday Mystery’ was so good, I knew it was likely that Faith Martin had written a winner with this book, too, and I was right! Best-seller author Faith Martin has also written the ‘Detective Hillary Greene’ mysteries. First, we are introduced to Jenny Starling who is spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional food she loves, however, the family she’s working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. 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 turn amateur sleuth again. She will stop at nothing to clear her name and find the perpetrator. Faith Martin’s writing skills set the scene beautifully for this novel. The house is a large, charming, Cotswold-stone, Georgian farmhouse in rural Oxford, complete with stables, outhouses, a cobbled courtyard and a resident sheepdog. Faith Martin’s character development is wonderful, particularly that of Jenny who is an impressive woman and in her late twenties. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living and loving life as a travelling cook. She is happy travelling the country catering for different events and cooking great food. She doesn’t like having to divert her attention from baking delicious cakes or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve murders. She is great at reading people and unmasking killers, always with a good dose of humour. There are many suspects in this mystery, with clues and lots of red herrings to keep the reader guessing. It was a thoroughly satisfying read and I often found myself asking the same questions as Jenny and I was kept in suspense to the end. The pacing in "The Winter Mystery" was very good and I never lost interest, as it wasn't long before something intriguing would happen. Things came together for a fulfilling finish and wrapped everything up very neatly. I'm definitely looking forward to the next novel featuring Jenny Starling and other books by the author, Faith Martin. "The Winter Mystery" whets your appetite for more to come. My thanks to #NetGalley, Joffe Books and the author for providing me with a free advanced copy of #TheWinterMystery.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Winter Mystery, the second novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling. With no lucrative catering jobs on the horizon Jenny takes a job as temporary cook for the festive season at the Kelton farm in rural Oxfordshire. As soon as she gets there she realises she’s made a mistake as tensions are simmering in the Kelton household and the atmosphere is distinctly unpleasant. This culminates in a murder o I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Winter Mystery, the second novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling. With no lucrative catering jobs on the horizon Jenny takes a job as temporary cook for the festive season at the Kelton farm in rural Oxfordshire. As soon as she gets there she realises she’s made a mistake as tensions are simmering in the Kelton household and the atmosphere is distinctly unpleasant. This culminates in a murder on her second day there and doesn’t get any better when Inspector Moulton, called in to investigate and feeling out of his depth, recognises her name and starts expecting her to solve the case for him. I thoroughly enjoyed The Winter Murder which is an interesting mystery with a very likeable protagonist. I must admit, however, that the plot is more transparent than the previous novel and it wasn’t long before I had a good idea of how it was going to turn out. This did not, however, spoil my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest as it is Jenny’s interactions with the other characters and Ms Martin’s warm, inviting writing style that provide the fun in the novel. The plot is fairly standard, multiple suspects with no alibi, no visible motive and secrets to untangle, all of which Jenny handles with aplomb and a certain verve. I said it in my review of The Birthday Mystery and I’ll say it again with more conviction in this review. There is little, apart from job and status, to differentiate Jenny from Ms Martin’s other character, DI Hillary Greene. They are both tall with ample hourglass figures, an easy air that leads to confidences, a tough, no nonsense approach which inspires respect and ability to put the facts together in a coherent manner to catch the perpetrator. The Winter Mystery is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    Where to start? With the good points of this book of course. It is, as with all Faith Martin's books, very hard to put down once you start reading. Jenny Starling is an interesting character and after only two books in this series I think (and hope) that we will learn more about her - and her food of course. I happen to like books with cooks in them a lot. The plot is a bit obvious from the beginning but it is nice to see how the story flows along. I also like all the somewhat typical characters Where to start? With the good points of this book of course. It is, as with all Faith Martin's books, very hard to put down once you start reading. Jenny Starling is an interesting character and after only two books in this series I think (and hope) that we will learn more about her - and her food of course. I happen to like books with cooks in them a lot. The plot is a bit obvious from the beginning but it is nice to see how the story flows along. I also like all the somewhat typical characters in this story, especially the dog and the goose ;-). Although it is not a fun book (the poor family Jenny cooks a Christmas dinner for is one of the most unhappy families I ever read about) there is humour to be found in other things. Another positive point: in this second book in the series, there is no constant mentioning of Jenny's figure, her weight or her height, as in the first book. I cannot help it, I have some negative points too. There are some mistakes in the text that are confusing and at a certain point the research of an American professor is mentioned that is important for the story. This research is presented as 'new' but actually this research was done by an Austrian monk in 1860. You can look it up in Wikipedia... The research is important but I think this point had better be described somewhat different. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Thanks to Netgalley and Joffe Books for this digital copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars In this story, Jenny is spending two weeks over Christmas in the Kelton household. Plodding through the deep snow to finally get to the farm, she finds the atmosphere in the home stifling. Stan Kelton runs the home like a tyrant, even though he is not the eldest son. He is rude, short tempered and totally unredeemable. There is nothing likeable about him. Jenny thinks it is going to be a very long two weeks. When a body shows up in the kitchen no less, Jenny’s week is going from bad to wo 5 stars In this story, Jenny is spending two weeks over Christmas in the Kelton household. Plodding through the deep snow to finally get to the farm, she finds the atmosphere in the home stifling. Stan Kelton runs the home like a tyrant, even though he is not the eldest son. He is rude, short tempered and totally unredeemable. There is nothing likeable about him. Jenny thinks it is going to be a very long two weeks. When a body shows up in the kitchen no less, Jenny’s week is going from bad to worse. The detective who shows up to investigate the murder is not very competent, so it’s up to Jenny to ferret out the murderer. This is a delightful little cozy, but with an edge. I like Jenny and especially liked the Pooch and the gander characters. The book is very well written, a true Faith Martin tour de force, as it were. She is such a fantastic writer. It doesn’t seem to matter to what she turns her hand. I really enjoy the Jenny series and anxiously look forward to reading the next in the series. I want to thank Joffe Books and NetGalley for forwarding to me a copy of this remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)

    Curvy cook Jenny Starling is back! It’s almost Christmas and instead of spending it alone in a little bedsit, she takes a chance on an advert looking for a cook over the festive season. When she gets there a sense of foreboding overcomes her. It’s snowing, the farm is in the middle of nowhere with no mod-cons or even a landline and the family...well they seem to hate each other especially the head of the household, Stan Kelton. When someone is found stabbed to death in the kitchen, the local poli Curvy cook Jenny Starling is back! It’s almost Christmas and instead of spending it alone in a little bedsit, she takes a chance on an advert looking for a cook over the festive season. When she gets there a sense of foreboding overcomes her. It’s snowing, the farm is in the middle of nowhere with no mod-cons or even a landline and the family...well they seem to hate each other especially the head of the household, Stan Kelton. When someone is found stabbed to death in the kitchen, the local police are out of their depth so the ask Jenny to investigate. So this is the second in the Jenny Starling series but it can easily be read as a stand alone. Another cosy mystery from Faith Martin perfect for the holiday season full of food, fun and fiendish murder. Now I’m not going to say to much about the story or character because I feel like this one of those books that you should dig into with as little information as possible. I will say there were some funny light-hearted moments involving a marauding goose and a sheepdog that’s afraid of sheep that you should look out for while you’re reading! Again as with the last novel I guessed the killer and motive quite early on. Also I kept having to remind myself that Jenny is only in her twenties as a lot of the time she sounds much older. Overall the winter mystery a Christmassy cosy whodunnit that I’d recommend for those who love a more light-hearted mystery.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    What's not to like about good plots, believable characters, great cooking, a lovable dog and murder?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    I enjoyed this amateur sleuth mystery. My rating: 4.25. Traveling cook, Jenny, accepts a job in a small village to cook over the Christmas holidays. She arrives after struggling through the snow to get to the house. There she finds that no one knew she was coming except the gruff, tyrant head of the household, Stan Kelton. Jenny meets the family and learns that the household consists of Stan’s elder brother, Sid, who has been frail after an accident years before; Stan’s two grown sons, Bert and Bi I enjoyed this amateur sleuth mystery. My rating: 4.25. Traveling cook, Jenny, accepts a job in a small village to cook over the Christmas holidays. She arrives after struggling through the snow to get to the house. There she finds that no one knew she was coming except the gruff, tyrant head of the household, Stan Kelton. Jenny meets the family and learns that the household consists of Stan’s elder brother, Sid, who has been frail after an accident years before; Stan’s two grown sons, Bert and Bill; his daughter Delia; and his grandson, Jeremy, Bert’s son. Although the eldest son of the family is the legal owner of the farm, it is clear that Stan is in control… and no one is particularly happy. There is a local woman, Mrs. Jarvis, who comes in daily to clean and cook under normal circumstances. She is more than willing to explain that Stan is a brute who caused the death of her husband and ran off Bert’s wife. Jenny is only at the home a day or two before she steps into the kitchen, turns to the table and finds Sid, (not Stan), sitting with a knife in his chest. Jenny hurries through the snow to get authorities to come to the house. When she returns, she steps in to have Stan accuse her of the crime. The inspectors are congenial, but Jenny realizes that they are not overly experienced at murder investigations. On the other hand, Jenny has gained a small reputation as she has already helped to uncover two other crimes. If it had been Stan who was killed there would be plenty of people with motive. But who would want to kill sweet, gentle Sid? Fortunately the inspectors are willing to follow Jenny’s suggested steps to protect the scene, gather evidence and interview witnesses. I found Jenny to be a lovely character and I liked how she handled the investigation. There are several side issues to make the reader ponder. However there are other clues for the reader to pick up so I was able to guess the motive and killer before the reveal. Still it was fun to follow the investigation. The writing was clear, easy going and moved along well. There were nice descriptions (including yummy meals) that contributed to the natural feel of the story without dragging it out. I would be glad to read more by Ms. Martin and I recommend this to readers who enjoy a nice cozy mystery. Source: 2018 NetGalley.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Jenny Starling, a traveling cook, has moved on and will be cooking at a small farm for a handful of people during Christmas. Something is definitely awry at the Kelton Farm when it is discovered that a guest has been murdered. Jenny is not only a brilliant cook, she is an excellent amateur sleuth who has a knack for solving murders. From the outset Jenny knew things were not right. Her employer, Stan Kelton, is as hateful as can be. His family detests him. Furthermore, they all act oddly as far a Jenny Starling, a traveling cook, has moved on and will be cooking at a small farm for a handful of people during Christmas. Something is definitely awry at the Kelton Farm when it is discovered that a guest has been murdered. Jenny is not only a brilliant cook, she is an excellent amateur sleuth who has a knack for solving murders. From the outset Jenny knew things were not right. Her employer, Stan Kelton, is as hateful as can be. His family detests him. Furthermore, they all act oddly as far as Jenny is concerned. Despite how unlikeable Stan is, when someone is murdered it is not him. The police have no shortage of suspects and it takes them no time to develop a grudging respect for Jenny as she becomes instrumental in discovering the circumstances surrounding the murder. If you love cozy mysteries, grab this and all the other books in this engaging series. Jenny is smart, beautiful and statuesque. I thoroughly enjoyed Jenny’s techniques and thought processes. The discussion of food was a boon too. The next book in the series is The Riverboat Mystery. Formerly published as A Fatal Fall of Snow under Faith Martin’s pseudonym, Joyce Cato. Many thanks to Joffe Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I love mysteries, and while cozies are often hit-or-miss for me, Martin's Jenny Starling's series is eminently readable. The Winter Mystery is one of the most satisfying cozies I've ever read: sharp dialogue, compelling situations, and a main character who I absolutely love spending time with. This particular story is wonderful and the ending is deeply satisfying. I love a mystery where the clues are staring you in the face the entire time and you can't connect the dots until the sleuth connects I love mysteries, and while cozies are often hit-or-miss for me, Martin's Jenny Starling's series is eminently readable. The Winter Mystery is one of the most satisfying cozies I've ever read: sharp dialogue, compelling situations, and a main character who I absolutely love spending time with. This particular story is wonderful and the ending is deeply satisfying. I love a mystery where the clues are staring you in the face the entire time and you can't connect the dots until the sleuth connects them for you. When Faith Martin is on top of her game, her mysteries are as good as the best Agatha Christie or Sue Grafton has to offer, and The Winter Mystery showcases Martin's talents brilliantly. Rooting for almost all the characters in this book would be difficult, but Martin shows (almost) all the characters' hopes and dreams very well. Highly recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    This aptly named mystery is the perfect book for a cold, Winter's afternoon. Jenny Starling is a strong, likeable character with a talent for crime solving. The cast of characters in this particular mystery is not easy to empathise, but when the most likeable of them is murdered, Jenny is first on the scene and becomes involved in solving the crime. This is an old-fashioned crime mystery with false clues, numerous suspects and a particularly nasty murder. The slow pacing fits the story and the re This aptly named mystery is the perfect book for a cold, Winter's afternoon. Jenny Starling is a strong, likeable character with a talent for crime solving. The cast of characters in this particular mystery is not easy to empathise, but when the most likeable of them is murdered, Jenny is first on the scene and becomes involved in solving the crime. This is an old-fashioned crime mystery with false clues, numerous suspects and a particularly nasty murder. The slow pacing fits the story and the reader aside from reading an interesting story can try and work out #whodunnit. An easy to read but cleverly plotted mystery with complex, realistic characters and a memorable amateur detective. I received a copy of this book from Joffe Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the previous one. I was prepared to ignore the continuous references to Jenny’s size and the problems with the cooking (e.g. where did all the ingredients come from?). However I just found the farm and its occupants so depressing and this probably coloured my attitude to the whole book. As for the investigation, I thought this wasn’t particularly interesting, especially as the author kept repeating the same clue over and over again and it seemed improbable tha I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the previous one. I was prepared to ignore the continuous references to Jenny’s size and the problems with the cooking (e.g. where did all the ingredients come from?). However I just found the farm and its occupants so depressing and this probably coloured my attitude to the whole book. As for the investigation, I thought this wasn’t particularly interesting, especially as the author kept repeating the same clue over and over again and it seemed improbable that the intelligent and intuitive Jenny could keep missing the significance.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Some reviews are harder to write than others. I like to be as fair as I can be but also honest. Personal taste is a huge factor for any reader and reviewer and it definitely plays a role for me. When looking at my reviews, you need to look not just at one review but at more--compare my taste on a book you may have already read to your own opinion. Consider my reasons for liking or disliking something. Consider that I'm growing in my understanding of writing theory and technique and this is refin Some reviews are harder to write than others. I like to be as fair as I can be but also honest. Personal taste is a huge factor for any reader and reviewer and it definitely plays a role for me. When looking at my reviews, you need to look not just at one review but at more--compare my taste on a book you may have already read to your own opinion. Consider my reasons for liking or disliking something. Consider that I'm growing in my understanding of writing theory and technique and this is refining my opinion and sometimes making it harder for me to let go and enjoy the ride. And consider that I try to keep genre expectations in mind as a factor in my ratings also. That can be tricky, especially when my own expectations probably exceed genre on some points. The Winter Mystery is one of these tricky reviews because I'm torn between my own expectations and what's acceptable in the genre, especially in later books of a series in the genre. I ended up reading this one twice trying to clarify things (and after talking to the publisher about a concern in the prerelease ARC that is resolved in the final version). I'm doing my best to rate this purely on the final. Things happen in ARCs sometimes (advanced reader copies) because they're created before the editing process is completed and I'm still new at learning what to expect there. In terms of genre expectations, this is a good, solid cozy mystery with an interesting female amateur sleuth and a credible reason for her involvement in the situation. It's a British countryside setting and I'm honestly not certain of the time period. Cell phones exist, but she found a phone booth when one was needed. I've never been in rural England to know how common those things still are. So it's recent if not completely current. I was somewhat annoyed by what felt to me like head hopping. But the average reader is probably going to feel like it's a comfortable omniscient perspective and not give it a second thought. Despite this, I really liked the narrative voice. I just felt like I got shuffled into a new person more than I needed to. I prefer staying primarily in the sleuth--or in a consistent POV character near the sleuth--so I can feel like I'm racing the sleuth to put the clues together and ID the killer. Although this book turns out to be a later book in a series, I never felt left out of anything. This kind of welcome for a new reader can be difficult but the author pulled it off. The passing references to old cases only were significant in how the police thought of her and it never mattered that I didn't know anything about it. The book's focus was firmly on the mystery, without too much sidetrack into personal relationships. I'm sure those who have read more of the series will enjoy another layer in the story, but the new reader can pick it up and enjoy every page. I give it 3.5 stars and would happily read more of the series. Readers who aren't bothered by those POV shifts are likely to rate it far higher. My thanks to Joffe Books for their prompt response to my email with feedback and for letting me see the revised final edition so I could offer a review based on it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Larum

    The second in the Jenny Starling mystery series and this time Jenny is cooking for a farming family at Christmas. There has been a heavy snowfall and Jenny finds herself stuck in the remote farmhouse with a petty tyrant(Stan Kelton) who rules the household with a rod of iron, even though he isn't the actual owner. When Sid, his older brother, is found stabbed, Jenny has to help the police to solve the murder. This was a very easy read although I was disappointed to be able to work out who had don The second in the Jenny Starling mystery series and this time Jenny is cooking for a farming family at Christmas. There has been a heavy snowfall and Jenny finds herself stuck in the remote farmhouse with a petty tyrant(Stan Kelton) who rules the household with a rod of iron, even though he isn't the actual owner. When Sid, his older brother, is found stabbed, Jenny has to help the police to solve the murder. This was a very easy read although I was disappointed to be able to work out who had done it and why. I found the repetition of the clue to be unnecessary but I did enjoy the building of the characters, even the goose and the dog. In fact, the dog seemed to have more about him than the detectives. This is a very cosy read and would be perfect for a winter's evening. I think I still prefer the Hillary Greene series by the same author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    C A Bringloe

    Poor Not a very well written book and I won't be reading any more of hers. They are books with no plot

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    This is the winter themed book that caught my eye and prompted me to read this series, to begin with, and it delivered on all the Christmas & snow promise. It's the second in the Jenny Starling series and once again the reluctant sleuth has landed in another murder investigation in between cooking delicious meals over a fortnight at Christmas time. The Keltons of Kelton Farm are under a lot of strain and don't have much Christmas spirit to go around due in large part to Stan Kelton. He is the su This is the winter themed book that caught my eye and prompted me to read this series, to begin with, and it delivered on all the Christmas & snow promise. It's the second in the Jenny Starling series and once again the reluctant sleuth has landed in another murder investigation in between cooking delicious meals over a fortnight at Christmas time. The Keltons of Kelton Farm are under a lot of strain and don't have much Christmas spirit to go around due in large part to Stan Kelton. He is the surly, mean and bully head of the family. The rest of the family is cowed by him and so it seems is most of the surrounding village. Even the family sheepdog, Pooch, is terrified of the tyrant. Jenny steps into the frame and notices all the dysfunction and by Christmas Eve, one of the family is dead. I'm not telling who but it makes for an interesting mystery to be unwound. The investigators, in this case, have already heard of Jenny and her reception is met with positivity this time around which added to the novelty. It'd be boring if she were met in each instance with law officials who either suspect her or are outright rude thinking she would push in on their investigations. I also liked that we find this story takes place a year after the mystery in the first book. It makes me wonder about all her jobs in the interim. At least there aren't murders at every place she has worked. But back to the story, there are many things that come out about the family and funnily enough, a big clue hinges on the state of a floor at an important moment. As with the first book, the Who is something a reader can work out easily enough but Why is where the real fun of the mystery is to be had. How in this instance wasn't as intricate as the first book but the logistics of it weren't readily apparent early on. Of course, it is all resolved in the end and Jenny is off to wherever her next job takes her. I finished hoping she got that steady gig at the college in Oxford. Unfortunately, Jenny's still doing enough sighing to make me think she needs an asthma check. The Junoesque mentions seemed toned down but it's really not necessary that every person she comes into contact with initially react as though she's the largest human being they've ever come across. She's like, Elle McPherson height so... yeah, not a freak of nature. I keep thinking she has a body type like Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Game of Thrones) with the height and shape mentions and still no carnival attraction to garner such shock and awe from... everyone. I keep hoping there'll be a man who'll cross her path that isn't surprised to find her attractive. Also there were a few weird questions by Jenny that seemed strange as they seemed to only take into account the necessities of the men of the household (ex. "When last did the men have a hot meal?") as if the women of the household either don't eat or it doesn't matter if they have hot food or not. I don't know, it just seemed an odd thing to ask given it wasn't solely a household of men. My raised eyebrow moments aside, I did enjoy this and do look forward to the next in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nina Wilkinson

    Review Very disappointing story. Great fan of Faith Martin but this is not one of her best , in my opinion

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mystica

    This story combined two loves of mine - food and mystery! Set in a castle the story couldn't have been more appealing to me. One day after Jenny takes up an appointment as the cook in this castle, Ava the governess is found dead stabbed through the heart. Alibis abound, everyone is accounted for but it is an inside job. The Detective Inspector who is sent to find out who did this murder is clueless where to start but Jenny has a head start as she knows the atmosphere is not quite right and immed This story combined two loves of mine - food and mystery! Set in a castle the story couldn't have been more appealing to me. One day after Jenny takes up an appointment as the cook in this castle, Ava the governess is found dead stabbed through the heart. Alibis abound, everyone is accounted for but it is an inside job. The Detective Inspector who is sent to find out who did this murder is clueless where to start but Jenny has a head start as she knows the atmosphere is not quite right and immediately ferrets out information to show that almost everyone other than her master and mistress have a reason to dislike the governess. Whether dislike is enough to murder someone has got to be seen and methodically Jenny goes about uncovering the real culprit. Very entertaining, very chatty and a lovely light read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alison Argent-Wenz

    Predictable. Have read this author before and enjoyed, but this one seems to be written for idiots who need every clue highlighted and underlined. Why the author feels the need to continually emphasise the main characters size (Junoesque, ample, wide girth) is beyond me. She comes across as a really annoying know-it-all with no human frailties whatsoever. Ham-fisted attempts to make out that she is 'sexy' and 'strangely attractive' feel like someone trying too hard to make a point. Completely un Predictable. Have read this author before and enjoyed, but this one seems to be written for idiots who need every clue highlighted and underlined. Why the author feels the need to continually emphasise the main characters size (Junoesque, ample, wide girth) is beyond me. She comes across as a really annoying know-it-all with no human frailties whatsoever. Ham-fisted attempts to make out that she is 'sexy' and 'strangely attractive' feel like someone trying too hard to make a point. Completely unable to empathise with any of the other 2 dimensional characters. Kept reading in the hope that maybe there would be a clever twist...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Tally

    Waste of time Though the whole book was based on the unlikely premise that a cruel and miserly Stan would hire a professional cook, the most annoying part was that the author took every opportunity from beginning to end to describe the cook’s large size, big bust and blue eyes. Yes, we got it after the first description but every page beginning to end, described her size. Pointless and annoying. Not one interesting character and a truly simplistic story. Don’t bother to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kerry https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com Robinson

    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 th 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mandie

    This is the second book in the Jenny Starling series but it can work very well as a stand-alone. Jenny is a no nonsense cook for hire who seems to have a knack for solving murders. Hired by Stan Kelton to cook over the Christmas period she soon finds herself smack bang in the middle of the investigations into the death of Sid Kelton, Stan’s elder brother and the owner of the farm. Used to being told to stay out of the way and not to get involved, Jenny initially finds it a refreshing change when This is the second book in the Jenny Starling series but it can work very well as a stand-alone. Jenny is a no nonsense cook for hire who seems to have a knack for solving murders. Hired by Stan Kelton to cook over the Christmas period she soon finds herself smack bang in the middle of the investigations into the death of Sid Kelton, Stan’s elder brother and the owner of the farm. Used to being told to stay out of the way and not to get involved, Jenny initially finds it a refreshing change when the detectives in charge of the case actively encourage her to be of assistance… that is until she gets the feeling they are actually relying on her to actually solve the case for them. Jenny comes across as someone who loves to cook but does love the challenge of a good mystery. She loves to people watch and has a great eye for small details. When she talks to people she quickly puts them at ease so they tend to open up to her, telling her things they may not say to the police. The family members are the main suspects and to be honest I found that none of them were particularly likeable when you first meet them. Stan Kelton is basically a bully who rules over his children and his grandson by constantly belittling them and not letting them have any kind of independence. The way he acts you would believe that he was the owner of the farm not Sid. You can tell that he is not liked by any of them, or by the locals of the village. The eldest Bert doesn’t seem to have any real backbone and despite Stan being the reason his wife left both him and their son Jeremy he takes everything that is thrown at him getting more and more defeated with every day that passes. Bill has a little more fire in him and regularly challenges Stan. Once the favourite son he is now the one that clashes with his father the most. Delia is the youngest child and it shows in so many ways. She is desperate to escape her father and the farm but as he keeps her without her own means of an income this does not look like it will ever be a possibility. At the beginning of the book I was wondering about the motive for Sid’s murder as with the exception of Stan, all the family seemed to like the old man. As you read on though there are quite a few hints and clues and it did become really obvious as to why he was killed and who committed the crime. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was the investigating officers. They seemed a little bit ineffective and almost surplus to requirements, as if they were only there as it would seem odd that there was no police presence for a murder enquiry. That being said The Winter Mystery is still a very enjoyable read and almost has a feel of the mudery mystery novels of old.

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