The Summer Snow
Rebecca Pawel
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Buy *The Summer Snow* by Rebecca Pawel

The Summer Snow

Rebecca Pawel
Soho Crime
320 pages
February 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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The newest release from Edgar Award-winning author Rebecca Pawel (Death Of A Nationalist, The Watcher In The Pine, Law Of Return) continues her series featuring Guardia lieutenant Carlos Tejada in The Summer Snow. Set in fascist Spain shortly after the end of World War II, the book opens up with Tejada’s great aunt, the fiery Dona Rosalia, complaining to her maid, Maria Jose, to have Alberto contact the Guardia.

Maria Jose kept her expression blank. ‘Should Alberto give them any special message, Senora?’

‘Special message! Huh! Wouldn’t you like to know? Prying into the affairs of your betters, peeping and spying on me!’

‘I only meant that the Guardia are always busy, Senora, and I don’t think they’ll come if—

‘Criminals!’ Dona Rosalia hit the arm of her chair with one hand. ‘You don’t want Guardia to come because you’re all afraid of them. Thieves and black marketers, and you think your precious secrets are worth more than my life.’

‘No Senora.’

‘Ingrates.’ Dona Rosalia’s face was becoming flushed. ‘I take you into my home, give you work in these times, and this is how you repay me! With larceny and disobedience! I will be obeyed in my own house, girl!’
If it seems like Dona Rosalia is paranoid, it is with good reason. When Sergeant Rivas arrives, Rosalia does not get a sympathetic ear; Rivas has heard this story before from her. Rosalia feels like everyone is conspiring to kill her. There must have been something to it, because after Rivas gets his pay of sorts (a dinner for listening to what he thought were her usual delusional comments), Rosalia is found dead in her room.

Here the story kicks into high gear. Carlos Tejada gets a phone call from the Guardia informing him of Rosalia’s death. His father asks Carlos to investigate; Rosalia changed her will often due to her paranoia. Tejada then takes his family – wife Elena and young son Tono – to Grenada where he finds a mess: disgruntled servants, disinherited children, and a missing will. Carlos finds himself between a rock and a hard place as he is forced to investigate his own family.

The Summer Snow is rife with drama. This is a great premise for a mystery, historical or otherwise, and Pawel’s great plotting and vivid prose make this book absolutely riveting. The pace is also good for what might otherwise be labeled slow-moving literary fiction. Overall, The Summer Snow is a fantastic mystery for fans and non-fans alike.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Bobby Blades, 2006

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