The Frozen ShroudThe Frozen Shroud

Martin Edwards

Poisoned Pen Press

278 pages

$14.95 (soft cover)

Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

 Prolific British crime writer Martin Edwards continues to bring his “A” game to the keyboard with the sixth book in his Lake District Mystery Series, The Frozen Shroud. In a style reminiscent of Christie, Edwards brings more red herrings to the table than the local fishmonger can supply. He keeps the reader guessing until the last pages, held in delicious page turning suspense, second-guessing the twist and turns of clues masterfully woven into the plot.

The Frozen Shroud begins five years ago with the brutal murder of a young woman on Hallowe’en. Murder is dreadful enough, but this one is an echo of a Hallowe’en night in the early 1900s when a young woman also died at Ravenbank in the same gruesome manner. Local investigators closed both cases. They were open and shut, but were the true killers found or is the real murderer still out there ready to kill again?

By happenstance, Daniel Kind, a specialist in historic murders and his sister attend the annual Hallowe’en party in Ravenbank. He is fascinated with the rumors of The Faceless Woman’s ghost walking the grounds and only agrees to the party to speak with the only person that could give him a clue as to what happened in Ravenbank. He wakes the next morning to the news that a third murder has been committed in the same fashion as the two he was researching.

Enter DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the budget restricted Cold Case Review Team. Her life is a mess. She’s separated from her long term boyfriend, losing part of her team at work due to budget cuts, at odds with her new boss and attracted to two men. One could be a bad idea, the other may be worse.

The new murder brings the five-year-old case back to her desk. If the assumed murderer was killed in an accident, then who committed the third Hallowe’en murder? Why was the victim’s face beaten and then covered with the signature frozen shroud like the previous victims? Scarlett teams up with Kind to solve the murders. Their relationship could become more, but is it what they both want?

I loved this book. It was not a fluffy little who-done-it, but an intelligent, smart story that made me think. I had to read it slower and pay more attention, but it is refreshing to read a wonderfully written mystery with substance. I will seek out this award winner author’s other books. Edwards is a gem.

Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.