Jiffy Arden, a neighborhood kid looking for the black cat and stumbling across the killer, begins to have premonitions of being kidnapped during the season's first snowstorm. Sure enough, when it strikes, he vanishes, never arriving home from the bus stop. While her son, Max, believes Jiffy has been kidnapped, Bella is convinced he's just wandered off as he typically does... until a body shows up in the lake.
Now everyone is pulling out all the stops to find the missing child, identify the victim, and collar the killer. And fast, because he's coming for Bella next in Dead of Winter (Summary via Goodreads)
I could not stop reading this book !!!! As soon as I started reading Dead of Winter by Wendy Corsi Staub I was hooked !!! Even though this is the third book in the Lily Dale Mystery series and the first one that I read, it didn't matter. I was introduced to everyone in town like it was the first book. Staub's writing allows the reader to pick up the book and before you even finish the first chapter you are at home in this little lakeside community with all its wacky residents !!
The main character focus is on Bella and her young son Max as they are new to Lily Dale (yes Lily Dale is the name of the area , it's not the name of a character). Bella and Max moved there recently after her husband passed away and she ends up running the Valley View Manor on the lake. They were brought to the Valley View Manor by Chance (a cat) and ended up staying.
One unique thing about Dead of Winter is that Lily Dale is full of spiritualists. Most of Bella's neighbors are mediums that see and talk to the dead..... even her son's 6 year old best friend, Jiffy. This doesn't give the reader a "spooky" feeling because the way that it is written is comical at times and, well, the rest just seems to make sense.
Don't get me wrong....there is a murder in the middle of the night and the killer dumps the victim over a rowboat in the lake....and Bella is caught looking out the window by the killer....and Jiffy just happens to run into the killer outside the Valley View Manor......and the victim just happens to be from a very impressive gang of theives.....and to make it all even better Lily Dale is hit with a tremendous snowstorm....
OMG I want to read it again !!! That's how good Dead of Winter is !! I sat on my couch reading it from start to finish !! Once you get to a certain point in the story (I won't tell you where...) you CANNOT put the book down.....you can't !! I challenge you to try !! Believe me when you get to that point, and you will know it when you get there, you mind as well cancel whatever you had planned for the rest of the day.
Dead of Winter is set in a very interesting lakeside community with such interesting people .... I could go on and on regarding the residents, dead and alive, but you should read it for yourself !!
After reading Dead of Winter, I can tell you that I will be going back and reading the rest of the Lily Dale series......
Review by Missi S.