Another Review at MyShelf.Com

A Bitter Chill
Aurelia Marcellus series #2

by Jane Finnis

      Four years on from the momentous events detailed in Get Out Or Die (also reviewed on this site) Aurelia Marcella is still running The Oak Tree mansio.† It is a snowy Saturnalia, and she is looking forward to spending it with her investigator brother Lucius, while her sister Albia is dreaming about her impending nuptials with Candidus.† But firstly Lucius has business of his own to attend to and cannot come, and then they are lumbered with a large party of wealthy, important people wanting board over the holidays.† The paterfamilias is convinced that he is going to be murdered, and before long somebody does indeed die, making the finger of suspicion point squarely at Aurelia and Albia.

There is so much story in here you need a rubber band to hold it all in - the perfect antidote to anybody who, like this reviewer, finds too many books long on words and short on plot.† Told in Aureliaís own words, it is not so much a case of what happens as what does not happen - murders, a protection racket, a band of villains calling themselves the Wolf Pack, robbery, kidnapping, corruption and Christmas, or something very like it.

I donít think the events stopped long enough for me to draw breath, but I was not conscious of too much going on at once, merely of a nicely crammed novel.† Ms Finnis ought to run courses for writers on the topics of pacing and brevity; less is more, and there is a lot more in here than in any other book I have read for a very long time.† Very highly recommended.

The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
1 June 2008
1590584015 / 9781590584019
Historical Mystery / 95 AD York, England
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NOTE: Second review, click here to read the first review, of the hardcover.
Holiday read: Christmas

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008