Thursday 4 July 2019

Book review : The Frozen Shroud - Martin Edwards

I've just finished reading The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards, which I picked up in the 3-for-£5 deal at The Works. It is labelled as book 6 in the Lake District Mysteries series, but it can be enjoyed perfectly well as a stand-alone novel.

The action takes place in a charming, remote village called Ravenbank, on the shores of Ullswater, which seems to have a sinister, little-known identity as a hub of murder. Back before the First World War, a young woman's body was discovered with a makeshift shroud frozen to her battered face, then, five years ago, another body was discovered in similar circumstances. In both cases, a likely suspect was discovered but died before they could be charged - one by suicide and one in an accident.

The murders are a spine-tingling topic of conversation for the locals and, as it is Halloween, they decide to end a boozy night-in with a ghost hunt. They don't find any spirits though (apart from those in a bottle) and head for home. The next day, another young woman, one of the party guests, is discovered, dead, on Ravenbank. Is this place cursed or is someone copying the past crimes?

A historian called Daniel Kind, who happens to be a specialist in the history of murder, is soon drawn to dig deeper into the past crimes and their possible links with this new murder. DCI Hannah Scarlett, is also drawn in, on a personal level, but she has a lot on her plate, coming to terms with the break-up with her long-term partner Marc Amos and worrying about the budget cuts that will scale down her Cold Case Review team. Slowly, they will start to put everything together, challenging the past events that were recorded and looking for new leads.

It's an interesting and evocative setting, with lots of foggy nights and red herrings. I often had the impression that I was reading a slightly old-fashioned crime novel, along the lines of Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple, with lots of discussions instead of big action. The scenes leading up to the party and the final murder introduced a lot of characters and I found it hard to keep track of who was who - I'm not sure if these characters have already appeared in previous novels or if they are all new ones. It's an interesting novel though and I would definitely look out for other titles from the series. 

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; UK ed. edition (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749014652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749014650


  1. I haven't read any books in the series, but this thriller sounds right up my alley. I shouldn't be really buying any more paperbacks at the Works, but maybe I will do one more visit before the school holidays start. :)

  2. I must pop into The Works and have a look at their books.


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