Death on a Winter Stroll by Fracine Matthews: Book Review

Death on a winter stroll is displayed on a kindle fire being held in a white hand. There are fallen leaves and brick apartments in the background

Death on a Winter Stroll


Rating: 4.5/5 
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Pub Date: November 1, 2022
Thank you SoHo Crime and AustenProse for my Advanced Copy on the blog tour. All thoughts are of my own.

CW: Covid-19, Murder Off Page


No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the
COVID-19 pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood
stars and DC suits.

Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger is acutely conscious of the stress COVID-19
has placed on the community she loves. Although the island has proved a refuge for
many during the pandemic, the cost to Nantucket has been high. Merry hopes that the
Christmas Stroll, one of Nantucket’s favorite traditions, in which Main Street is
transformed into a winter wonderland, will lift the island’s spirits. But the arrival of a
large-scale TV production, and the Secretary of State and her family, complicates
matters significantly.
The TV shoot is plagued with problems from within, as a shady, power-hungry producer

clashes with strong-willed actors. Across Nantucket, the Secretary’s troubled stepson
keeps shaking off his security detail to visit a dilapidated house near conservation land,
where an intriguing recluse guards secrets of her own. With all parties overly conscious
of spending too much time in the public eye and secrets swirling around both camps, it
is difficult to parse what behavior is suspicious or not—until the bodies turn up.
Now, it’s up to Merry and Detective Howie Seitz to find a connection between two
seemingly unconnected murders and catch the killer. But when everyone has a motive,
and half of the suspects are politicians and actors, how can Merry and Howie tell fact
from fiction?
This latest installment in critically acclaimed author Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger
series is an immersive escape to festive Nantucket, a poignant exploration of grief as a
result of parental absence, and a delicious new mystery to keep you guessing.



Death on a Winter Stroll Review

To be completely clear here this was the first book in the series that I read… Chaos reader at my heart. But, at no point in my jumping into the series on book 7 was I utterly confused or lost. I fully recognize that there were probably call backs to the previous books, but they went over my head and nonetheless I really, really enjoyed reading this book.

I am typically a romance reader, but I do love a good mystery now and then. This was great. It was more of a modern take, bringing in some of the chaos of covid-19 and everything that went with it. This was my first book that I’ve read that included this in it and it was well done. It’s always a touchy thing to bring up events so soon, but I liked how Matthews weaved it into her story.

On to the mystery, it was very entertaining to read this book. I picked it up on Sunday morning and was finished before dinner. I couldn’t put it down. The need to know what was going to happen next and the who-done-it I couldn’t get away from. The characters were compelling and complex, which with the addition of the plot made for the best read. I really grew to like Meredith and definitely want to go back and read the rest of the series.

Do I wish that I had read this next to a burning fire with a cup of hot chocolate? Yes. But even without my perfect little set up this book was definitely a pleasant surprise for me!!

If you want a well written and enjoyable mystery with an air of politics and filming chaos, I highly recommend this book! I am seriously still so amazed how fast I went through it, a compliment to Matthew’s adept writing skills.

Death on a Winter Stroll ADVANCE PRAISE

  • “This fast-moving mystery packs in a lot, but never too much, and will work for fans of coming-of-age stories, police procedurals, and romance.” —First Clue
  • “Fresh, well-wrought prose brings the setting of Nantucket to life. Mathews consistently entertains.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Christmas and death come to Nantucket . . . Plenty of fascinating characters and myriad motives make for an exciting read.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Mathews consistently places relationships at the forefront of her mysteries, and Merry’s unique blend of tenacity and humanity makes her a heroine to root for.”—USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden, author of the Inspector Corravan mysteries


Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She
attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going
on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and
left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written thirty books, including six
previous novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-Season, Death in Rough
Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, Death on Nantucket,
and Death on Tuckernuck) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen

mystery series, which she writes under the pen name Stephanie Barron. She lives and
works in Denver, Colorado.



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