Dead of Winter: A Lily Dale Mystery

Wendy Corsi Staub. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-68331-333-5
At the start of bestseller Corsi’s entertaining third mystery set in the real-life spiritualist community of Lily Dale, N.Y. (after 2016’s Something Buried, Something Blue), Bella Jordan, Valley View Manor’s innkeeper, witnesses a killer dump a corpse into Cassadaga Lake. Bella doesn’t fully realize what she’s seen from her kitchen window until she finds the corpse on the lakeshore. The killer, an Elvis Presley look-alike, knows Bella called the police and wants to make her pay. A brutal blizzard, however, complicates his plans. During the storm, six-year-old Jiffy Arden, a friend of Bella’s son, Max, goes missing. Bella worries Jiffy wandered off again, no thanks to his absentee mother. Max is convinced Jiffy, who recently dreamed of being kidnapped on a snowy day, has in fact been kidnapped. When another body turns up, Bella fears Jiffy’s disappearance is related to the earlier murder and that he may be a victim of the Elvis look-alike. Bella’s deep love and concern for a child that isn’t her own is a nice facet to her character. The endearing town, its quirky psychic medium residents, and a hint of romance offset the slow ramp-up and carry through to a suspenseful ending. Agent: Laura Blake Peterson, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
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