Winter has begun in the Southern Hemisphere where Kate is but it is summer in London where I spent the month of June and there have been several days in the 90s. Today I am heading for Cornwall with friends and I do not anticipate it will be extremely hot. However, it can be fun to contemplate cold weather on a hot day.
Accordingly, my first link is In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming (2002), the first in one of my favorite mystery series. Clare Fergusson is the new Episcopalian minister in a small town in upstate New York. It is a cold, snowy December day when she finds an abandoned baby on the church steps and gets drawn into a murder investigation. If you haven’t tried this series, what are you waiting for? Back in 2006 when I was studying for the bar exam at night and trying to focus, I told my Barnes & Noble buyers not to tempt me with the galleys for any forthcoming books. The mystery buyer leaned out of his cubicle as I walked by, “Interested in the new Spencer-Fleming?” he teased and I snatched it from him.
Second DegreeNYT and Washington Post. I will admit I found it good but somewhat depressing.
Third DegreeFans of Rosamunde Pilcher will enjoy books by Marcia Willett, and A Week in Winter (2001) was her first book set in Cornwall, a tearjerker about a family selling a beloved farmhouse.
Another bad thing about winter is getting snowbound with your former fiancé! In Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis (2017), Cassandra must attend a house party in the depths of winter where the danger is both from her ex and from ill-wishers in the falling snow. My review.
Even when the snow stops it can still be very cold! My next link is An Old, Cold Grave by Iona Whishaw (2017). In the third book in the Lane Winslow series, it’s early spring in 1947 but as Lane is helping her neighbors sort through the jars of food that had been put up for the winter they find a body.
According to The Guardian, the royal family traditionally likes to play parlor games and Nancy Mitford's biographers Selina Hastings and Laura Thompson, tell a story about charades in 1949/50 in which Queen Mary "'kissed the King [George VI] & shivered & everybody guessed at once!!' The answer was, of course, Love in a Cold Climate, which started enchanting readers, royal and not, in 1949 and has never stopped."
Have you read any of these? Did you play #6Degrees this month? Next month, we’ll start on August 6, 2022, with The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Oseki.