The Dead of Winter: A Blackwater Bay Mystery

Paula Gosling, Author Mysterious Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-511-3
The town of Blackwater Bay, Mich., the inspired setting for A Few Dying Words, is back. Gold Dagger winner Gosling uses two main characters to hold together this intricate tale of big-time mob doings and small-town dirty laundry: Jess Gibbons, a 30-something home-economics teacher; and stolid Sheriff Matt Gabriel. In the middle of a harsh winter, Jess, a little bored and a little depressed, can't know that when a local fisherman glimpses a corpse floating beneath the ice, events will conspire to give her more excitement than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Matt is mystified by the corpse's identity, and the homecoming queen has been throwing wild parties and may be living a secret life. Jess is still cooking gourmet meals for her five housemates, but the air is charged and everyone is on edge, including Jess's normally placid cats--and it's not just cabin fever. This complicated puzzler, pivoting from cozy sewing circles to talk of mafia hit men and cocaine dens, comes to its brilliantly staged conclusion at the annual ice festival where Gosling dramatizes the point that smooth and shiny surfaces can hide a lot of treachery. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-446-40499-0
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