Ruby lives with her mum, Sally, stepfather Paolo, and stepbrother Lucas in a village outside Bath. All is well until the local doctor goes missing and Ruby and Lucas discover his body (nothing gruesome) in an abandoned cabinet at a local beauty spot. From this point on they are catapulted into a rapidly escalating battle to find a murderer without being murdered themselves. Complete with snow, a safari park and the Bath Christmas market, this is a book for winter evenings, and for those who like a little thrill with their snow. Perfect for 9 – 14.
Here’s a video I made for The Reading Zone – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkJ925-hlWk which explains more.
Alex O’Connell The Times, Hitchcock drops nuggets of information, just enough to intrigue budding detectives without making her stories too easy to solve.
Nicolette Jones Sunday Times: ‘The latest in a series of murder mysteries
distinguished by their accessibility and realism. This story has neither quaint
period detail nor caricature villains, but a body hidden in a plastic binbag, break-ins, chases and a vicious attack with a car.
It is much more Junior Line of Duty than Junior Miss Marple“
Express and Mirror :“Ruby sets out on the trail of a killer after she stumbles upon a body in a trunk. But the murderer will stop at nothing to silence her in this gripping wintry thriller.”
Daily Mail: “There’s something satisfyingly old-fashioned about this murder mystery in which Ruby and her new stepbrother find a body in an abandoned metal box. It’s Ruby’s mother’s employer — but the police are slow to act so the siblings swing into action. Lots of red herrings and dangerous night time chases in falling snow.”
And many lovely online reviews:
Reading Zone: Murder at Snowfall is extremely readable as the fast pace keeps you engaged and the back story (crime aside!) is relatable for upper school (primary) and younger secondary school readers. It will be a popular selection with those students who enjoy mystery books and who are expanding into crime/detective genres.
Just Imagine : She indeed possesses a rare talent for making a subject matter more suited to older and adult readers accessible to and enjoyable by a much younger audience. She succeeds in avoiding descriptions of violence, limiting herself to the fait accompli, no undue pleasure or fascination in dwelling on death or murder: just the stark reality of crime and evil, a dead body, the injustice of it, the need for the truth to be revealed in order to rebalance the scale of good and evil, right and wrong. And these are definitely concepts children can understand and will be engaged in: they are, after all, at the core of the most traditional and well-known stories and fairy tales.
Bookwagon : Bookwagon loves Murder at Snowfall. Within recognisable domestic scenes and situations, Fleur Hitchcock has chrisstitched up a stirring, convincing and gripping crime novel that we recommend highly to our middle grade readers.
Chris Soul: Fleur Hitchcock’s books are so gripping, not just because she is a master of crime and suspense, but that she creates very real, authentic characters whose lives we can all relate to. In this story, there are references to Netflix, gaming, ‘Hairspray’, Costas… With everything so real, the danger feels very real too! And, oh, the climax to this story is certainly nerve-wracking!
Also these at Waterstones:
Waterstones website https://www.waterstones.com/book/murder-at-snowfall/fleur-hitchcock/9781839945908