Cold Weather Mysteries

shelved under Personal Favorites and Mystery

Winter and autumn are my favorite times of the year. These tales transport me to cold weather even if it’s a sweltering day in July.


Smilla's Sense of Snow

by Peter Hoeg

Marlow Ockfen from Billings, MT says:

Hoeg creates cold and loneliness with his prose. This book makes one FEEL that they must follow Smilla through her obsessive search for a boy's killer through Denmark and Greenland. This is the most beautiful writing style I have ever seen applied to the thriller genre.


In the Bleak Midwinter

by Julia Spencer-Fleming

This well-written first in the series mystery features unorthodox, liberal Episcopal priest Claire Ferguson and chief of police of Miller's Kill, a small town in upstate New York, Russ Van Alstyne. The two team up to find out who left a baby on the doorstep of Claire's church. This book has it all: intrigue, a budding romance, and a great sense of place.

This book also appears on Mysteries Solved by Clergy. Really.


The Tenderness of Wolves

by Stef Penney

Jan McClintock from Texas says:

A murder mystery that centered in the 19th-century Canadian north, where weather and geography play a huge role, even now. The atmosphere is extremely well-drawn and you WILL feel the cold. The story is interesting but in my opinion... stretched too thin, with many characters and chronology jumps adding to the confusion. The main protagonist makes unlikely choices and the stories of peripheral characters are too detailed. I continued to wish the story would even out, but the ending was somewhat disappointing as well. I hope the author continues to write these historical dramas because I really did love the descriptions and style.


Winter's Child

by Margaret Maron

This is the 12th book in the Judge Deborah Knott series. Somebody shot no-good J.D. Rouse in his pickup truck and Deborah and her new chief of police husband try and find out who murdered J.D. One of the best things about this series is the wonderful characters that are peppered throughout the novel. Deborah's very large family and her friends, and her lifelong friend (now her new husband's son) are all well-developed characters. I really like this series.


Blue Deer Thaw: A Mystery

by Jamie Harrison

Bodies have begun to pop up all over breathtakingly beautiful Blue Deer, Montana. Sheriff Jules Clement must investigate his small town where everyone knows everyone's secrets, but doesn't want to talk.


A Cold Day for Murder

by Dana Stabenow

Cary Branscum says:

Another of the Kate Shujak mysteries, and a darn good read. In fact, I tried to read it twice, sad it was over. The resolution at the end is not nearly as interesting the Alaskan journey of oil workers, native Alaskans, and how a detective stays sane and alive in the wilds that is still Alaska today. Everyone smokes, everyone is cold, everyone seems to come from elsewhere. Crime mixes it all well.


Degrees of Separation: A Jessie Arnold Mystery

by Sue Henry

Champion musher Jessie Arnold is trying to get in shape for the next Iditarod. While out training one day she stumbles across a bump in the snow... the bump turns out to be a dead body. Even if you aren't an Alaska nut or a cold weather nut like I am, you will still enjoy this fast-paced, well-written book.


The Music of What Happens

by John Straley

Cary Branscum says:

For a mystery that creates modern-day Alaska, complete with local color and character, this is the book. What a colorful ride! The detective has the usual hardboiled realities in life, somehow redeemed by hardscrabble characters in a vast, dramtic, unforgiving Alaskan landscape of cities, towns, land, water, and sky. Justice and redemption are found by listening "under" all life events to the primordial heart of you, me, our time and place, that's the music of what happens. Read it twice.


Icy Clutches

by Aaron J. Elkins

Anthropology professor Gideon Oliver has accompanied his wife to a forest rangers' conference in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Dr. Oliver is asked to use his skills as a forensic anthropologist when human bones are unearthed from a 30 year old avalanche site. Loved this book!!


Death of a Winter Shaker

by Deborah Woodworth

Shaker Sister Rose Callahan tries to "help out" the town sheriff when a drifter is found dead in the Shaker's herb house. This cozy mystery is sprinkled with lots of Shaker information and lore.


Nordic Nights

by Lise McClendon

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the setting for this crisp, well-written story. Gallery owner Alix Thorssen is in it up to her neck when a famous Norwegian artist who has come to town for his show at her gallery gets stabbed. Great characters and wonderful sense of place.


The Alpine Pursuit: An Emma Lord Mystery

by Mary Daheim

Fun, quirky addition to a cozy mystery series.

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Murder in a Cold Climate

by Scott Young

As an interesting aside, the author, Scott Young, was the father of musician Neil Young. I was so taken with his two "cold weather" mysteries that I sent him a fan letter and he wrote back.