Nicola Upson

The Dead of Winter

""Upson delivers a wonderfully festive crime novel that is another classic addition to this excellent series. " "


December 1938, and storm clouds hover once again over Europe. Josephine Tey and Archie Penrose gather with friends for a Cornish Christmas, but two strange and brutal deaths on St Michael's Mount - and the unexpected arrival of a world famous film star, in need of sanctuary - interrupt the festivities. Cut off by the sea and a relentless blizzard, the hunt for a murderer begins.

Pivoting on a real moment in history, the ninth novel in the 'Josephine Tey' series draws on all the much-loved conventions of the Golden Age Christmas mystery, whilst giving them a thrilling contemporary twist.

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There is something enticing about people being cut off from the mainland, that feeling of being isolated and trapped on an island in the midst of a wild storm without any way of communicating to the outside world. As long as it is other peope and not oneself trapped on said isolated island! Throw in a couple of murders, a Hollywood movie star, a celebrated playwright and crime writer at Christmas and you have the perfect book to read by a fireside with a hot toddy while the wind howls away outside. As Christie perfectly portrayed in her infamous novel, there can be nothing worse than to look forward to some time away, only to find there is a killer on the loose and everyone is looking at each other with deep suspicion. It all adds to the drama here and Upson perfectly brings those emotions to the fore to add spice to Josephine Tey's latest adventure. Upson is wonderful at evoking atmosphere and bringing those times to the one's senses. There is a sense amongst the cast that this will be their last peaceful Christmas for some time as the Nazi's tyranny gains momentum, even with some Nazi's gaining confidence on British soil alongside their British sympathisers. All this Upson adds to the mix to heighten emotions, the sad resignation of the unavoidable compared to those who feel war is justifiable, in some cases to be relished. Upson delivers a wonderfully festive crime novel that is another classic addition to this excellent series.

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