A Winter Kill

A Winter Kill

by Vicki Delany


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Nicole Patterson is a young, green and very eager probationary constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Although she spends much of her time breaking up bar fights, giving out traffic tickets and finding lost kids, she dreams of one day becoming a detective.

Late one bitterly cold winter night, she comes across the body of a young woman lying on the edge of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of town. The girl appears to have been strangled. Nicole recognizes the victim as a local high school student with a somewhat sullied reputation, the daughter of the town drunk. Though both under-qualified and unauthorized, Nicole feels compelled to throw herself into the murder investigation.

Was the murdered girl really as promiscuous as her classmates described or the victim of bullying? What was her relationship with the star of the football team? And what is the significance of the ring with the large blue stone found near her body?

Is Nicole Patterson herself heading for trouble by pretending to be a detective?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554699568
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Series: Rapid Reads
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,125,534
Product dimensions: 4.81(w) x 7.17(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile: HL420L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada's most prolific and varied crime writers, and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: from clever cozies to Gothic thrillers, gritty police procedurals to historical fiction, and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest novel is Elementary, She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Read an Excerpt

I shifted my feet. Snow crunched beneath my boots. I dropped to a squat beside the body. It was a woman. Her long pink scark was wrapped tightly around her neck. Too tight to let air pass. I pulled off my gloves and held my fingers to the side of her neck. Cold and stiff.

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A Winter Kill 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They should definetly have a movie for it. I love it. One of my favorites.
readerbynight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Received from and Reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewer ListVicki Delany has delivered a murder mystery in Rapid Read format that gives the reader a view of life they will find familiar. A young girl from the "wrong side of the tracks" so to speak, is found dead and no one seems to care very much. A glimpse of our perceptions, often wrong, of people we don't really know who don't fit in or are considered beneath us. In this case, a popular young boy, destined for a football scholarship, has taken the time to know her and is devastated when she is murdered.Nicole Patterson, a new constable on the small town's force, also has taken an interest in the victim, Maureen. Her death brings back high school memories, as a former student at the same high school Maureen attended, she would as soon forget. Though not qualified yet to be on the case, she can't leave it alone. Since she is familiar with the town and her supervisor is from a big city, Nicole is compelled to ask a few questions on her own.Vicki Delany has written with a depth of compassion not always found in murder mysteries, causing me to care who killed Maureen. This is no easy feat in Rapid Reads, short but complete stories that can be read in a day. I look forward to more from Vicki in the future.
caitemaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rookie police constable Nicole Patterson has only been on the job for about 6 months and most of the crime in the rural area outside Toronto where she works is predictable. Petty theft, bar fights, domestic disputes. But murder is another matter.On patrol, she finds the body of a young woman in the snow, strangled to death by her scarf. She turns out to be a local high school student, known by sight to Patterson, who is a local girl, returned home after college. And while Patterson is far from being a detective who would investigate a crime like this, her local knowledge may prove invaluable..especially after it is found the murdered girl was four months pregnant.This is a nice little read, with a good plot, an interesting main character in Patterson and well written. ell, enough written that I will investigating other books Delany, including her Klondike Mystery series, her Constable Molly Smith series and a number of standalones. But the key to this book is little, weighing in at just over 100 pages, and a big fonted 100 pages at that. Actually this is much more a story story than a novel. But with this series, Orca/Raven's Rapid Reads, that is the point. "Orca Book Publishers is excited to introduce Rapid Reads, a line of short novels and non-fiction books for adult readers. In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants an high-interest quick read. Rapid Reads focus first and foremost on strong writing and storytelling. We are committed to providing books that will help adults achieve their literacy goals in an interesting and accessible way. Each novel in the Rapid Reads series is written between a 2.0 and 4.5 reading level. The plots are contemporary and entertaining, with adult language and themes."Personally, I think it is a great idea. The story, the language, makes it a book for adults. There are topics introduced in this short volume, like teen pregnancy, growing up in a dysfunctional home, what a hostile place high school can be, that adults will find interesting. And it is really remarkable that it can be done so well it what is really just a short story.Yet for someone who has literacy issues, someone that does not have English as their first language, as the publisher says "reluctant readers", this series of about 20 books, by a variety of authors, might be just the thing. The writing style is simple and direct, yet not obviously so. It might get those potential readers started in the idea of actually enjoying reading books and give a real sense of accomplishment at finishing a book. The fact that they are reading real books, with adult stories, not books written for kids, would make a huge difference. I am a big fan of the idea.That being said, I have one major issue with this book.The price.At $9.95 for such a short, little paperback, I really think that is outrageous and can not but work to discourage the target audience.Which is a great shame.Still, an entertaining book, in a series based on a good idea.
Myckyee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a bit torn about this book. I thought it was a pretty good story as far as mysteries go. It had a surprise (if abrupt) ending and I enjoyed that. However the writing style was more for a young person and although there's nothing wrong with that, I found the theme to be a bit mature for the book to be considered YA. Perhaps the writing style is what fits with a 'rapid reads' book, ergo the short, clipped and very simple sentences. True to its promise of being a quick read, I zipped through it in just over an hour.I liked it but I'm just a little confused about who its audience is supposed to be.
BrianEWilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book as an Library Thing Early Reviewer. This is the second Rapid Reads book that I have read (Rick Blecha's "Orchestrated Murder" is the other one). I enjoyed both of them, this one more than the Blecha one. It is definitely a rapid read as I was able to finish it in an hour or so.A young rookie police constable Nicole Patterson finds the body of a local teen with a bad reputation. The girl's father is the immediate suspect in the minds of Nicole's boss, but she does not agree with this. She conducts her own informal investigation and because of her efforts the identity of the real murderer is uncovered. Nicole would make a good protagonist in a full length police procedural.
noranydrop2read on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A WINTER KILL by Vicki Delany is, as advertised, a "rapid read." It took me about twenty minutes. I was really interested to see whether a book written in this fashion (short sentences, limited vocabulary, novella-length) could provide a captivating mystery, and I'm delighted to report that it can. These books are designed for adults, but written at a grade level similar to the chapter books I read aloud to my five-year-old. Delany takes a complicated mystery, a rookie cop, and a host of witnesses and weaves it into an interesting tale. Highly recommended for reluctant readers, ESL learners, readers with literacy challenges, high school age and adult.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Winter Kill by Vicki Delany is a very short book that can be read in just one or two sittings. Constable Nicole Patterson stumbles upon the body of a young woman lying in the snow. Although she is unauthorized, this young police woman feels compelled to become involved in the investigation. Having grown up in this rural Ontario community, the locals seem more willing to open up to her. As the victim was a high school student, and was pregnant, Nicole realizes the answer is probably somewhere among the student body. Being such a short tale, there was very little room for character development, or literary prose. Instead the author delivers a fairly straight forward murder investigation that held very few secrets but was an interesting take on a murder set in a small town.
pmarshall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is the old story; high school sports hero boy and girl from the other side of the tracks fall in love and make plans for the future. She gets pregnant, they change their plans. Then all the plans are changed for them when she is found by a young OPP officer along side the road ¿ dead. Vicki Delany tells ¿A Winter Kill¿ well, in a clear concise writing style that focuses on the necessary character development to solve the murder. It is not Nicole Patterson¿s job to investigate, she is a rookie constable who patrols the roads. But this case touches her, perhaps because she found the body, she grew up in Prince Edward County and attended the same high school. She goes beyond the limitations of her job description and asks questions about Maureen¿s reputation, questions about the senior student who appears to be suffering a loss. Questions that enable her to find the person who objected so strongly to the young lovers.¿Rapid Reads focus first and foremost on strong writing and storytelling. We are committed to providing books that will help adults achieve their literacy goals in an interesting and accessible way. Each novel in the Rapid Reads series is written between a 2.0 and 4.5 reading level. The plots are contemporary and entertaining, with adult language and themes.¿ . They are written by some of Canada¿s best mystery authors and should appeal to all readers. I wish I had them when I was tutoring ESL students. ¿A Winter Kill¿ is quick, enjoyable read and I recommend it to all.
VivienneR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rapid Reads don't allow much leeway to develop complex plots or characters but Delany has done a good job of writing an engaging mystery using simple language. The rookie police officer who found the body of a young woman is able to assist during a murder investigation. She too attended the high school of the murdered girl and knows that students are more likely to open up to one of their own.This would be perfect for someone whose reading skills are still being developed or who is simply looking for a quick read.
Mariecg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a Winter Kill, Vicky Delany tells the story of rookie constable Nicole Patterson, back in her natal county, and her investigation in the murder of a young high school student. The victim being born on the wrong of the track and having a reputation for sleeping around, the fingers immediately point to the father as the killer. Even though she is not part of the investigation team, Nicole soon asks questions to students and others who knew the victim.I read the book in one seating; it was a fast and easy read. Which is, for a book part of the "Fast Reads" collection a good thing. Naturally, such a short book does not allow for a lot of character development and twists and turns in the plot, but I thought that Vicky Delany did a good job in keeping the interest in the story and characters. I would recommend this book to occasional readers and those learning English.
callmejacx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first ¿rapid read¿ I have read. At first glance, I thought I would be really disappointed. The fairly large print and the size of the book made me think that there wouldn¿t be much of a plot. I was pleasantly surprised.The story begins finding a young girls dead body and a cop that has only been around for 6 months, who feels she needs to be a part of the investigating. We quickly learn that the young girl¿s family life isn¿t the best. The kids at school have told the authority¿s of her bad reputation. Their job is to find out why this girl was murdered and left in the winter¿s forest and who did it.Although the story moves fast I didn¿t find that it was moving too fast. Easy language, but not so much that I felt that I was reading a child¿s book. It was more engaging that I thought it would be. Right away, I thought this book would be great to read while traveling and vacationing. Fits perfect in a purse or small bag.I found that I read this book at the perfect time. This felt like a little break from reading my regular books. It¿s a good book to have on hand.