Thursday 5 November 2020

Book Review: The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson

Another day another book review from me and one that actually really surprised me. Not at all meaning to be rude to the author, but I didn't expect to enjoy this one quite as much as I did. It was a slight slight step out of my reading comfort zone, but I now know I want to read more books like The Dead of Winter. Read on for my review to find out why.


The Dead of Winter is actually the 9th Book in the Josephine Tey series, but luckily this book can be read as a stand alone and I really enjoyed it.

It's December 1938 and there are very strong rumblings that Europe is on the brink of war. Author Josephine and Detective Inspector Archie Penrose are going to be spending a slightly unusual Cornish Christmas together on St Michael's Mount, with some very unusal guests, including a world famous film-star. Together the guests are cut-off from the mainland and with two brutal murders to contend with, can Josephine and Archie stop the murderer from striking again?

I usually avoid crime/mystery books set around Christmas time as I like to keep the illusion that Christmas is always a happy time, but there was just something about The Dead of Winter that really intrigued me. For a start it could be classed as historical fiction (my new favourite genre again this year) as it is set at the time right before the Second World War was looming. The cover also really stood out to me and I knew that I needed to know what exactly would happen at St Michael's Mount.

The Dead of Winter was really well written. I was so impressed with descriptions and the whole storytelling. It made it incredibly atmospheric, that sense of cold and dread felt almost palpable. Also the fact that it was centered around the precipice of a huge moment in history, added to that impending sense that something bad was coming.

What added to the overall story was each of the characters themselves. Each guest had their own backstory, dealing with some very sensitive issues and just added to that atmospheric darkness of the novel.

My first Nicola Upson novel and definitely not my last.

The Dead of Winter is out now

Part of The Dead of Winter Blog Tour

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