Ice Cold Murder


Fiction - Mystery - Murder
266 Pages
Reviewed on 02/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Ice Cold Murder is the second novel in the Charlie Kingsley Mysteries series by Michele Pariza Wacek. It is a murder mystery with wit and suspense that will keep readers hooked until the end. Charlie Kingsley is back, and this time, the mystery hits a little closer to her than she anticipated. Accompanying her friend Claire to her grandmother’s will reading should not have been exciting, just a simple weekend spent with her friend. However, when a blizzard marooned Claire, Charlie, and the seven other people in a supposedly haunted house, things were bound to heat up. Before they knew it, someone was dead, and chaos ensued. Once again, Charlie was left to take responsibility and figure out who the murderer was before they all wound up dead. Could she figure it out before it was too late?

What a fantastic story. Right from the start, author Michele Pariza Wacek lured readers in with Charlie’s witty dialogues and dry humor. I felt an instant connection with Charlie and loved her immediately. That was my first sign that Ice Cold Murder was going to be exceptional. My second clue was how interwoven and intricate the story was. I was unable to guess who the killer was, even if the motive behind the killing was somewhat guessable for me. I loved the scenarios, situations, and the overall feel of the story. You hardly come across novels like this that give you an Agatha Christie feel. The mystery enveloped me, the main characters had me hooked, and the fast pace of the narrative maintained my interest in the story until the very end. Well done!

Lucinda E Clarke

I thought Michele Pariza Wacek used a clever title for her book - Ice Cold Murder. Of course, there is a body, and it is found ice-cold in the woodshed. Charlie has agreed to accompany her friend Claire to a will reading in an isolated cottage over a weekend. It all seems a little weird; why not the lawyer’s office in town? Apparently, her recently deceased relative specified this. But shortly after they arrive, the lawyer is found dead and a severe snowstorm maroons the extended family in the lodge with no power or communication. There are plenty of suspects and most have a motive. There are hidden secrets, accusations, and a mysterious locked door in the basement. Is the house really haunted?

I enjoyed reading Ice Cold Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek. It is well written, with not too much description to slow down the action. There are twists and turns, and it kept me guessing. There are a lot of characters to meet, but the heroine of the story, Charlie, was likable and as a reader, I grew fond of her – this book is one in a series. The words flowed and encouraged me to keep turning the pages, and it was difficult to put the book down. Amelia stands out as a character to dislike and I enjoyed her dialogue. Much of the story is told through discussions but this worked well and was never forced or artificial. I shall certainly look for more books written by this author as she tells a good tale with lifelike characters and believable situations, although it is not every day we discover a dead body in the woodshed.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Ice Cold Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek is an amusing murder mystery. Claire has to attend the reading of her late grandmother’s will and, against her better judgment, Charlie agrees to go with her. It should have been a straightforward visit but having to stay in a supposedly haunted house with an estranged family makes things a little more … interesting. When a snowstorm blows in, they are left trapped in the house with no phone and no power. The last thing they needed was a body - that was just the icing on the cake. Charlie gets to work, making tea and racing around looking for clues. The murderer must be in the house and she needs to find them before any more bodies appear. Can she find the killer or will she put herself in harm’s way?

Ice Cold Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek was a fun read, and although it is the second book in a series, I felt it worked well as a standalone – there was also sufficient backstory so that you won’t feel lost if you didn’t read the first one. Your attention is hooked right from the first page and off you go on a rollercoaster ride of murder, mystery, and suspense, with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure. The characters are wonderful, all of them with their own flaws and foibles that add something to the story, and the main character, Charlie, is relatable and likable. The descriptive nature of the writing really puts you right into the middle of the story and you feel everything as though you were there, all the emotions running high and the tension as it builds throughout the story. This is a highly entertaining read and a great way to fill a few hours on a cold winter’s afternoon.

Rylanne Burdette

When Charlie, a local to the town of Redemption who often finds herself tangled in the business of her customers and neighbors, is asked by Claire to spend the weekend at a supposedly haunted house, she says yes, wanting to support her friend. Claire’s grandmother recently passed away, and her last wish was to get the family together at the old family cabin so they could celebrate her life and get her will read by the family lawyer. But, when the lawyer ends up dead, and the cause is suspected to be murder, Charlie realizes that she is surrounded by a family she does not know, and any one of them could be a killer. Michele Pariza Wacek’s Ice Cold Murder is a “whodunit” mystery full of twists and turns.

Overall, Ice Cold Murder was a very enjoyable mystery that kept me flipping the pages, needing to find out what was going to happen next. Although I am still not sure how I feel about the reveal near the end of the book, I can say that I was not expecting the plot to wrap up the way it did. Charlie was truly an amazing character, and I loved seeing her thought processes and interactions with all the other characters, many of whom were untrustworthy and unlikeable, which I enjoy seeing in the mystery and thriller genres. The plot was fast-paced, and I was pretty engaged in every chapter until I started to lose steam near the end. However, I would still definitely recommend Ice Cold Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek to fans of fun mysteries that are more on the cozy side.

Natalie Soine

Ice Cold Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek is a suspenseful murder mystery novel set in the town of Redemption. Charlie Kingsley agrees to accompany her friend Claire to her grandmother’s reading of the will, spending the weekend in a haunted house. When Claire’s grandmother Florence hired a contractor to work on the house, he was killed in an accident and Claire’s mother, Daisy, believed the house was haunted after her brother Billy disappeared. Daisy’s sister, Amelia, was estranged from her and preferred the company of their aunt Iris and her husband Martin. Cousin Lucy brought a date to the reading, Officer Brandon Wyle, well known to Charlie. Amelia and her husband Elliot as well as Lucy’s brother, Jeremy, and Flo’s lawyer, George, complete the ensemble. A snowstorm causes a power outage during which time one of them is found dead. And thus begins an intriguing family murder mystery.

It is a pleasure to read an intriguing murder mystery, a real page-turner filled with many twists, turns, and surprises along the way. Ice Cold Murder is well written and Michele Pariza Wacek is a great author who knows how to put a compelling story together with a variety of interesting characters, scenes, and locations. Most people can relate to having a dysfunctional family which adds to the story, making it more appealing and easier to connect with the characters. I particularly enjoyed the smooth flow of the story and descriptive writing including Flo’s old house. All-round, a fantastic novel, highly recommended and suitable for all adults.