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Publisher's Summary

Winter's Pearl - Prologue to the Guy Winter Mysteries Series is a novella which sets the scene for the first full length Guy Winter mystery, entitled Winter's War.

Winter's Pearl is set in London in the first months of the Second World War during the period of the so-called 'Phoney War'.

It draws us into the complex world of Scotland Yard's most famous detective Guy Winter; the Mystery Man. So named because no other living detective has ever solved as many mysteries as Winter of the Yard. However, the great detective's fame and triumphs have come at a high cost.

Just when we think we've discovered our hero at his all-time low, it gets worse and it doesn't ever look like it is going to get better. Who needs enemies when your friends are on somebody else's side?

©2014 James P. Coldham writing as James Philip (P)2016 James P. Coldham writing as James Philip

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie F.
  • LONG BEACH, CA, United States
  • 09-06-16

Nice introduction to the series

I liked this book. I wish I had read this one before I had read the first "official" book of the series, since this one really help set the scene and explained a lot of what happened in the background of book #1 (Winter's War). This book takes place during the beginning of WWII, and its interesting to see how prostitutes, or "Pearls", were used to gather information by the British Intelligence. I listened to the Audible audio book narrated by Malanie Fraser, and she did a great job. I really liked that she has a lower or mid-range voice for a female narrator, and she has great character differentiation. She speaks very clearly and uses good pacing. I think she was a great pick for the narration of this book. Overall, if you like stories about WWII or British spies, I think this would be a great introduction to a series containing these elements.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Short Glimpse at the Phony War

Winter's Pearl is a short prologue to James Philip’s Guy Winter Mystery series. It’s set during the opening days of WWII during the period known as the “phony war.” Several characters are introduced, points of conflict between them are established and we’re given an opening mystery to wet our appetites. Based on the prologue, Philip’s is going to give us a look inside British intelligence and police services during the war. It promises to be most interesting.

I received this as a free Audible download in return for an honest review. The narrator, Melanie Fraser, was excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice listen

What made the experience of listening to Winter's Pearl the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the style of writing - it's like listening to PD James or Elizabeth George. I was also interested in the Jack the Ripper thread

What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter's Pearl?

The revelation of the Pearls

Any additional comments?

I'm glad I listened to this as its the prequel to the Winter's War audiobook that I am listening to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Promising intro the Guy Winter Series

This prologue is a promising start to the first book in the Guy Winter series called 'Winter's War'. We are introduced to all the main characters and there are quite many. This introduction helped me a lot to get to know the characters with their praise and flaws before the real story started. It jumped around a lot - from one character to another - so you'll have to concentrate on getting to know each one.

Melanie Fraser does an outstanding performance - a good, clear British voice that makes you feel you're right there at the scene. The story came to life in an oll' times British environment, as we all know when we watch British period dramas.

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • Centerville, OH, United States
  • 07-26-16

Introduction to WW II Era Espionage Mystery Series

The was a short introductory novella for a WW II era espionage mystery series,

Major players and characters are introduced in the novella. The "Pearls" are high class prostitutes who spy for British intelligence.

Guy Winter is a Scotland Yard detective that British intelligence wants to recruit. One of the "Pearls" is murdered, and the evidence initially points to Guy Winter as the perpetrator.

I was left wanting more, I know that this is just a prequel to the series, however I would of liked more closure to the novella. I am anxious for the next book of the series as I think the series has great potential and could be a very exciting series.

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I will be listening to more of the series.

This book is an obviously an introduction to a series. The characters are developed and the mystery to be solved is laid out. The main character is interesting and conflicted about how his life has turned out and is now a suspect in a murder. When the book ended I wanted to hear more.

I received this book free from the author for review. I would have still been pleased if I had paid for it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BBC and PBS take note, the next serial is here.

This is like immersing myself in a PBS/BBC event. The story is everything you want in a period piece and has all the nuances you love. If you enjoy a well-paced, dramatic adventure...then look no further. If this is the start of a series, then dive in and be prepared for what is hopefully a long and amazing ride. I was fortunate to be gifted a cop and now look forward to many more tales involving Guy Winter...also, the historical touches and the tie in with Jack the Ripper had me going back to look up some info on this very famous serial killer. Bravo, Mr. Philip.

As always, Ms. Fraser is simply amazing as a narrator. Her voice makes this wonderful story all that much better. She is one of my favorites and I hope she brings more of Mr. Philip's stories to life.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great start to this series

Would you listen to Winter's Pearl again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to this again. There's a lot of information shared in the book that will be important, I think, in the following books in the series. Another listen would help settle those better in my mind.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter's Pearl?

I think it's a toss up between when Guy Winter's wife dies and the information revealed at the end of the prologue.

Have you listened to any of Melanie Fraser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have. She always offers a great performance.

If you could rename Winter's Pearl, what would you call it?

Darkness

Any additional comments?

This series is off to a great start with this prologue. I enjoyed listening to this introduction and learning the background of Guy Winter and his associates. It’s a sad tale, and this prologue doesn’t offer much resolution, but it does make me want to listen to the next book.

It’s the start of WWII for England. It seems that Guy Winter’s glory days are behind him. But Scotland Yard needs him. Much information is shared in this short (just under 2 ½ hours long) book, and it does a wonderful job of set up for the next book in the series.

Melanie Fraser does a masterly job of narration. It’s easy to tell which character, male or female, is speaking, and there are a whole lot of characters introduced. This is the fourth or fifth book I’ve listened to by Ms. Fraser, and I’m always impressed by her skill in voice and delivery.

I look forward to listening to more in this series and recommend this prologue to anyone who enjoys English mysteries.

My thanks to Ms. Fraser for the gift of this book. Her generosity in no way influenced my opinion of the book or the performance. All comments are my honest thoughts on this audiobook.

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Amazing Performance in WWII Espionage Thriller

Any additional comments?

Winter’s Pearl by James Philip is a good introduction for the other books in the series featuring Guy Winter, a WWII Scotland Yard detective who British intelligence wants to recruit. The author points out that this series is meant to be read and listened to as "coherent, linked episodes." As such, I listened to the prologue and the first three books in the series.

In Winter’s Pearl, the term "Pearls" is explained as classy women who were essentially high-class prostitutes who spied for British intelligence during WWI. In this short story, one of the "Pearls" is murdered, and the evidence suggests that Guy Winter did it. The rest of the story features Guy proving his innocence, finding the true killer, and trying to figure out who may have set him up for the crime. Needless to say, many characters are introduced, all of whom are featured in subsequent stories.

Melanie Fraser narrated this audiobook and she did a fantastic job. She really brought the characters to life, giving each character their own distinct voice. Melanie's crisp British accent and soft refined tones were perfect for this audio and definitely contributed to my enjoyment of this book. In short, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and recommend it to those who enjoy historical espionage thrillers!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Excellent Beginning to a Historical Fction

WINTER'S PEARL was a nice prologue to a promising new series. This really set the stage for the full length Guy Winter stories. The characters were great as well as the story. I agree with the synopsis that this is a complex story with excellent dialogue. JAMES PHILIP ( COLDHAM) wrote a neat story about spies and the pearls. And he couldn't have found a better narrator.

MELANIE FRASER was outstanding. She has a lovely voice with beautiful tone and inflections. Her pronunciations are impeccable. I love hearing her read. I think she's perfect for the series and hope she continues with it. It was very enjoyable.

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Zena
  • 07-09-17

Good introduction

This is the prologue by James Philip, the author, and it sets the basis for us to understand Guy Winter and his life and the people he lived and worked with and who helped make him the person and great investigator that he was in this series.
It is well written and reads easily, giving the facts and descriptions necessary to whet my appetite and make me want more.
I listened to the audiobook version and have nothing but praise for the narrator, Melanie Fraser whose use of her very versatile voice helped make this an interesting and entertaining listen.
I received a free audiobook from the Narrator, and this is my unbiased review.

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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 06-06-16

A great introduction to the series.

What about Melanie Fraser’s performance did you like?

I thought that Melanie Fraser's accent reflected the time period of the story very well and her voice really suited the elevated status of the characters and the establishment they were working for.

Any additional comments?

For a short story there were a lot of characters to keep track of and I had to pay good attention to what their role was and their relationship to each other. However I enjoyed the story a lot. I really love mysteries and I thought that this was a great introduction to the main character, Guy Winters, and left me wanting to read the next books in the series.I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.