Murder on a Winter Afternoon – Betty Rowlands

A snow-covered cottage is nestled in the hills, all ready for Christmas… but inside a body lies dead upon the floor. 

Melissa Craig is enjoying her first winter in the Cotswolds, taking brisk walks through the snowy fields and basking in the winter sunshine. The only thing Melissa is plotting is her Christmas shopping.

But after the unexpected death of local writer Leonora Jewell, Melissa is asked to complete Leonora’s final book. However, on her first visit to the cottage, she finds a gruesome object overlooked by the police: a metal bar covered with dried blood.

Terrified, Melissa rushes to the nearest telephone box to call the police. But by the time they reach Leonora’s cottage, the murder weapon has mysteriously vanished. 

With no murder weapon, the detective in charge of the case scoffs at Melissa’s suspicions. Furious and frustrated, Melissa focuses on finishing Leonora’s novel. But as she reads Leonora’s notes for the book, she starts to wonder… did Leonora accidentally plot out her own murder? 

As Melissa does some investigating of her own, she uncovers some pretty suspicious local characters. But with the police unwilling to help, can Melissa solve this vicious crime alone? By hook, by crook, or by the book, Melissa must find the killers before they strike again… 



My review

There a different kinds of crime genres. I really like the psychological and the police procedural ones, but every once in a while I can find myself immersed in a cozy mystery.

This is the 5th book in the series and I have read and enjoyed them all. Melissa, the main character, tries desparately to stay out of trouble, like she always does but never succeeds in. Somehow she can’t help herself. She wants to solve the case but this time she needs someone to confide in. No one is better suited for this than a sollicitor, right?

I liked the setting and I was happy to see that Iris was more in the picture again. This is a series that keeps you coming back for more. 5 stars.

Thank you, Betty Rowlands, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Betty Rowlands burst on to the crime scene by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition. Her success continued with her nine highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries. She is an active member of the Crime Writers’ Association and regularly gives talks and readings and serves on panels in crime writing conventions.