|Print List Price:||$13.99|
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Winter Watch Kindle Edition
|Length: 258 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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In Winter Watch, Anita Klumpers has written what I call a cozy-eccentric book. Barley, Wisconsin, is a isolated northern burg where the Justice of the Peace is also the dog catcher and where a few crazies reside. Bernice, a miscreant referred to as the resident killer, is the battiest of them all. After a family member dies, Bernice gets meals and kindness and concerns. And wouldn't you know, she likes the perks of grief. More relatives mysteriously die. Sympathy can be mighty addicting.
Like Alexander McCall Smith, Klumper weaves humor into the warp and woof of her prose. Blizzards are snowstorms with enthusiasm. A woman was proud to give her son a Biblical name—Tubal—until the nurse told her it sounded like a female medical procedure.
There is comfort—"I like a woman who knows her way around an egg."—and a passage about joy so lyrical it makes me both nod in agreement and yearn in anticipation:
"Joy arrived unbidden and unpredicted to pour from heart to fingertips to toes. She held her breath, every time, to preserve and examine it but it forever danced just out of her grasp and slipped away. Claudia stayed still, focusing, her heart ready to burst. At the last crucial second joy seeped through cracks and crevices of her being until her every extremity and pore rejoiced before the evaporation worked backwards and she sat in the afterglow."
The focal point of the narrative centers on an old watch. The prologue and epilogue added more layers of history regarding the watch. The story line had me eagerly turning the page, and a bit annoyed with life's beckoning demands when I needed to put the book down.
In short, this is a satisfying and entertaining read.
Opening with a two-pronged prologue, Klumpers tantalizes the reader with the story of a pocket watch at the center of devastating events. How it comes to the heroine, Claudia, is gradually revealed throughout the book.
The back cover copy says it very well - if you have to be stuck in the dead of winter in northern Wisconsin, may you find a village like the charming one created by the author. Sure it has its issues, colorful characters including a mass murderer and a registered sex offender, an antique blind town pastor, and a Justice of the Peace/dog catcher named Ezra whom everyone loves. When Claudia is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, she's close enough to her destination, Barley, to hitch a ride. Barley may hold the secret to the mysterious family heirloom and its rightful owner--if only she can figure out who that is, before another body shows up.
Mayhem, absolutely delightful settings, a vocabulary for the intelligent adult reader (thank you!), and some very sweet romance make this novel a very clever read. Kudos! Told by Claudia, the twists will keep you turning pages. Recommended for those who like clean, smart reads.
The main character is Claudia, a strong woman who is abandon at a gas station by her boyfriend. She is slowly but surely welcomed into the town, and quickly becomes involved in the lives of several of the more eccentric characters. Her love interest is a pillar in the community (and the local dog catcher), and Klumper’s writing keeps you guessing as to whether there really is something there, or if we are just imagining it. I was instantly drawn to Claudia and found her likeable and just flawed enough to be relatable. The mystery gets deeper as the book continues, and soon a murderer is afoot in the snowy winter town of Barley, Wisconsin. Anita wraps up the story in an unhurried fashion, wrapping up all the loose ends in a realistic way. I started the book somewhat interested, and ended it in love with the characters, and their town. Anita hinted in her interview that there might be more adventures coming, and I can’t wait to read more about Barley, Wisconsin!