by Jan Edwards
Published by Penkhull Press
Set in Sussex in January 1940, the beginning of the war in Europe, this murder mystery is beautifully researched and urges the reader to continue well into the night to discover the truth behind the crime.
With the family seat commissioned by the army Bunch (Rose) Courtney is left making do at the Dower House. Despite having enough to do running the estate while her father is heavily engaged in war work she finds the time to investigate the death of an old friend whose body was found on the family land while the police are busy following their own enquiries.
Not wishing to add spoilers the result is somewhat of a surprise.
Jan takes us into the world of the landed gentry during the time of great upheaval and sacrifice. The book is well researched, something I have a bit of a thing about, and you can well imagine that you are there among the cold, wet snow and warm, steaming horses.
We may not be used to the hierarchy that existed in the day, but Jan reminds us that everyone had a place and knew what was expected of them. That was the way the world turned in 1940.
Winter Downs is well written and easy to read but not lightweight keeping you guessing until the very end. It is the first of a series of books with Bunch Courtney helping Chief Inspector Wright to reach the right conclusion about a case regardless of how he feels about it.
I shall definitely be reading the next adventure.