If you’re feeling deflated by a lack of Halloween spirit yesterday, we’ve got a book that will not only quench your thirst for spookiness, but spellbind you with its eloquence, wit and form: The Bleak Midwinter by Len Tyler. This page-turner has it all: a witch who concocts mysterious herbal medicine and lives alone with a toad and cat, a community isolated by an ominous snowfall, and that all-important creepy sense of impending hysteria. As the nights turn darker and we shiver our way into November, the sleek, smart pacing and dialogue of this wintry historical crime novel will keep your pulse racing.
The fifth John Grey historical mystery
John Grey is now a Justice of the Peace and lives in the manor house he has inherited on his mother's death with his new wife, Aminta.
As the village is cut off from the rest of the world by a heavy snowfall, George Barwell is discovered dead in the woods. Grey is called to examine the horribly disfigured body amidst the rumours that the attack has been the work of the Devil as the victim had been cursed by reputed witch Alice Mardike just days before his violent death.
As Barwell's father-in-law leads the villagers into kidnapping Alice and throwing her into the millpond to see if she floats as a witch or drowns as an innocent woman, Grey agrees to investigate the murder: his main suspect is the very man leading the witch hunt.
But if Grey can't solve the mystery of George Barwell's death within a week, Mardike will be tried for witchcraft - and the sentence has already been decided . . .
Praise for L.C. Tyler
'Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance' The Times
'A cracking pace, lively dialogue, wickedly witty one-liners salted with sophistication . . . Why would we not want more of John Grey?' The Bookbag
'A dizzying whirl of plot and counterplot' Guardian
'I was seduced from John Grey's first scene' Ann Cleeves
'Unusually accomplished' Helen Dunmore