I really didn’t think anything would top my cover of Dead Men Don’t Ski – as a lone skier ascends a mountain on a ski lift, the rocks below form a skull. I have a handful of Moyes books, no idea where they came from, and they all find a way of inserting a skull into the picture, as subtly as a rhino crashing through your living room. But the covers on Amazon are all gems. Like the one on the left, with the Grim Reaper, who is a bit under dressed for the weather. There was also a cover with a skull in a balaclava and goggles, so you can see my Sophia’s choice when it came to picking which one to use in this post.
If you’ve read Agatha Christie or watched Midsomer Murders, then Moyes books aren’t going to be a step out of your comfort zone. Detective Tibbett, who is totally not Tom Barnaby, takes a vacation in the Alps with his lovely wife, who is totally not Joyce Barnaby. And before he leaves, Scotland Yard informs him to keep his eyes and ears open, because the skiing resort he is going to is under investigation as a possible smuggling nexus. Holy coincidence, Batman. Unsurprisingly, murders happen as soon as the Tibbetts arrive.
There’s a whole mix of characters that you’ll encounter in any book of this genre. A blustery, slight overweight British military man (he will be a Colonel, they are ALWAYS Colonels. If the book is old enough, they will have served in India and/or refer to Africa as “the dark continent”). This man will inevitably be married to a real tartar of a woman and someone, at some point, will actually care her a tartar. (Except in this book! I did not get British Detective Story Bingo with this book.) There’s some snobbish person or persons from the upper class that think their societal position puts them above being interviewed by the police. There will be a bland Bella of a young woman who may or may not be in danger (hint: it’s never really danger, just a hysterical woman being hysterical). There will be at least one foreigner; if he’s German, he will certainly be up to no good.
Like I said, if these type of books are in your wheelhouse, you are going to know who the killer is as soon as he or she is introduced. Oh, here comes a character that seems to have no suspicious backstory and seems relatively banal and part of the scenery. I’m sure he or she will be entirely inconsequential!