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Publisher's Summary

Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons - and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura's been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she'd never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan's reviews the facts and theories about the case - and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case?

A clever spin on the classic locked-room mystery, Cruel Winter, the fifth in New York Times best-selling author Sheila Connolly's series, will delight fans of the Emerald Isle.

©2017 Sheila Connolly (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Cruel Winter

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars

All talk, no action

I loved the earlier books in this series, but this one was a huge disappointment. It was slow, very repetitive, and the entire story is based on people sitting in a room talking about something that happened 20 years earlier. It was painful to get through.

6 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 07-01-17

Not up to Sheila Connolly's usual standard

This audio book is 7 & 1/2 hours long. Unfortunately, there were only about 2 hours of story here. The author starts with a storm and a mysterious woman in the bar. Then she proceeds to tell the woman's story over, and over, and over and over again. I got so sick of Maura "reviewing" or "summarizing" the facts in her head and to the group that I could have smacked her one. There was zero advancement of the series ongoing story of romance between Maura and Sean or Mick, an infinitesimal bit about Jillian and Harry, a tiny bit about Maura wondering, (but not deciding) what to do with the bar, and several repetitions of praise for Rose's cooking. It's like Ms Connolly had an idea and a deadline, so she just repeated her material until she had enough words down to call it a novel. Don't waste money or a credit on this. Buy the paperback and read the first two and last three chapters, and you will get the gist of it.

5 people found this helpful

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Pointless story

90% of this book is different people saying "as i said before". Incredibly boring, no character motivations, should not qualify as a mystery.

3 people found this helpful

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I enjoyed this one more than I expected

It was interesting listening to the "trial" as they discussed various ideas and facts. Maura seemed more mature now and whined less about the little money they had and the little time she and her grandmother had to visit and get to know each other when she was growing up. I was tired of her blaming it for everything that she didn't understand or why she acted the way she did. I missed the interactions with more of the residents, but understand why the story was written this way. I really like the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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I love this series

I really love this series, but this book was not the best in the group. It dragged and was repetition. I hope the next one is a bit better. I do like Amy Rubinate's performance.

2 people found this helpful

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It was ok

I enjoyed the first four books of this series. However, it was a bit difficult to get through this one. The characters and the mystery were well developed and entertaining, but, the story was repetitive and lasted longer than necessary. I hope the next one is better. It's also time for Maura to develop more.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable Addition

This is another enjoyable addition to this interesting series. The story, characterization and narration are very good and worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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She's a great storyteller.

Ms. Connolly has Irish Blarney in her blood, being of Irish descent just confirms it The Irish are Master Storytellers.
All of her stories in this series are low key, slow to develop and the finally, though once again low key, is very satisfying.
Maura Donovan can be very naive, a bit to preachy and self righteous but it is all done out of love of heritage, her employees and above all justice.
If you have enjoyed the previous books in this series, you won't be disappointed.
I do love her resourcefulness in tackling her obstacles. I've been married for 30+ years but prior to that I had quite a few obstacles of my own as a long time single woman. I like how she determines what her problem is and does the best she can do with what she has.
Now, what I wish for Maura Donovan:
MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT MICK OR SEAN ALREADY!!!!
She's can be such a dreary sad sack, a pessimist and an all around downer. I would like to see her character evolve more. Yes I know it's only been 9 months but give her some freaking joy in her life already.
SPOILER ALERT!!!
For those of you looking for more joy and romance in Maura Donovan's life, you will be very disappointed.
BUT IT IS STILL A FIVE STAR STORY AND MS. RUBINATE AND MS. CONNOLLY ARE A MAGNIFICENT TEAM❣

3 people found this helpful

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Decent

I felt that this was a solid second draft rewrite that needed a third. The story started very slow, which isn’t a problem, but the main character seemed to repeat her thoughts over and over. It started to get interesting but then the mystery stalled out with the same information being repeated in much the same way-as if the characters were hearing it for the first time. I am not disappointed I listened to it but probably wouldn’t go for this author again. The entire thing could have been cleaned up by a solid edit and I think it would have been very good. I did think the narrator did a fine job.

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Great series

This series contains believable characters and well thought out plots. My husband enjoys the stories too.

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  • Judy3730
  • 06-15-19

a fantastic story

this story kept me interested right to the end. with snow storms and an unsolved murder. and a pub full of stranded people to work it out.

1 person found this helpful