cover image The Dead of Winter: A Rina Martin Novel

The Dead of Winter: A Rina Martin Novel

Jane A. Adams. Severn, $27.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8034-5

In Adams's stately fifth entry in her series featuring Rina Martin, a retired actress who once played a Miss Marple%E2%80%93like role on TV (after 2010's Resolutions), Rina accompanies her young friend Tim Brandon, a professional stage magician, and his fianc%C3%A9e, Joy Duggan, to historic Aikensthorpe House in rural Devon for a weekend conference on Tim's field. Rina stays afterward with the couple to attend a re-enactment of a s%C3%A9ance held at Aikensthorpe in 1872. The slow-burning story line finally kicks in with the murder of the conference's luminary, psychic researcher Edwin Holmes. The tension rises as a winter blizzard prevents the guests' departure and delays the police's arrival. Despite the initial leaden pacing and some less than compelling flashbacks to Aikensthorpe's troubled past, Agatha Christie fans should enjoy this contemporary homage to the traditional English country house mystery. (Sept.)