Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele Pariza Wacek
About Ice Cold Murder
Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (January 25, 2022)
Number of Pages ~250
ASIN : B09L1JN8J3
When Charlie agrees to accompany her friend Claire to her late grandmother’s reading of the will, she assumes she is simply there for moral support.
She doesn’t expect things to get so … strange.
It’s odd enough that it takes place over a weekend, but that’s just the beginning …
They also need to stay in Claire’s grandma’s supposedly haunted house with Claire’s estranged family.
Things get even worse when a huge storm snows them in. No electricity, no phone, and no way out.
Throw a dead body into the mix, and there’s no question it’s now the world’s worst family gathering. Ever.
At least Charlie brought lots of tea, which she’s going to need as she races to solve this closed-circle mystery before her friend’s dysfunctional family get-together results in anyone else being murdered.
Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.
Charlie Kingsley is invited by her friend Claire to go with her to her grandmother’s cottage for the weekend for the reading of her grandmother’s will. At first, it seems like an odd request but if Claire needs her Charlie is not going to refuse. As soon as she arrives she realizes why her friend needed her, her sister is downright mean and nursing a huge grudge. Other family members are chilly with her and each other too. But they can’t leave. A huge winter storm has moved in dropping several inches of snow and creating whiteout conditions. The power and phones are out as well. To stay warm a few family members go out in the elements to get wood for the fireplace but along with the lumber, they find another guest, ice-cold and dead. There is a murderer in their midst and Charlie knows she needs to find out who before more bodies start to pile up.
This is the second book in a series that is a spin-off from the author’s Secrets of Redemption Series so I am a little late to the party when it comes to Charlie Kingsley. That being said the author did an excellent job providing enough backstory that I didn’t feel lost. But Charlie is a complex character and I feel the need to know her better. I hope to read more of Ms. Wacek’s books to fulfill that need.
Claire’s family is a very dysfunctional family with plenty of secrets and angst. They are all dynamically written. You could cut the tension with a knife.
I loved that the book was set at a snowy cabin far enough outside of Redemption that the storm really kept the group stuck where they were. Set in a time before everyone had a cell phone and neighbors a mile or more away made the setting even eerier. Redemption does sound like an interesting place too. Again I want to know more.
The mystery was well-plotted given that all the suspects were present and impossible to avoid, with each person trying to lay the blame on another. Charlie remained very focused and took in every clue and piece of evidence. After some really nice twists, the real culprit became clear. I loved when each piece of the puzzle came together and the dramatic reveal.
This is my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be my last. Knowing her books are set in my home state of Wisconsin just adds to my desire to read them all.
I found Ice Cold Murder to be a very entertaining read. Had I read previous books featuring Charlie this book would have been a Perfect Escape (5 stars) but because I need to get to know Charlie better it was An Enjoyable Giveaway (4 stars). Stay tuned as I get caught up on this character.
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About Michele Pariza Wacek
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but she does spend much of her time writing stories now. Mystery stories to be exact, ranging from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a virtual book club you can check out and join (for free!) at MPWNovels.com.
Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.
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