Cold Climate Mysteries
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Since it is so very hot here in Florida our mystery book club has decided to read about cold climates. Any suggestions for a really "cold" mystery?
Snow falling on cedars isn't quite as cold as the title suggests, but fairly chilly.
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith and even more so its follow up Polar Star - the first is set in Moscow and other parts of Russia, the second the Bering Strait and Alaska. It doesn't get much colder than that.
Another one that isn't a mystery per se, but has mysterious circumstances is In the Deep Midwinter by Robert Clark. It's the story of a family coming apart in 1950 Missouri. Very good and very under-read.
Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod, although it has a Christmas theme as well, not just winter.
I echo the recommendations for Smilla's Sense of Snow and the Martin Cruz Smith books (Red Square, too - I didn't like Stalin's Ghost as much).
I lesser known book that I thought was great is Blackwater by Kerstin Eckman. I couldn't bring it up here, but Amazon has it. I think it would lead to good group discussions as well.
John Straley has a mystery series set in Sitka, Alaska. Private detective Cecil Younger.
Also set in Sitka, Alaska is The Yiddish Policemen's Union, which is sure to get a bookgroup talking!
Stan Jones sets his mysteries in Alaska so you can't get too much colder than that.
24. Hi Sophie - weird, huh? I have just started both those authors and really enjoy their settings, especially in summer.
I recently read/reviewed the ARC copy of Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen. The book is a thriller, with lots of suspense. And, as the title states, it's set in a cold climate. I'm in Florida as well and I have to say that sometimes I'd get so deep into the book that I would find myself chilled on a 90 degree day!
I really like William Kent Krueger books. They are set in Minnesota and I love the story lines. I think you should start with his first book. It was a great read.
More of a Thriller than a Mystery, but mysterious things do happen:
Ice Hunt - James Rollins
UGH - Stupid Touchstones not working again!
WHO LET IN THE INTERNS?
Definitely Snow Angels by James Thompson. Takes place in Finland where it is -40 and that is NOT wind chill factor. One of my favorite reads of the year.
(Black Ice) by (Matt Dickinson) - good thriller, set in Antarctica. It got me interested in Antarctica, so I read (South), the account of Shackleton's expedition. It's non-fiction, but a good can't-put-it-down companion to any South Pole fiction. It's as tense as a lot of thrillers.
You might give a new author a try - The Eye of the Red Tsar. It takes some historical liberties, but is an entertaining read set in Russia set alternately at the time of the Tsar's fall and Stalin's rule. Some really intense descriptions of life in a Siberian work camp.
You may want to check out these authors:
Kathleen Anne Barrett
Sjowall and Wahloo (husband & wife)
K. O. Dahl
Also - here is a link to some mysteries set during the Christmas season -
Recently read Child 44 and it's set in Russia in 1953 and there is an awful lot of snow...
Just finished Snow Angels by James Thompson. Set in Finland just before Christmas, the cold, snow and darkness play an important part in the story.
I've recently read Stan Jones' Nathan Active series- went through them like a hot knife through butter.
White Sky, Black Ice; Shaman Pass; Frozen Sun; Village of the Ghost Bears
I can't help it- when I find an author I like, I just read all their stuff at once.
So now...I'm wondering if anyone has any news about a 4th book in that series?
Is Stan Jones working on one now?
Also, two FAVORITE cold cold freezing cold settings:
Kabloona by Gontran de Poncins
Spirit Wrestler by James Houston
I love this topic (especially since my air conditioner will not be functional for any of this hot season.
Oh no! No A/C is not good. Hang in there. Reading Winter Study by Nevada Barr kept me cool for a few days.
I ordered a dvd about Alaska...maybe that will help cool me down.
I enjoyed these cold mysteries:
Kitty Sewell's Ice Trap
Clive Cussler's Arctic Drift
Betsy Tobin's Ice Land
If you can find a copy, Lionel Davidson's Kolymsky Heights is a great read and set almost entirely in northern Siberia - in WINTER - and it's so well written you could swear you put on a parka to keep turning the pages!
Tho probably long past the time for the book group that originally prompted this question, I'll second the recommendations for William Kent Krueger's Iron Lake and the Em Hansen mystery which was touchstoned wrong, the correct touchstone is In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews. I really like this series.
Also from Iceland, there are three mysteries by Yrsa Sigurgardottir. Her protagonist is a lawyer and, while I haven't gotten to deeply into her third yet, the first two featured some part of Icelandic history. Her books are a nice companion to Indridason's police procedurals (mentioned in #23 & #37 above), if you are interested in Iceland generally (which is a really cool place, no pun intended. It's not everyday one gets to shower with hot water pumped from the earth - no water heaters!).
As far as a cold climate, Iceland is relatively temperate and it's not as cold there as one imagines, or let's just say, it doesn't swing so cold or so hot as it does in, say, the Northeastern US where I live. But I guess a "cold climate" is a relative thing.
P J Tracy's Monkeewrench books are set mostly in Minnesota, some of them in very cold winter. I seem to recall an ice carving contest in one?
We are ready cold climate mysteries again so this is a great list. Thanks everyone!!!
Like someone above me, I recommend the Kurt Wallender Series by Henning Mankell.
I've just read Faceless Killers and Dogs of Riga both by Henning Mankell. He really emphasizes how cold and stormy it is, and as someone living in Canada, the temps in Sweden are not that bad....... it gives me a bit of chuckle.
But the books are great - and you will feel cold!!:)
I don't think has anyone mentioned Beneath The Snow by Caroline Carver (pseudonym C. J. Carver) yet. I can't personally endorse it, since I haven't read it yet, but it was highly recommended to me. Even the cover art is frightfully cold.
Synopsis from Fantastic Fiction: It's been a hard winter in the Alaskan town of Lake's Edge—and things are about to get tougher. Lisa McCall, a brilliant young research scientist, has disappeared in a snowstorm. Shaken by the news, Lisa's estranged sister, Abby, flies from England to join the rescue team. Almost immediately, Abby begins to see that Lisa's work has threatened some very powerful people—people who will stop at nothing to protect their interests. Abby knows her sister is out there, battling cold and terror, while her enemies circle. Risking her own life, Abby sets out to find her sister before its too late.
The Snowman by Jo Nesbø, a very chilling Norwegian police procedural thriller.
I loved that book! I like books by other Nordic authors too. Check out Karen Fossum's mysteries as well.
I second the Boris Akunin suggested in a previous message. His books are set in Russia, so lots of cold and snow and whatnot in winter. ;)
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver isn't exactly a mystery, more of a traditional ghost story, but it's one of the most atmospheric books I've read in a long time which captures perfectly the feel of the icy, 24 hour nights in Northern Norway. Left me feeling very cold indeed.
Lee Child's 14th Jack Reacher novel 61 Hours is a great cold climate mystery. Set in South Dakota in the middle of winter you'll find yourself shivering not only by references to the cold, but by the twists and turns of the plot.
This site: http://www.cozy-mystery.com has cozy and non-cozy mysteries organized into categories. One of the categories is: Mystery Books with a Snowed-In / Snow-Bound Theme. Hope this helps!
Louise Penney's mysteries are set in Canada and are excellent! Both the book and audiobook versions are well worth the time.
I have noticed that all of the Scandinavian authors have coldness as the themes of their novels. Some have already been mentioned. Arnaldur Indridason was mentioned earlier. There is also Camilla Lackberg, Karin Fossum, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Peter Hoeg, Asa Larsson, Hakan Nesser and Liza Marklund. Of course there are the Icelandic Sagas that you could read. These are myths about the migration of Norwegians to Iceland.
Oh, yes #66, I too have to go with The Cold Kiss by John Rector. Seems so many of the stories listed here are mentioned merely because they are set in a cold climate area...nothing wrong with that... but I point it out because in the The Cold Kiss the snow storm plays a major roll. Basically it is what puts the characters in to their predicament. Is a very stylish, gritty, noir story that I would not recommend to "cozy-only" readers. The people involved in this story are despicable. Other gritty cold clime stories that I remember fondly and wherein the weather does indeed play a major roll are: Snowbound by Bill Pronzini, The Ice Harvest by Scot Phillips, The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. I am sure there are others I have read but these came immediately to mind.
Well, now that it's finally reached 90 degrees for the first time this summer here in Portland Oregon I'm wanting the same thing - My suggestion is blood upon the snow (1944)by Hilda Lawrence - nothing but snow in this book and a very good mystery. "The snow was falling thick and fast when the last train of the day clattered into Crestwood at eight o'clock."
Try the late and much missed Stuart Kaminsky's Porfiry Rostnikov series. Very charming, very cold, set in Moscow and occasionally in Siberia with an always interesting cast of repeating characters.
The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie is set in a snowbound village.
There seem to be tow live threads with exactly the same title?
I'm cross posting here for the ones that don't already seem to be mentioned above....
'Jonathan Stride' series by Brian Freeman is set in a frequently snow covered Minnesota
The second in the 'Mad Dog and Englishman' series by J.M. Hayes is set in a Kansas snow storm/blizzard
The second book in the 'Walt Flemming' series by Ridley Pearson is set in deep winter in Idaho
Siberian Light by Robin White set in... well kind of obvious really!!
and depending oin the season many of C. J. Box's investigative game warden series (set in Wyoming) featuting 'Joe Pickett' are also pretty frosty; try Winterkill
Alo suggested (by others) in the secondary thread (and not already appearing here as far as I can spot):
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley (there is also a second book in the series, also cold climate worthy)
The Hanging Tree by Bryan Gruley
Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series is set in the Upper Peninsula area of Michigan
Stabenow is great!!! Alaska setting, and great female detective, Kate Shugak. I like the way she integrates the Alaska Native culture with the place and the mysteries.
The Joe Gunther mysteries by Archer Mayor are set in Vermont. http://www.amazon.com/Archer-Mayor/e/B000APKG04/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1 is the link to his Amazon page.
A CK search of Important Places for Maine seems to feature in a LOT of mysteries set in the cold.
Ice Station Zebra! Set in the Arctic, during the *Cold War*. It's also short, so perfect for a quick read between cucumber sangrias and a dip in the pool.
Åsa Larsson, well-written crime novels set in northern Sweden.
Monica Kristensen, several crime novels set on Svalbard/Spitsbergen.
For a non-fiction mystery I would also add "The Expedition" by Bea Uusma which investigates the fate of an early expedition towards the north pole.
Edit- oops Kristensen has not yet been translated to English - but she sounds like an interesting author. Maybe someday.
Oh, thank you for this - my son is going to be spending next semester in Svalbard- I think we may be getting some books for Christmas..
Non-fiction, and not crime- but good adventures- Ice Ship: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram will give you plenty of cold weather atmosphere.
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