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Investigating the murder of a County Wexford priest in 1957, Detective Inspector St. John Strafford navigates harsh winter weather and the community's culture of silence to expose an aristocratic family's dangerous secrets.
1957. Detective Inspector St. John Strafford has been summoned to County Wexford to investigate when a parish priest is found dead in Ballyglass House, the family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family. The Catholic Church rules Ireland with an iron fist, and Strafford-- a Protestant-- faces obstruction at every turn. There is a culture of silence in this tight-knit community, and Stafford learns the Osbornes are not at all what they seem. When his own deputy goes missing, Strafford must work to unravel the ever-expanding mystery before the community's secrets, like the snowfall itself, threatens to obliterate everything. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada :, Hanover Square Press,, [2020]
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781335230003
Branch Call Number: MYS Banv
Characteristics: 299 pages ; 24 cm


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List - New Books - November 2020
NWPL Nov 04, 2020


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Feb 26, 2021

I read a lot of mysteries, in my view this is really not a mystery in the normal sense. I found it more to be a book about the various characters in the book. It shows the insecurity of many of the people in the book, including the Det. Insp. Strafford, the wife of the owner of the house, the victim, as well as the children of the owner of the house. But mainly it is about the chief character and how he deals with a very disturbing Murder, as well we learn of the history of the victim later in the book which helps to understand why the murder happened. It is enjoyable but there are some parts I felt were a little overkill. I give it three stars out of five.

Feb 18, 2021

This one starts slowly, but like as with all good mysteries a momentum takes over and when it does, it's hard to put down. The year is 1957, and Dublin detective St. John (pronounced "Sinjun" he frequently tells people) Strafford ("with an R") is sent to a small nearby town to investigate the murder of a priest, which occurred in a wealthy estate where Father Tom was an overnight guest. Strafford and his partner, Jenkins, are fighting not only a muddled crime scene and an intransigent local police force, but an attempt by Catholic church officials to have Father Tom's death ruled an accidental fall (he has a background of abuse they'd prefer to keep secret), although he was stabbed fatally in the neck. Strafford, a completely awkward person, is a great lead character, and the supporting characters are all nicely developed. While the person whodunit will not be a major surprise, following Detective Strafford as he uncovers all the secrets makes for a very nice read. This is being billed as the beginning of a series, and I'll look forward to Detective Strafford's further adventures.

Dec 28, 2020

Globe 100 2020. Also CBC recommended books 2020. One of the very best mysteries of the year, or any year.

Dec 22, 2020

Banville’s “Snow” is a book to laze around with. Pace too fast and you’ll miss the crisp scene descriptions- “There was a familiar yet mysterious smell of house dust and pencil shavings and scorched paper. It was the smell, he suspected, of every police station in the country…” Read too slow and you’ll want to put it down. It was aptly named “Snow”. Snow was falling, walked in, bled on, driven over or simply noticed out the window. Banville makes various scene comparisons to watching a play or acting. It was more about the process of solving a mystery and less about a structured crime being solved. I rather enjoyed it.

Dec 05, 2020

Snow by John Banville is a murder mystery and police procedural which takes place in County Wexford, Ireland. The year is 1957 and Detective Inspector St. John Strafford has been tasked with investigating the apparent murder of a priest, at Ballyglass House, ancestral home of the Osborne family. A snow storm is raging, the family appears unable to offer precise help in the matter and the DI’s detective has gone missing. As intriguing as this mystery is, what shines here is the quality of the prose. It is a pure pleasure to spend time immersed in this book. Banville is the 2005 Booker Prize winner for his novel The Sea: enough said. I highly recommend Snow to all mystery readers and every other reader. Thank you to Hanover Square Press, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Nov 03, 2020

I was disappointed in this book after reading the reviews. It was very predictable.

debwalker Oct 26, 2020

Country house murder with a dead priest in the library!

Oct 25, 2020

Maybe the best book I've read all year. Within the format of the classic whodunnit taking place in Ireland in 1957, Banville explores Protestant-Catholic animosities; sexual abuse by clerics; and the overheated relationships within a decaying Anglo-Irish gentry family and its hangers-on. The lowering atmosphere of winter in County Wexford also plays a role. Banville's prose is gorgeous without calling attention to itself or getting in the way of the narrative.

Oct 16, 2020

Well written, not overwrought, over done... in some spots spare, in others a lot of back story, but never really too much. Not too deep, not too light. The time, late 1950's, the place, Ireland. The 'real' subject matter sits on the sideline, not overt, but in the shadow waiting, but it does come out and is expressed well. Pleasurable read

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