The Winter Mystery
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.

The Winter Mystery Details

TitleThe Winter Mystery
Author
ReleaseDec 17th, 2018
PublisherJoffe Books mystery and crime
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime

The Winter Mystery Review

  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    This is a perfect read for Christmas time: a snow-covered farm in the Cotswold, a murder and smell of delicious food prepared by a professional, travelling cook, Jenny Starling (sic!) who just happens to solve crimes in the meantime. Hired by one of the Kelton Brothers to cook and serve food over Christmas, Jenny gets involved in a crime committed on one of the family members. The relations within the Kelton family are rather complicated, and there is a plethora of suspects, which does not make This is a perfect read for Christmas time: a snow-covered farm in the Cotswold, a murder and smell of delicious food prepared by a professional, travelling cook, Jenny Starling (sic!) who just happens to solve crimes in the meantime. Hired by one of the Kelton Brothers to cook and serve food over Christmas, Jenny gets involved in a crime committed on one of the family members. The relations within the Kelton family are rather complicated, and there is a plethora of suspects, which does not make Jenny's task easy. Evetually she succeeds and leaves the Kelton Farm unscathed and its inhabitants in much higher spirits. Recommended to all cozy mystery fans.*Many thanks to Faith Martin, Joffe Books and Netgalley for providing me with ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Helga
    January 1, 1970
    Clever, clever, clever! Another cozy mystery that would warm your heart and tingle your grey cells in this holiday season.This time Jenny is hired as a cook for the Christmas holidays. Her employer, the farmer Stan Kelton is despised by everyone, even his own family. He is rude, vulgar and domineering and as soon as Jenny arrives at the farm, she senses the tense atmosphere and the resentment emanating from each member of the family and realizes that this is going to be one of those Christmases! Clever, clever, clever! Another cozy mystery that would warm your heart and tingle your grey cells in this holiday season.This time Jenny is hired as a cook for the Christmas holidays. Her employer, the farmer Stan Kelton is despised by everyone, even his own family. He is rude, vulgar and domineering and as soon as Jenny arrives at the farm, she senses the tense atmosphere and the resentment emanating from each member of the family and realizes that this is going to be one of those Christmases! Gloomy and dispirited! The only person, doing his best to keep the peace, is Stan’s older brother Sid, a kindhearted and gentle soul who is housebound due to illness.Then the inevitable happens. Someone is murdered in the kitchen of the farmhouse. If you think the victim is the despicable Stan, guess again! None of the family has an alibi for the time of the murder. The police is baffled and once again Jenny comes to the rescue. But she soon realizes that in order to unearth the identity of the killer, she should find an answer to this simple question: Why? Why would anyone want to kill the victim?Thanks to Faith Martin, Joffe Books and the NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy.
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Starling in spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional meals that she's loves. But the family she is working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. Actually, they don't seem to like each other. Someone is found dead on Christmas Eve and Jenny is getting the blame. This is the second book in Faith Martin's new series in the Jenny Starling mysteries. Jenny works as a cook who hires herself out. She has taken a job working for a farming family that will last Jenny Starling in spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional meals that she's loves. But the family she is working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. Actually, they don't seem to like each other. Someone is found dead on Christmas Eve and Jenny is getting the blame. This is the second book in Faith Martin's new series in the Jenny Starling mysteries. Jenny works as a cook who hires herself out. She has taken a job working for a farming family that will last for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. The family are not very nice people. She knows that she has made a mistake taking this job. I did guess where this story was going and who the killer was, but when they are well written books like this one is, it does not put me off reading it. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.I would like to thank NetGalley, Joffe Books and the author Faith Martin for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    The Winter Mystery, first published as A Fatal Fall of Snow in 2011 under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, is another fantastic addition to the Jenny Starling cosy mystery series. In this second book, amateur sleuth and travelling cook Ms Starling dreams of a relaxing Christmas in a country farmhouse surrounded by snow but her version of utopia soon turns to dystopia when a murder is committed. I couldn't think of a more perfect read than this as the nights draw in, it becomes chillier and Ch The Winter Mystery, first published as A Fatal Fall of Snow in 2011 under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, is another fantastic addition to the Jenny Starling cosy mystery series. In this second book, amateur sleuth and travelling cook Ms Starling dreams of a relaxing Christmas in a country farmhouse surrounded by snow but her version of utopia soon turns to dystopia when a murder is committed. I couldn't think of a more perfect read than this as the nights draw in, it becomes chillier and Christmas is just around the corner. I didn't exactly warm to Jenny straight away in the first book, but I am beginning to like her nature and her integrity when investigating a murder that is baffling everyone around her.The pace is ideal, not too fast, not too slow and the characters are well drawn as ever. These novels pay homage to the greats of classic crime such as Agatha Christie and have the same feeling and atmosphere as many of her stories. You can't really go wrong, and this will be especially enjoyable to those who prefer clean reads with no profanity or graphic violence. The writing pulls you into the book after the first few paragraphs and holds your interest until the very end. Through the twists and turns, I followed the clues alongside Ms Starling as I enjoy using my powers of deduction to identify the killer. The ending is satisfying and ties everything up neatly.Many thanks to Joffe Books for an ARC.
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    Please note this book was first published as “A FATAL FALL OF SNOW” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.Jenny Starling, a traveling cook who always seems to find herself in the position of an amateur detective, is spending Christmas working for a dysfunctional family, to say the least. The farm is mostly snowed it and there's no signal for phones. Jenny feels a bit unnerved although she couldn't tell you why....Until Christmas Eve when she finds herself sitting across the table from a man, Please note this book was first published as “A FATAL FALL OF SNOW” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.Jenny Starling, a traveling cook who always seems to find herself in the position of an amateur detective, is spending Christmas working for a dysfunctional family, to say the least. The farm is mostly snowed it and there's no signal for phones. Jenny feels a bit unnerved although she couldn't tell you why....Until Christmas Eve when she finds herself sitting across the table from a man, obviously dead, with a knife still stuck in his chest.The police who show up to investigate are of no help .... they have never worked a murder case and have no idea of where to start. Learning that Jenny has more experience with dead bodies than they do, they more or less give the lead to her and cross their fingers she can solve the case.This is the second in this series, and it's an entertaining read. Jenny is a jewel ... I love her attitude and her outlook on life. The mystery itself is a good one, although I figured out the why ... but I wasn't as sure of the who. It's well written, engaging, full of interesting characters ...including the goose and the Pooch ... and I look forward to see where Jenny goes from here.Many thanks to the author / Joffe Books / Netgalley / Books n All Promotions for the digital copy of THE WINTER MYSTERY. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Gail C.
    January 1, 1970
    Four and a half stars rounded up to five. The Winter Mystery is the second book in the new Jenny Starling Mysteries series by Faith Martin. Both books have been completely independent of one another and it is not necessary to read them in order of writing to enjoy them. Jenny Starling is the central character and she works as a cook for hire. In this book she has accepted a job to cook for a farm family for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a c Four and a half stars rounded up to five. The Winter Mystery is the second book in the new Jenny Starling Mysteries series by Faith Martin. Both books have been completely independent of one another and it is not necessary to read them in order of writing to enjoy them. Jenny Starling is the central character and she works as a cook for hire. In this book she has accepted a job to cook for a farm family for two weeks over the Christmas holiday. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a cold that has been created by an extraordinary snowfall. They sympathize with Jenny and agree with her negative assessment of the situation and the inhabitants as the book opens with Jenny trudging through snow that hasn’t even been plowed, not to mention that although the farm’s patriarch has carts and horses he hasn’t bothered to send anything for her to insure she is spared ill effects from the elements. As Jenny meets the various members of the household she is quick to question how wise it was to agree to a two week stay. The patriarch, Stan, is filled with hatred and anger which he spreads around equally among his two sons, his daughter, his brother, and his grandson. Jenny comes in for her share as well, with his insistence that she will have to mop the floor every time someone comes in as they aren’t going to take their shoes off when coming inside for any one of their several daily trips. She learns almost immediately the only person who demonstrates any compassion toward others is Sid, Stan’s brother. While the children and grandson may have some positive personality traits, Stan has managed to bully them all to the point they have become defeated in any attempt toward kindness or independance. Martin is excellent in creating such an atmosphere it feels as if the reader is actually experiencing the cold, inhospitable weather and the equally unpleasant atmosphere that pervades the farm’s inhabitants. As expected, a murder occurs and Jenny hikes to the nearest telephone callbox to call the police. While not totally incompetent, the police as clearly out of their comfort zone in considering murder and are greatly relieved to learn of Jenny’s experiences in solving murders in the past. As soon as Jenny’s skills are realized, the police inspector in charge begins to include her in his efforts to solve the murder, all the while hoping she will prove to be as talented as her reputation indicates. The inspector’s sargeant is moderately more self-assured, but still needs Jenny’s help to reach the correct solution. The reader has ample opportunity to solve this mystery along with Jenny. There are logical clues throughout the book, although not so obvious as to call attention to themselves. I solved this mystery prior to the end, but didn’t have the clue as to what would provide the solution to Jenny until she was explaining it until she named the killer and explained how she reached the correct conclusion. This is an enjoyable series and was as excellent in terms of clues and solutions as the first book in the series. It was a little more difficult to read because Martin does such a good job of describing the scene, leaving the reader to desire some warmth and human kindness throughout the book. Jenny, the plus-sized and unexpectedly sexy protagonist is someone you want to know even better and would welcome in your world.
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  • Janet Newport
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for this arc.I really enjoyed this # 2 Jenny Starling story. Kept hearing echoes of Miss Marple during my reading. It wasn't a fast paced book, yet it was a very compelling read. I love Ms. Martin's characters and especially Pooch and the goose in this one. A very nice cozy read.
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Winter Mystery, the second novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling.With no lucrative catering jobs on the horizon Jenny takes a job as temporary cook for the festive season at the Kelton farm in rural Oxfordshire. As soon as she gets there she realises she’s made a mistake as tensions are simmering in the Kelton household and the atmosphere is distinctly unpleasant. This culminates in a murder o I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Winter Mystery, the second novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling.With no lucrative catering jobs on the horizon Jenny takes a job as temporary cook for the festive season at the Kelton farm in rural Oxfordshire. As soon as she gets there she realises she’s made a mistake as tensions are simmering in the Kelton household and the atmosphere is distinctly unpleasant. This culminates in a murder on her second day there and doesn’t get any better when Inspector Moulton, called in to investigate and feeling out of his depth, recognises her name and starts expecting her to solve the case for him.I thoroughly enjoyed The Winter Murder which is an interesting mystery with a very likeable protagonist. I must admit, however, that the plot is more transparent than the previous novel and it wasn’t long before I had a good idea of how it was going to turn out. This did not, however, spoil my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest as it is Jenny’s interactions with the other characters and Ms Martin’s warm, inviting writing style that provide the fun in the novel. The plot is fairly standard, multiple suspects with no alibi, no visible motive and secrets to untangle, all of which Jenny handles with aplomb and a certain verve.I said it in my review of The Birthday Mystery and I’ll say it again with more conviction in this review. There is little, apart from job and status, to differentiate Jenny from Ms Martin’s other character, DI Hillary Greene. They are both tall with ample hourglass figures, an easy air that leads to confidences, a tough, no nonsense approach which inspires respect and ability to put the facts together in a coherent manner to catch the perpetrator.The Winter Mystery is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • Jannelies
    January 1, 1970
    Where to start? With the good points of this book of course. It is, as with all Faith Martin's books, very hard to put down once you start reading. Jenny Starling is an interesting character and after only two books in this series I think (and hope) that we will learn more about her - and her food of course. I happen to like books with cooks in them a lot. The plot is a bit obvious from the beginning but it is nice to see how the story flows along. I also like all the somewhat typical characters Where to start? With the good points of this book of course. It is, as with all Faith Martin's books, very hard to put down once you start reading. Jenny Starling is an interesting character and after only two books in this series I think (and hope) that we will learn more about her - and her food of course. I happen to like books with cooks in them a lot. The plot is a bit obvious from the beginning but it is nice to see how the story flows along. I also like all the somewhat typical characters in this story, especially the dog and the goose ;-). Although it is not a fun book (the poor family Jenny cooks a Christmas dinner for is one of the most unhappy families I ever read about) there is humour to be found in other things. Another positive point: in this second book in the series, there is no constant mentioning of Jenny's figure, her weight or her height, as in the first book. I cannot help it, I have some negative points too. There are some mistakes in the text that are confusing and at a certain point the research of an American professor is mentioned that is important for the story. This research is presented as 'new' but actually this research was done by an Austrian monk in 1860. You can look it up in Wikipedia... The research is important but I think this point had better be described somewhat different. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Thanks to Netgalley and Joffe Books for this digital copy.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsIn this story, Jenny is spending two weeks over Christmas in the Kelton household. Plodding through the deep snow to finally get to the farm, she finds the atmosphere in the home stifling. Stan Kelton runs the home like a tyrant, even though he is not the eldest son. He is rude, short tempered and totally unredeemable. There is nothing likeable about him. Jenny thinks it is going to be a very long two weeks. When a body shows up in the kitchen no less, Jenny’s week is going from bad to wo 5 starsIn this story, Jenny is spending two weeks over Christmas in the Kelton household. Plodding through the deep snow to finally get to the farm, she finds the atmosphere in the home stifling. Stan Kelton runs the home like a tyrant, even though he is not the eldest son. He is rude, short tempered and totally unredeemable. There is nothing likeable about him. Jenny thinks it is going to be a very long two weeks. When a body shows up in the kitchen no less, Jenny’s week is going from bad to worse. The detective who shows up to investigate the murder is not very competent, so it’s up to Jenny to ferret out the murderer. This is a delightful little cozy, but with an edge. I like Jenny and especially liked the Pooch and the gander characters. The book is very well written, a true Faith Martin tour de force, as it were. She is such a fantastic writer. It doesn’t seem to matter to what she turns her hand. I really enjoy the Jenny series and anxiously look forward to reading the next in the series. I want to thank Joffe Books and NetGalley for forwarding to me a copy of this remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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  • LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    Curvy cook Jenny Starling is back! It’s almost Christmas and instead of spending it alone in a little bedsit, she takes a chance on an advert looking for a cook over the festive season. When she gets there a sense of foreboding overcomes her. It’s snowing, the farm is in the middle of nowhere with no mod-cons or even a landline and the family...well they seem to hate each other especially the head of the household, Stan Kelton.When someone is found stabbed to death in the kitchen, the local poli Curvy cook Jenny Starling is back! It’s almost Christmas and instead of spending it alone in a little bedsit, she takes a chance on an advert looking for a cook over the festive season. When she gets there a sense of foreboding overcomes her. It’s snowing, the farm is in the middle of nowhere with no mod-cons or even a landline and the family...well they seem to hate each other especially the head of the household, Stan Kelton.When someone is found stabbed to death in the kitchen, the local police are out of their depth so the ask Jenny to investigate.So this is the second in the Jenny Starling series but it can easily be read as a stand alone.Another cosy mystery from Faith Martin perfect for the holiday season full of food, fun and fiendish murder.Now I’m not going to say to much about the story or character because I feel like this one of those books that you should dig into with as little information as possible. I will say there were some funny light-hearted moments involving a marauding goose and a sheepdog that’s afraid of sheep that you should look out for while you’re reading!Again as with the last novel I guessed the killer and motive quite early on. Also I kept having to remind myself that Jenny is only in her twenties as a lot of the time she sounds much older.Overall the winter mystery a Christmassy cosy whodunnit that I’d recommend for those who love a more light-hearted mystery.
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  • Jane Hunt
    January 1, 1970
    This aptly named mystery is the perfect book for a cold, Winter's afternoon. Jenny Starling is a strong, likeable character with a talent for crime solving. The cast of characters in this particular mystery is not easy to empathise, but when the most likeable of them is murdered, Jenny is first on the scene and becomes involved in solving the crime.This is an old-fashioned crime mystery with false clues, numerous suspects and a particularly nasty murder. The slow pacing fits the story and the re This aptly named mystery is the perfect book for a cold, Winter's afternoon. Jenny Starling is a strong, likeable character with a talent for crime solving. The cast of characters in this particular mystery is not easy to empathise, but when the most likeable of them is murdered, Jenny is first on the scene and becomes involved in solving the crime.This is an old-fashioned crime mystery with false clues, numerous suspects and a particularly nasty murder. The slow pacing fits the story and the reader aside from reading an interesting story can try and work out #whodunnit.An easy to read but cleverly plotted mystery with complex, realistic characters and a memorable amateur detective.I received a copy of this book from Joffe Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Joanna Larum
    January 1, 1970
    The second in the Jenny Starling mystery series and this time Jenny is cooking for a farming family at Christmas. There has been a heavy snowfall and Jenny finds herself stuck in the remote farmhouse with a petty tyrant(Stan Kelton) who rules the household with a rod of iron, even though he isn't the actual owner. When Sid, his older brother, is found stabbed, Jenny has to help the police to solve the murder.This was a very easy read although I was disappointed to be able to work out who had don The second in the Jenny Starling mystery series and this time Jenny is cooking for a farming family at Christmas. There has been a heavy snowfall and Jenny finds herself stuck in the remote farmhouse with a petty tyrant(Stan Kelton) who rules the household with a rod of iron, even though he isn't the actual owner. When Sid, his older brother, is found stabbed, Jenny has to help the police to solve the murder.This was a very easy read although I was disappointed to be able to work out who had done it and why. I found the repetition of the clue to be unnecessary but I did enjoy the building of the characters, even the goose and the dog. In fact, the dog seemed to have more about him than the detectives.This is a very cosy read and would be perfect for a winter's evening. I think I still prefer the Hillary Greene series by the same author.
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  • Kerry Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    SynopsisDiscover 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 TimesMeet 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 th SynopsisDiscover 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 TimesMeet 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 enjoyable 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.THE SETTINGA 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.JENNY STARLINGIn 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.THE AUTHORFAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year.JENNY STARLING MYSTERIESBook 1: THE BIRTHDAY MYSTERYBook 2: THE WINTER MYSTERYMore JENNY STARLING mysteries coming soon.ReviewMeet Jenny Starling.In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1 inch, 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.I came into reading The Winter Mystery straight from finishing The Birthday Mystery, (read my review here) so I was still very much in the character of Jenny Starling. It can be read as a stand alone novel but you find out more of Jenny’s background if you read the Birthday Mystery. They can also be read non-sequentially.The second installment in the Jenny Starling series takes us to a remote farm at Christmas time with a very dysfunctional family. Jenny seems to have a bad habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and it isn’t long before there’s a brutal stabbing and a house full of suspects.The murder happens much earlier in the book this time and to be honest, is a bit of a shock. This makes the book a lot pacier than the previous one and we get to business straight away. I love the old-style ‘who dun it?‘ where all the possible suspects are under one roof and being investigated daily.The Winter Mystery is story telling at it’s best. It’s simple but riveting and completely demands reader participation. I’m often drawn into books and imagine myself as one of the characters but with Faith Martin’s books it’s as though I’m watching a Sunday afternoon detective T.V. programme and I love that I can just get lost in the fun of playing amateur detective.Figuring out who the murder is isn’t necessarily the difficult part, it’s working out the motive from all the very subtle clues Faith Martin leaves sprinkled throughout the earlier parts of the story like a cookie crumb trail.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Some reviews are harder to write than others. I like to be as fair as I can be but also honest. Personal taste is a huge factor for any reader and reviewer and it definitely plays a role for me. When looking at my reviews, you need to look not just at one review but at more--compare my taste on a book you may have already read to your own opinion. Consider my reasons for liking or disliking something. Consider that I'm growing in my understanding of writing theory and technique and this is refin Some reviews are harder to write than others. I like to be as fair as I can be but also honest. Personal taste is a huge factor for any reader and reviewer and it definitely plays a role for me. When looking at my reviews, you need to look not just at one review but at more--compare my taste on a book you may have already read to your own opinion. Consider my reasons for liking or disliking something. Consider that I'm growing in my understanding of writing theory and technique and this is refining my opinion and sometimes making it harder for me to let go and enjoy the ride. And consider that I try to keep genre expectations in mind as a factor in my ratings also. That can be tricky, especially when my own expectations probably exceed genre on some points.The Winter Mystery is one of these tricky reviews because I'm torn between my own expectations and what's acceptable in the genre, especially in later books of a series in the genre.I ended up reading this one twice trying to clarify things (and after talking to the publisher about a concern in the prerelease ARC that is resolved in the final version). I'm doing my best to rate this purely on the final. Things happen in ARCs sometimes (advanced reader copies) because they're created before the editing process is completed and I'm still new at learning what to expect there.In terms of genre expectations, this is a good, solid cozy mystery with an interesting female amateur sleuth and a credible reason for her involvement in the situation. It's a British countryside setting and I'm honestly not certain of the time period. Cell phones exist, but she found a phone booth when one was needed. I've never been in rural England to know how common those things still are. So it's recent if not completely current.I was somewhat annoyed by what felt to me like head hopping. But the average reader is probably going to feel like it's a comfortable omniscient perspective and not give it a second thought. Despite this, I really liked the narrative voice. I just felt like I got shuffled into a new person more than I needed to. I prefer staying primarily in the sleuth--or in a consistent POV character near the sleuth--so I can feel like I'm racing the sleuth to put the clues together and ID the killer.Although this book turns out to be a later book in a series, I never felt left out of anything. This kind of welcome for a new reader can be difficult but the author pulled it off. The passing references to old cases only were significant in how the police thought of her and it never mattered that I didn't know anything about it. The book's focus was firmly on the mystery, without too much sidetrack into personal relationships. I'm sure those who have read more of the series will enjoy another layer in the story, but the new reader can pick it up and enjoy every page.I give it 3.5 stars and would happily read more of the series. Readers who aren't bothered by those POV shifts are likely to rate it far higher.My thanks to Joffe Books for their prompt response to my email with feedback and for letting me see the revised final edition so I could offer a review based on it.
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  • Mandie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book in the Jenny Starling series but it can work very well as a stand-alone. Jenny is a no nonsense cook for hire who seems to have a knack for solving murders. Hired by Stan Kelton to cook over the Christmas period she soon finds herself smack bang in the middle of the investigations into the death of Sid Kelton, Stan’s elder brother and the owner of the farm. Used to being told to stay out of the way and not to get involved, Jenny initially finds it a refreshing change when This is the second book in the Jenny Starling series but it can work very well as a stand-alone. Jenny is a no nonsense cook for hire who seems to have a knack for solving murders. Hired by Stan Kelton to cook over the Christmas period she soon finds herself smack bang in the middle of the investigations into the death of Sid Kelton, Stan’s elder brother and the owner of the farm. Used to being told to stay out of the way and not to get involved, Jenny initially finds it a refreshing change when the detectives in charge of the case actively encourage her to be of assistance… that is until she gets the feeling they are actually relying on her to actually solve the case for them. Jenny comes across as someone who loves to cook but does love the challenge of a good mystery. She loves to people watch and has a great eye for small details. When she talks to people she quickly puts them at ease so they tend to open up to her, telling her things they may not say to the police. The family members are the main suspects and to be honest I found that none of them were particularly likeable when you first meet them. Stan Kelton is basically a bully who rules over his children and his grandson by constantly belittling them and not letting them have any kind of independence. The way he acts you would believe that he was the owner of the farm not Sid. You can tell that he is not liked by any of them, or by the locals of the village. The eldest Bert doesn’t seem to have any real backbone and despite Stan being the reason his wife left both him and their son Jeremy he takes everything that is thrown at him getting more and more defeated with every day that passes. Bill has a little more fire in him and regularly challenges Stan. Once the favourite son he is now the one that clashes with his father the most. Delia is the youngest child and it shows in so many ways. She is desperate to escape her father and the farm but as he keeps her without her own means of an income this does not look like it will ever be a possibility. At the beginning of the book I was wondering about the motive for Sid’s murder as with the exception of Stan, all the family seemed to like the old man. As you read on though there are quite a few hints and clues and it did become really obvious as to why he was killed and who committed the crime. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was the investigating officers. They seemed a little bit ineffective and almost surplus to requirements, as if they were only there as it would seem odd that there was no police presence for a murder enquiry.That being said The Winter Mystery is still a very enjoyable read and almost has a feel of the mudery mystery novels of old.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Starling is Faith Martin's traveling cook and wherever Jenny goes, murder apparently awaits her arrival. With no plans of her own for the Christmas holiday, she takes a job cooking for a farming family. This isn't going to be a warm and fuzzy holiday though, as the head of the family, Stan is cruel, cold, and quite an unpleasant character. He treats his children, his older brother and everyone around him with scorn, and honestly, I don't believe he possessed even one redeeming quality. I d Jenny Starling is Faith Martin's traveling cook and wherever Jenny goes, murder apparently awaits her arrival. With no plans of her own for the Christmas holiday, she takes a job cooking for a farming family. This isn't going to be a warm and fuzzy holiday though, as the head of the family, Stan is cruel, cold, and quite an unpleasant character. He treats his children, his older brother and everyone around him with scorn, and honestly, I don't believe he possessed even one redeeming quality. I disliked the character of Stan more than Ebenezer Scrooge(before his ghostly visits) and that says a lot about how well the author made this gloomy and cold location and this character come to life.When Jenny discovers a dead body in the kitchen and when the police seem clueless, she must use her sleuthing skills to unmask the killer. I was pretty certain of the killer's identity once the victim was revealed, but I didn't know the why. As the story progressed, I made my usual guess at whodunit and I actually got it right(which doesn't happen too often). It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story and I hoped I would leave this family better off than the way I found them. I didn't like The Winter Mystery quite as much as I enjoyed The Birthday Mystery. Part of that might be due to it almost being Christmas and not only did I feel sorry for Jenny having no family or friends to share the holiday with, but also because this family was so broken and beaten down. I do look forward to reading the next book in this series. I received a DRC from Joffe Books through NetGalley.
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  • Misfits farm
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny has been employed by a farm to cook for them for two weeks over the Christmas period. She arrives in deep snow and finds the atmosphere inside the house is even chillier than the weather outside. Stan runs the place with a rod of iron and is despised by all around him- and they are mostly family. He scrimps on everything and it turns out that the farm is really owned by his nicer older brother Sid but Stan has acted as though it was his since time immemorial. ~When Sid not Stan is found mu Jenny has been employed by a farm to cook for them for two weeks over the Christmas period. She arrives in deep snow and finds the atmosphere inside the house is even chillier than the weather outside. Stan runs the place with a rod of iron and is despised by all around him- and they are mostly family. He scrimps on everything and it turns out that the farm is really owned by his nicer older brother Sid but Stan has acted as though it was his since time immemorial. ~When Sid not Stan is found murdered who could be the culprit and the even bigger question is why? I really enjoyed this. Jenny is not a private detective just a bystander who has her eyes and ears open and happily chats to people which draws the information out. There is a “homeliness” feel to her, her love of people but keen sense of right and what just doesn’t sit quite right. This is based around Christmas but could be read at any time of the year as it is all about he family and the murder rather than the festive season. A heartwarming tale of family wrongs and history being put right. Certainly one to lift the spirit. Merry Christmas!For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.-----------------
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  • Cozy Cat Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second installment of the "Jenny Starling' Mystery series and one of my favorite mysteries of the year. The author has a well crafted writing style that is fast paced with interesting settings and charcters. I look, forward to reading further books in this series. Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my personal review. 2o something Jenny Starling is back in the holiday season. She has decided to take on a job on a farm to cook over the festive season so she won't be alone. This is the second installment of the "Jenny Starling' Mystery series and one of my favorite mysteries of the year. The author has a well crafted writing style that is fast paced with interesting settings and charcters. I look, forward to reading further books in this series. Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my personal review. 2o something Jenny Starling is back in the holiday season. She has decided to take on a job on a farm to cook over the festive season so she won't be alone. However she was not counting on the fact It’s snowing constantly and freezing, the farm is in the middle of nowhere with no phone or contact with the outside world and the family hates each other fighting at constant odds. When a murder occurs in the kitchen where she is working she feels the local police are not helping and she begins to investigate. i love the setting that is perfect for a winter time read. The sleuth was very well crafted and kept me guessing. i like the charcters and how Jenny is smart for her age and clever to find clues and suspects. A very enjoyable read indeed.
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    Another delightful entry for Jenny Starling, traveling cook. This time Jenny’s booked for Christmas at a ramshackle farm in the Oxford countryside. The Keltons have owned the farm for generations, always passing down through the eldest son. The current eldest son is Sidney, a gentle peaceful man who has suffered from ill health for years. Sidney never married, so his younger brother Stan has run the farm for years with his two sons, Bert and Bill. Stan is an evil, tightfisted man, the total oppo Another delightful entry for Jenny Starling, traveling cook. This time Jenny’s booked for Christmas at a ramshackle farm in the Oxford countryside. The Keltons have owned the farm for generations, always passing down through the eldest son. The current eldest son is Sidney, a gentle peaceful man who has suffered from ill health for years. Sidney never married, so his younger brother Stan has run the farm for years with his two sons, Bert and Bill. Stan is an evil, tightfisted man, the total opposite of his brother Sid, the entire family live in fear of him. On Jenny’s second morning at the farm, she finds Sid stabbed to death at the kitchen table. No one would have been shocked if it had been Stan, but Sidney? Why? Quickly Jenny becomes involved “helping the police with their inquiries”. Although this is a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I have really enjoyed reading this series, I find Jenny to be a unique character and I am anxious to read more in the series. For readers of classic cosy British mysteries I highly recommend.Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a free electronic copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Marion
    January 1, 1970
    In this second case for Jenny Starling we find her employed as a cook at a snow bound farm in the Cotswolds.Unfortunately the family do not exactly seem full of christmas cheer, in fact they appear to actually dislike each other, or perhaps I should say they all dislike Stan Kelton , the farmer, Jennys employer.He is a boor of a man and is disliked outside his home as well as in, so when a member of the family is found dead with a knife through his chest you could be forgiven for expecting it to In this second case for Jenny Starling we find her employed as a cook at a snow bound farm in the Cotswolds.Unfortunately the family do not exactly seem full of christmas cheer, in fact they appear to actually dislike each other, or perhaps I should say they all dislike Stan Kelton , the farmer, Jennys employer.He is a boor of a man and is disliked outside his home as well as in, so when a member of the family is found dead with a knife through his chest you could be forgiven for expecting it to be Stan.Not so and as the local police seem to be clueless, on discovering that Jenny has helped in murder investigations before they give her a free hand in seeking out the truth of who killed Sid Kelton, Stans brother.I did guess who the killer was long before the end but found I enjoyed how Jenny worked through all the clues to finally reveal his identity.I find Jenny Starling growing on me and I am looking forward to reading more about the travelling cook and the cases she finds herself involved with. Thanks to Joffe books for the opportunity to read this as an ARC.
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  • M
    January 1, 1970
    Depressing People In an Oppressive Atmosphere I enjoyed reading the Hillary Greene books, so I decided to give this cozy series a try. The mystery is straightforward, considering the characters and the murder method. The book’s POV is omniscient, but at times it read as though I were head-hopping. I like Faith Martin enough to remind myself that it’s omniscient. Compared to characters in the DI Hillary Greene novels, unlikable people (to the point of cliche) populate this book. There is the powe Depressing People In an Oppressive Atmosphere I enjoyed reading the Hillary Greene books, so I decided to give this cozy series a try. The mystery is straightforward, considering the characters and the murder method. The book’s POV is omniscient, but at times it read as though I were head-hopping. I like Faith Martin enough to remind myself that it’s omniscient. Compared to characters in the DI Hillary Greene novels, unlikable people (to the point of cliche) populate this book. There is the power-mad patriarch, a malingering woman, a hate-filled widow, and a slew of spineless—almost indistinguishable—family members. Author kept nattering about protagonist Jenny Starling’s attributes: Unusual height, well-endowed hour glass figure, surprisingly pleasing and shapely girth, her beautiful blue eyes, impressively Junoesque woman, etc. I enjoyed reading about the gander, because I escaped one as a child, only by climbing a tree. 2.5 stars bumped up to 3, because I’ll read another in this series before giving up on Faith Martin.
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  • Rachel Bridgeman
    January 1, 1970
    This is a perfect seasonal read and jumping on point for this new series of mysteries featuring new character, Jenny Starling. Following on from ‘The Birthday Mystery’, this outing finds Jenny embroiled in a Christmas Eve murder.When the detective who is sent to investigate the snowed in occupants of the village appears completely unprepared to cope with a murder investigation, Jenny takes it upon herself to solve the mystery and rescue Christmas clearing her name in the process.I love whodunnit This is a perfect seasonal read and jumping on point for this new series of mysteries featuring new character, Jenny Starling. Following on from ‘The Birthday Mystery’, this outing finds Jenny embroiled in a Christmas Eve murder.When the detective who is sent to investigate the snowed in occupants of the village appears completely unprepared to cope with a murder investigation, Jenny takes it upon herself to solve the mystery and rescue Christmas clearing her name in the process.I love whodunnits and this is a satisfying read with enough characters and twists to keep any mystery fan happy!This is the first time I have read a Faith Martin novel and it definitely has encouraged me to not only go back and read ‘The Birthday Mystery’, but also the Hillary Greene books too!As a huge fan of regional mysteries, finding a ‘new to me ‘ author is always a pleasure and I was excited to see that there are more Jenny Starling books on the way!
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  • Alyson Read
    January 1, 1970
    The second story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and already I am a big fan. In this book Jenny has been booked to cook at a farm over the Christmas holidays. The snow is falling thick and fast, and whilst struggling to reach her destination Jenny gets the feeling the family is not so popular locally. She arrives and meets Sid Kelton the owner, his obnoxious brother Stan, together with Stan's three grown up and children and one grandson, all The second story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and already I am a big fan. In this book Jenny has been booked to cook at a farm over the Christmas holidays. The snow is falling thick and fast, and whilst struggling to reach her destination Jenny gets the feeling the family is not so popular locally. She arrives and meets Sid Kelton the owner, his obnoxious brother Stan, together with Stan's three grown up and children and one grandson, all requiring feeding. Once again Jenny finds herself caught up in a murder but there's something wrong here. How can it be that the most loved person gets killed instead of the most hated? Snowed in at the farm together with rather inept police detectives who for once absolutely welcome her input, Jenny faces a hard time even discovering a motive let alone unmasking the culprit. Recommended to all!
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  • Alyson Read
    January 1, 1970
    The second story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and already I am a big fan. In this book Jenny has been booked to cook at a farm over the Christmas holidays. The snow is falling thick and fast, and whilst struggling to reach her destination Jenny gets the feeling the family is not so popular locally. She arrives and meets Sid Kelton the owner, his obnoxious brother Stan, together with Stan's three grown up and children and one grandson, all The second story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and already I am a big fan. In this book Jenny has been booked to cook at a farm over the Christmas holidays. The snow is falling thick and fast, and whilst struggling to reach her destination Jenny gets the feeling the family is not so popular locally. She arrives and meets Sid Kelton the owner, his obnoxious brother Stan, together with Stan's three grown up and children and one grandson, all requiring feeding. Once again Jenny finds herself caught up in a murder but there's something wrong here. How can it be that the most loved person gets killed instead of the most hated? Snowed in at the farm together with rather inept police detectives who for once absolutely welcome her input, Jenny faces a hard time even discovering a motive let alone unmasking the culprit. Recommended to all!
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  • Nerys Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Starling has accepted a job at Kelton Farm over the Christmas season. Kelton Farm is home to brothers Sid and Stan Kelton, Stan’s two sons Bert and Bill, his daughter Delia and Bert’s son Jeremy. The family is a dysfunctional one - Sid is the older brother but Stan runs the farm with a rod of iron. He doesn’t seem well like by his family and the locals don’t have a good word to say about him. Then a murder occurs on Christmas Eve and Jenny once again finds herself helping the police with t Jenny Starling has accepted a job at Kelton Farm over the Christmas season. Kelton Farm is home to brothers Sid and Stan Kelton, Stan’s two sons Bert and Bill, his daughter Delia and Bert’s son Jeremy. The family is a dysfunctional one - Sid is the older brother but Stan runs the farm with a rod of iron. He doesn’t seem well like by his family and the locals don’t have a good word to say about him. Then a murder occurs on Christmas Eve and Jenny once again finds herself helping the police with their enquirers. Really enjoying this series - Jenny is a modern day Miss Marple. Hope book number three is in the pipeline. Thanks to Joffe Books and Faith Martin for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    I read this for the "read a book during the season it is set in" category of the 2019 Popsugar challenge. The English winter setting made me glad I live in a slightly warmer climate, but the mystery entertained me, and the descriptions of the hearty food the traveling cook is preparing for the dysfunctional family she is cooking for were yummy sounding. This is the second in the Jenny Starling series and it was just as satisfying to me as the first in the series. I love a good old fashioned myst I read this for the "read a book during the season it is set in" category of the 2019 Popsugar challenge. The English winter setting made me glad I live in a slightly warmer climate, but the mystery entertained me, and the descriptions of the hearty food the traveling cook is preparing for the dysfunctional family she is cooking for were yummy sounding. This is the second in the Jenny Starling series and it was just as satisfying to me as the first in the series. I love a good old fashioned mystery with family issues galore for motives, and this one was full of that. I did figure out the clue Jenny was trying to dredge up from her memory before she did, but that's just part of the fun.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Starling on a whim responded to an advertisement for a cook at a farm over the Christmas period. Unfortunately the household it not a happy one which is made worse on Christmas Eve when one of them turns up dead. The situation is not helped by the lack of murder experience of the lead detective Inspector Moulton, and it is left to Jenny to steer the police to the correct guilty party.Am enjoyable well-written and easily read cozy mystery with a likeable lead character.I voluntarily read an Jenny Starling on a whim responded to an advertisement for a cook at a farm over the Christmas period. Unfortunately the household it not a happy one which is made worse on Christmas Eve when one of them turns up dead. The situation is not helped by the lack of murder experience of the lead detective Inspector Moulton, and it is left to Jenny to steer the police to the correct guilty party.Am enjoyable well-written and easily read cozy mystery with a likeable lead character.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy from Joffe Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely cozy! This is the second instalment I read in this series and I loved it as much as I loved the first one.The cast of characters is lovely, the heroine is amazing, growing up on you and well written.The mystery was great and it kept me guessing till the end.I look forward to reading other instalments in this series.Highly recommended!Many thanks to Joffe Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Starling has been hired to cook for a family over Christmas. The daughter, Delia has told her father she is not cooking for them. This is a family who is controlled by the younger brother, not the owner of the farm. His older brother has deferred to Stan as Sid's health is not good and he cannot get out to do the work. Jenny's second day there a murder happens. Jenny's help is needed again to solve the mystery. This is the second book in this series.
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