Although I was intrigued by the premise of mysterious accidents and suicides of several local police in Winter At The Door, it was Lizzie Snow, a former homicide detective from Boston, who fascinated me.

Lizzie's description, attitude and investigative skills are vast and sharp in this novel by Sarah Graves. Snow has instinctive, intuitive cues about the human nature of people in a small town which are uncanny. I attribute this to the deft artistry of author Sarah Graves.

Winter At The Door cover

Ms. Graves carves out a unique slice of small town life in this novel which allows the reader to observe how an outsider is perceived by the locals. In fact, when Lizzie tries to hire Missy Brantwell to work in her office, Missy's reply is accurate yet subtle with meaning.

"I know what you are thinking, " said Missy suddenly when he'd gone inside. "That I should go somewhere, do something. Away from here. . ." Lizzie turned back to the girl, "I never said . . ." "You didn't have to. . . A woman like you who went to college and even graduate school, probably, I know what your type tends to think about someone like me too." (59-60)

Throughout Winter At The Door, Lizzie adroitly maneuvers from beginning to end through the finite tests from townspeople, all the while examining evidence from various crime scenes until she finally catching a charismatic killer. Sarah Graves' Winter At The Door is one mystery you don't want to miss!

By Sarah Graves
pgs. 261. Bantam. $26.

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