Cold Comfort Reads

Cold Comfort Reads is a reading challenge that I’ve set myself in an effort to escape the dull, damp, dismal English winter and take refuge in stories that will take me back to the mountains and real snow. I’ve picked six books from my TBR pile that fit the bill. I’m going to read one a week for six weeks.

When five snowboarder friends meet for a reunion in an isolated mountain lodge in the French Alps, they soon find out no one really knows who invited them. 

It’s been ten years since they’ve seen each other, and the winter when the enigmatic Saskia went missing. 

When an icebreaker game they play on arrival turns menacing, they soon realise someone is determined to dig up the secrets of the past. And will go to any lengths to find out the truth of what happened that winter.

They were all there. But who has the most to hide?

A popular rockabilly singer has vanished in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. Lead RCMP investigator David Leith and his team work through the possibilities: has she been snatched by the so-called Pickup Killer, or does the answer lie here in the community, somewhere among her reticent fans and friends?

Leith has much to contend with: rough terrain and punishing weather, motel-living and wily witnesses. The local police force is tiny but headstrong, and one young constable seems more hindrance than help — until he wanders straight into the heart of the matter. 

The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two, the second barely a ghost passing through. Suspects multiply, but only at the bitter end does Leith discover who is the coldest girl of all.

‘Crossed skis means danger ahead…’

In London’s Bloomsbury, Inspector Julian Rivers of Scotland Yard looks down at a dismal scene. Here is the victim, burnt to a crisp. Here are the clues – clues which point to a good climber and expert skier, and which lead Rivers to the piercing sunshine and sparkling snow of the Austrian Alps.

Here there is something sinister beneath the heady joys of the slopes, and Rivers is soon confronted by a merry group of suspects, and a long list of reasons not to trust each of them. For the mountains can be a dangerous, changeable place, and it can be lonely out between the pines of the slopes…

In the second book in the number-one best-selling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex is sent by MI6 to infiltrate the exclusive Point Blanc Academy. But the academy hides a deadly secret. Can Alex alert the world to the truth before it’s too late?

In Dead Men Don’t Ski, Patricia Moyes introduces Inspector Henry Tibbett, a blissfully ordinary English copper with a pleasantly plump wife and a nose for the bad guys. Sadly for Henry (but happily for us) that nose has a knack of ruining his vacations. In Dead Men, he and Emmy are headed for the Italian Dolomites, ready for a spot of skiing and some first-class people-watching, all those athletic youngsters in their swanky late-1950s ski outfits. It’s all very “Mad Men” until one dead body turns up, and then another, and it becomes clear that Murder has come to the mountain.

Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter. Welcome to a world of Father Christmases behaving oddly, a famous fictional detective in a Yuletide drama, mysterious tracks in the snow—-, and some very unpleasant carol singers.

The mysterious events chronicled by a distinguished array of contributors in this volume frequently take place at Christmas. There’s no denying that the supposed season of goodwill is a time of year that lends itself to detective fiction.

On a cold night, it’s tempting to curl up by the fireside with a good mystery. And more than that, claustrophobic house parties, when people may be cooped up with long-estranged relatives, can provide plenty of motives for murder.Including forgotten stories by great writers such as Margery Allingham, as well as classic tales by less familiar crime novelists, each story in this selection is introduced by the great expert on classic crime, Martin Edwards. 

5 thoughts on “Cold Comfort Reads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s