The Summer Snow

The Summer Snow

3.6 3
by Rebecca Pawel

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Guardia Civil Lieutenant Tejada is torn between the claims of family and duty.


Guardia Civil Lieutenant Tejada is torn between the claims of family and duty.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in fascist Spain shortly after WWII, Edgar-winner Pawel's fourth mystery to feature Gardia lieutenant Carlos Tejada (after 2005's The Watcher in the Pine) is a triumph of characterization, suspense and atmosphere. The suspicious death of Tejada's wealthy great-aunt, Dona Rosalia, in the city of Granada embroils him and his immediate family-small son To o and wife Elena-in a case involving the implications of a missing will and the often inexplicable actions of his relatives. While the mystery itself captivates from both a historical and topical perspective, the book's complex characters are even more impressive. A remarkable sequence in which Tejada investigates his cousin Felipe is riveting, but as much for insight into Felipe as for its significance to the plot. Tejada remains fascinating for his suspect morality: a decent man who's also an apologist for a brutal regime. This beguiling novel will richly reward lovers of both mysteries and mainstream literary fiction. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The murder of a Spanish matriarch who was loathed by Falangists, Communists, her house servants and her own family. Called home to his family's holdings in Granada from his posting at the Guardia Civil in Potes, Lt. Carlos Tejada (The Watcher in the Pine, 2005, etc.) is reluctant to reintroduce his wife Elena to his parents, brother and cousins. He knows they'll condescend to her for her leftist sympathies. Tejada's been summoned by his father to investigate the murder of his cranky, perhaps crazy, old great-aunt Rosalia, who was always carrying on about the Reds conspiring to kill her. Her latest will has disappeared, there are traces of cyanide in her wine and the suspects include children she disinherited, Tejada's father, the cook, the maid, her lawyer's porter and the sugar refiner forced to sell out to her cheaply and flee the country when he was denounced to the Guardia. Working with the local Guardia's Sergeant Rivas, Tejada niggles away at motive and opportunity while Elena tries to reconnect with a former student from her teaching days in Madrid. Despite interrogation-by-torture, Tejada finds confessions hard to come by. It's only when he focuses on the fury of children orphaned by the Civil War that he can confront his great-aunt's killer in a harrowing denouement. An old-fashioned whodunit gussied up with political overtones. But anyone who's ever suffered a mother-in-law will sympathize with Elena.

Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Carlos Tejada Alonso y Leon Series, #4
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.81(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Pawel lives in New York City and is pursuing a PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her widely praised first novel, Death of a Nationalist, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, as well as a best book of the year in the Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly and Detroit Free Press.

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Summer Snow 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
willow1948 More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be written in an interesting way. In reading it, the language useage was almost as if it had been translated from Spanish. This is part of a series, and the first of Miss Pawel's books that I've read. From what I've heard, the first ones were better. Unfortunately, I think that when characters, backgrounds are carried from book to book, the later ones lose something. The fire isn't there, and the scenarios become less vibrant. I don't think I would recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is fourth in the series featuring Carlos Tejada of the Spanish Guardia Civil. Please start with Death of a Nationalist and read them in order. You will not be disappointed. Tejada is of a Spanish aristocratic family with large land holdings. He is not the first son and, thus, not destined to inherit the land. His choice of the Guardia Civil as a career is not one of which his family approves, but he is good at his job and is adept in investigating complicated situations. He is charged with investigating the death of his great-aunt. He returns home after a long absence to do the investigation, bringing with him the Communist sympathizing wife he has acquired. Not only must he investigate the suspicious death, in which his own father is a suspect, but also he has to keep his wife and supercilious mother at bay. This is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago