Frozen Charlotte (Martha Gunn Series #3)

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Frozen Charlotte

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In chapter one of Masters's gripping third mystery featuring intuitive, no-nonsense coroner Martha Gunn (after 2007's Slip Knot), a middle-aged woman, Alice Sedgewick, brings in the desiccated remains of an infant boy to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Polite yet eerily vacant, Alice insists she found the newborn in her home. Martha, whose job it is to find out not only who has died but where and how, has her hands full, and the police, under Det. Insp. Alex Randall's curt and decisive guidance, fan out to interview a host of colorful yet recalcitrant suspects, including Alice's domineering and blustery husband as well as the previous owners of Alice's house, an arrogant couple who now live in Spain. The widowed Martha's conversations with her spirited teenage twin daughters, her interactions with troubled friends, and her relationship with the enigmatic Alex hold considerable interest. Clues, lined up like golden crumbs, lure the reader to a surprising conclusion. (June)
Booklist
Nurse Lucy Ramshaw finds Alice Sedgewick sitting in the corner at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department, holding a pink blanket containing a mummified infant. The infant has been dead for 5–10 years, but Alice contends she found the baby when she was looking around in her attic. When questioned, Alice goes back and forth from being lucid to teetering on the edge of sanity. Alex Randall, from the local police department, and coroner Martha Gunn investigate the infant's death, researching the Sedgewicks along with previous owners of the home to determine how the baby died and why his body was concealed. Martha asks for Alex's help as she continues to receive unsettling phone calls and messages, and she becomes concerned for her own and her daughter's safety. Plot twists, procedural details concerning the work of both the police and the coroner, and the protagonists' personal lives are interwoven throughout a compelling, sad story.
Kirkus Reviews

Who is the very quiet woman with the very quiet baby in the very noisy Accident and Emergency department of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital?

It's a January night, snowy and slippery, exactly the kind of night calculated to boost the accident rate and strain an Accident and Emergency department beyond its capacity. No wonder everyone's ignoring the woman who sits so unobtrusively, looking so ordinary, seeming so attended to. On a night like this, that woman is guaranteed to be bypassed, as she is until finally frenzy settles into comparative calm, and staff Nurse Lucy Ramshaw has a chance to think seriously about her. Her name is Alice Sedgewick, and she's middle-aged, decently dressed and well-spoken. The baby she's holding remains quiet as death because it is indeed dead and has been for at least five years. Does Mrs. Sedgewick know her baby is dead? For that matter, is the baby Mrs. Sedgewick's? And since the baby is clearly male, why does she insist on referring to him as Poppy? The obvious questions lead nowhere until Coroner Martha Gunn (Slip Knot, 2007, etc.) begins asking them. But even smart, sensitive, intuitive Martha won't have an easy time with the sad, bad case of the baby so desperately wanted, except by those who didn't want him at all.

The strong premise is weakened by pace-killing subplots imbued with the sensibility of a romance novel.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727880062
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Series: Martha Gunn Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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