Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a good Mystery set in small village in snowy Northumberland. DI Vera Stanhope sets off for home, but gets lost in a blizzard. She comes across a car abandoned at the side of the road with the door open. Upon inspection she finds a baby strapped into a car seat in the back seat.

As she drives on, Stanhope realizes that she is near Brockburn, the once grand house where her father grew up. She has a complicated relationship with the family, but is out of choices and stops. There is a Christmas party going on inside, but they welcome her in. A short time later, a dead woman if found laying in the snow at the back of the house. Stanhope starts an investigation, which uncovers secrets her family, and the village, would rather keep hidden.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but this is a stand alone mystery and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. I liked Stanhope. Both her body and her car are slow and creaky, but they both get the job done. Stanhope is the epitome of not judging a book by the cover. Her mind is sharp and she sees details others miss. It seems like she even enjoys letting people underestimate her. Her fellow police officers were good side characters, although they weren’t too developed.

The mystery was interesting and there were plenty of red herrings to throw the reader off. I enjoyed the story and will read more books in this series.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.