Monday, April 8, 2019

Review - The Winter Mystery

Title:  The Winter Mystery
Author:  Faith Martin
Series:  Jenny Starling #2
Format:  Kindle ARC
Genre:  Mystery/Thrillers
Date Published:  December 17, 2018
Publisher:  Joffe Books
No. of Pages:  237
My rating: 4 Stars


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 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 

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. 

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. 


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.

Review for The Birthday Mystery,


Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! The first 15 books in the series are available now.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing 'spooky' crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired 'proper' whodunits. So, if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

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