I’m very pleased to announce a new release from Christoph Fischer, The Body in the Snow. This new book takes a sharp turn for this prolific writer who is known for his historical fiction that often visits the dark corners of eastern Europe prior, during, and after World War II. He’s also written some outstanding works of contemporary fiction that deal with mental illness and Alzheimers.
So when he asked if I wanted to beta read this novel, I couldn’t wait to delve into something lighter–a cozy murder mystery! And I wasn’t disappointed. The Body in the Snow is a delightful romp through snow drifts, candle light, nosy neighbors, and fading singers as Bebe Bollinger drinks her way to solving a mystery and discovers her way back to her daughter and her career. I loved how he used the event of a massive snowstorm to hold neighbors captive and to keep other things from moving forward throughout the story.
While there is laughter, there’s also pathos in the characters and certain universal threads through them all. From the couple in a dysfunctional marriage filled with jealousy and rage to the lonely divorcee only wanting a friend, there’s a glimpse into the humanity of us all. The detective off her game is revived by the sometimes ridiculous yet irrepressible Bebe who may not always do the right thing, yet somehow finds a way to right her wrongs.
It’s a fun read. I almost didn’t want the mystery part solved because that would mean the characters would leave me! Here’s hoping there’s more to come from these unforgettable and all too human folks created by the talented Christoph Fischer.
Christoph and I followed parallel roads recently as we both were seeking out new places to live. I moved to the Smoky Mountains in the States, and he moved to Wales in the UK. Since our moves, both of us have set our novels in our new homes. As Christoph relates below, he did it for the same reasons that I did. Here’s Christoph on how “place” created his setting.
The Setting for The Body in the Snow
By Christoph Fischer
The Body in the Snow is set in West Wales, which has been my home for the past two years. Originally, I placed the story in England, but when I started my first re-write after moving to Wales, I was so in love with my surroundings that I brought the characters across the border with me.
West Wales is wonderfully beautiful with lush green hills, beautiful mountain tops, spectacular beaches and world-renowned coastal hiking trails. Why not more people live here is beyond me.
The setting of The Body in the Snow is a declaration of love to this beautiful and unique country and seemed a great fit, with plenty of inspiration to add to the next draft of my novel.
I came to the UK many moons ago because of a Welsh lawyer from Swansea and have been with a Welsh man for the past ten years. Although I only lived here for a short period of time, my connection to Wales has been long standing. Prior to moving there, once a week, we crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales to visit my partner’s fragile parents and each time I liked the sensation of going to Wales.
The book is particularly dedicated to the welcoming people of my adopted new hometown and the people who helped us to settle in there so quickly. After fifteen months, I now rarely go somewhere without bumping into someone I know and having a chat on the way.
In 2012, our house in England was snowed in on a hill top and the electricity was cut several times for almost entire days. My partner joked that this was the perfect setting for a murder mystery since nobody could arrive or leave. I liked the idea. We were cut off from everything, as is so often the starting point of good crime fiction such as Agatha Christie’s Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express. Living in a rural location, we learned firsthand the far and unforeseen limitations of life in such a big snowfall. Where we live in Wales could easily be affected in the same way.
Purchase links for The Body in the Snow
Kindle (Preorder – release September 24, 2016)
Paperback (Available now)