2017 Reviews · blog tour · Britain · crime · historical fiction · mystery · war · World War II

Blog Tour: Winter Downs by Jan Edwards

Good Morning! It is my pleasure to welcome you to my stop on the Winter Downs blog tour, which kicked off Friday June 2nd and followed an exciting launch party yesterday.

A little more about the book…Winter Downs cover by Jan Edwards.jpg

In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.

Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously?

Winter Downs is first in the Bunch Courtney Investigates series. Available in paper and e formats (after 3rd June) HERE.

About the author…

Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Press, and has written for Dr Who spinoffs with Reel Time Pictures.

My review:

Jan Edwards brings us a brand new cosy crime mystery series set in the 1940’s, based in the heart of the county of Sussex in the UK. Winter Downs marks the opening novel in this exciting series, featuring the enigmatic heroine, Rose ‘Bunch’ Courtney.

Winter Downs opens with a dramatic event occurring in the small Sussex community in which the novel is set. Gunshots are heard coming from deep in the snowy landscape of Sussex Downs.  When Bunch Courtney tries to investigate the source of gunshots, she comes across a dead body of a local, Jonathan Frampton.  Initially, Jonathan’s death is deemed a suicide, but further investigations reveal something more sinister at work. Bunch and the whole community of Sussex Downs are already on high alert due to the threat of war across the Channel, but their fears are increased when another dead body is found. With the chief investigator failing to take these deaths seriously, Bunch decides to take matters into her own hands and launch an investigation of her own.

Winter Downs was my introduction to the work of British author Jan Edwards. Winter Downs was an entertaining read.  I enjoyed this fictional sleuth story very much, as it enabled me to play detective. Edwards certainly provides us with plenty of red herrings, potential suspects and possible scenarios to work through. Winter Downs is a novel surrounded by an air of suspicion and tension, due to the murder mystery elements and the threat of war so close.

As Winter Downs is a historically based novel, it is worth paying homage to the setting. Time and place are both depicted well by Edwards. She has obviously undertaken a great deal of research to ensure she gets the details right in this novel. I believe this novel provides an accurate picture of life in the 1940’s. I loved the insight into what life was like on the home front on the day to day level, as residents such as those from Sussex Downs grapple with the onset of rationing. A bulk of the storyline and a number of the secondary characters featured in Winter Downs are land girls. I appreciated the opportunity to learn a little more about this experience, it was enlightening.

The standout feature of Winter Downs and the most overwhelming reason why I selected to take part in the blog tour for this book was the setting. Although I have lived in Australia for many years, I spent my formative years in the UK, based in exactly the same region where the majority of Winter Downs is set. For me, the chance to reconnect with areas I am so familiar with, such as Eastbourne, Brighton, East Grinstead and Horsham, was fantastic.  Jan Edwards manages to convey a strong sense of place through her writing and I thank her for taking me back to the past.

With a catchy and punchy female lead like Bunch, the first novel in Jan Edwards new series kicks off to a promising start. Winter Downs is a book that I would recommend to those who enjoy British crime and mystery novels, almost reminiscent of Agatha Christie.  Winter Downs would make the perfect winter reading companion, it is a good one to curl up with and read next to a cosy fire.

(I wish to thank the author, Jan Edwards for providing me with a complimentary uncorrected proof copy of Winter Downs for review purposes).

Winter Downs by Jan Edwards was published in June 17 by Penkhull Press. Details on how to purchase Winter Downs can be found at the following links.

Penkhull Press                                                                                     Amazon

To learn more about the author of Winter Downs, Jan Edwards, visit her website here.

Check out more stops on the Winter Downs book blog tour:

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4 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Winter Downs by Jan Edwards

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