Tuesday 6 December 2022

Cold Snap - Maureen Jennings - Paradise Café Book 3

Cold Snap
Paradise Café Book 3
Maureen Jennings
Cormorant Books Inc.
ISBN 9781770866577
eISBN 9781770866584

This is the 18th book by Jennings I have read in the last few years. I believe I have read all her fiction that is in print. And this is an excellent follow up to Heat Wave - Paradise Café Book 1, and November Rain Book 2. We are dropped back into a familiar Toronto, not terribly long after the William Murdoch books, or TV Series. This time yet again Charlotte Frayne finds herself in the middle of a few cases. Charlotte is still working as a PI at the T. Gilmore and Associates. Mr. Gilmore has asked for a personal favour in protecting and watching over a relative just her from the continent. An estranged relative has showed up and asked to hire her services. And there is a rise of Nazism, even in good old Toronto. Yet again her cases cross over with those of Jack Murdoch and the Toronto Constabulary. The Paradise Café continues to be a meeting place and office away from the office for Charlotte and Mr. Gilmore. But things are not peaceful in Toronto. And Charlotte has to deal with the estranged relative, her Grandfather, the police and a case that is really not as it appears. 

The story takes place over a few days during a very cold December in 1936. The pace is fast. And the mysteries are intense and much in need of unravelling. Charlotte is in the thick of it, working her cases, and assisting the police, her family. And finding all her circles colliding. 

When I wrote my review of book 1, I stated: “that there was going to be something different about this series, the other three series are all named after the main character, Detective Murdoch Series, Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series, Christine Morris Series. And yet this series is named after a location, the paradise café. And boy was I right! It was a highly addictive read, like most of Jennings other works!” that sentiment persists. This is a great read in what is shaping up to be an excellent series. It is one that we can only hope will have many more volumes to come. The description of this volume is:

“November’s rain in Toronto 1936 has turned into December’s cold snap. Charlotte Frayne escapes being hit by a mud-splattered car racing round the corner at Queen and Spadina. The stranger who saves her turns out to be the man her boss, Mr. Gilmore, has helped to escape Germany and is now a refugee in need of shelter.

In a world still recovering from the War to End All Wars and the Spanish Influenza pandemic that killed fifty million people worldwide, and still in the throes of the Great Depression, Stephen Lucas is not just any refugee from the Nazi regime; he is in possession of information that could alter the course of history — but only if seen by persons in power and if acted upon. In a surprising twist of fate, Charlotte’s estranged mother reappears, wanting assistance in locating the son she gave up at birth twenty years before. Despite her turbulent feelings about her mother, Charlotte agrees to investigate, having no idea that the two cases will connect in surprising ways.

Back at the Paradise Café, Christmas draws near and Charlotte’s beau, Hilliard Taylor, and his partners are in disagreement about the holiday concert. With her beloved grandfather in the mix, there’s no telling whether the show will end in good tidings or anarchy.”

This story has a few shootings, several near misses by vehicles, a fire bomb. And great risk. Risk to the individuals, and a foreboding risk to the whole world. And this case in Toronto has global implications. 

I have greatly enjoyed all the books and series I have read by Jennings. I am beginning to see Charlotte and Jack as amongst my favourite of her characters. I loved this book and this series to date. It is a great crime mystery that I highly recommend.  

Books by Maureen Jennings:
Detective Murdoch Series:

0.5 Shipwreck
1.0 Except the Dying
2.0 Under the Dragon's Tail
3.0 Poor Tom Is Cold
4.0 Let Loose the Dogs
5.0 Night's Child
6.0 Vices of My Blood
7.0 A Journeyman to Grief
8.0 Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series:
1.0 Season of Darkness
2.0 Beware This Boy
3.0 No Known Grave
4.0 Dead Ground in Between

Christine Morris Series:
1.0 Does Your Mother Know?
2.0 The K Handshape


Paradise Café Series:

1.0 Heat Wave
2.0 November Rain

Other books:
The Map of Your Mind: Journeys into Creative Expression
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries: The Official Companion to the Series – with Michelle Ricci and Mir Bahmanyar

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