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Frost At Christmas (Inspector Frost, #1)
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Frost At Christmas (Inspector Frost #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,804 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Ten days to Christmas and Tracey Uphill, aged eight, hasn't come home from Sunday school. Her mother, a pretty young prostitute, is desperate. Enter Detective Inspector Jack Frost, sloppy, scruffy and insubordinate. To help him investigate the case of the missing child, Frost has been assigned a new sidekick, the Chief Constable's nephew. Fresh to provincial Denton in an o ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Crimeline (first published 1986)
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Initial Success
64th out of 339 books — 35 voters
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Christmas Mysteries
22nd out of 247 books — 101 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 02, 2012 Brandon rated it really liked it
I can't decide if Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a misunderstood genius or if he's just incredibly lucky. While he exhibits traits of someone who clearly knows what he's doing; he mostly seems like a bumbling jerk who happens to fall into the right answers.

By saying that, I certainly don't mean for it to seem like I was irritated. Look at Dr. House on... House. He berates his patients as well as his colleges and is certainly without tact - but he always gets the job done. Frost shows many of
May 31, 2013 Amitha rated it did not like it
I was enjoying the book up until about a quarter of the way in when Frost basically blames a 12 year old girl for a vicar taking nude photographs of her. NOT okay. That's when I noticed there were basically no positive female characters in the book. Even the (one) female policeman character seems to exist only to sleep with one of the other policemen and barely has any dialogue. Add to that the constant wisecracks and commentary about women's bodies and what could've been a fun murder mystery tu ...more
Jul 30, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it
DI Frost gives a whole new outlook on the crime / mystery genre. Frost is a sarcastic, sloppily dressed and insubordinate detective that you just have to love.
A Frost at Christmas features three different crimes to be solved which is a nice change from only the one murder mystery featured in other crimes books.
I enjoyed Frost's unorthodox approach to solving crime and his reliance on luck to muck his way through the investigation. I can't help but love Frost (he's exactly the same as he on the
Dec 28, 2013 KarenF rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, mystery
First the good, the mystery was engaging and perfectly twisty. The male secondary characters are well drawn and Frost does manage to be amusing at times.

But it's all wrapped in a giant turd of misogyny. Every woman who makes an appearance is either fuckable or doesn't matter. Most glaringly is when Frost blames a 12 year old girl for the fact that the vicar has naked photos of her. See, the vicar's not a bad sort the girl is just a slut who drove him to it. Frost then shares a charming story of
Jan 02, 2014 Samantha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petula Darling
Oct 28, 2010 Petula Darling rated it it was ok
Shelves: series
This probably would have gotten a higher rating had the mystery not been resolved by the near-clueless detective bumbling into a monologue-spouting perpetrator.

Also - I think we're supposed to find the detective endearing, if a bit flawed. The detective discovered that a vicar took nude "provocative" photographs of a girl he knew was only 12 years old. The detective did nothing about this because the girl was physically developed and "a slut", so the vicar was not to blame. Seriously? She's 12 Y
Nov 26, 2014 Miriam marked it as to-read
Shelves: mystery, holidays
My library only has the movie version of this book.

I checked ILL, and they have it -- but only in Japanese! Kurisumasu no furosuto by R. D. Wingufīrudo.
Aug 23, 2015 Misbah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Whilst some resemblance to the excellent TV series is apparent, the insane levels of misogyny I could definitely do without.

What strikes Frost as different from other detectives, at least in the television series where he is brilliantly played by David Jason, is that he really cares about the people of Denton and isn't judgemental - or at least tries not to be as he is an old man constantly challenged to adapt to an ever advancing culturally and technological society. He is often seen taking th
Dec 26, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed the Inspector Frost series very much. Frost at Christmas is actually the first in the series, it seemed appropriate to read it over the Xmas period. We find out how Frost got his medal, learn to appreciate his bumbling style, even though he is well-loved by the rank and file within the Police station. Not so well-liked by DS Mullet, his boss, but then again, Mullet isn't all that nice anyway. Frost is tasked to take over the investigation and search for a lost girl when one of his p ...more
Inspector Frost -slovenly, rumpled, insubordinate, a bit misogynistic and sexist in his remarks about the women he encounters, deeply flawed - and yet cleverly successful, undermining his own successes, and giving away the credit. In Frost At Christmas, Frost investigates several crimes - the eight year old daughter of a prostitute goes missing, attempted break-ins at a local bank, and the discovery of a 30-year old skeleton that links back to a bank robbery. Frost also must mentor Detective Con ...more
Nov 28, 2015 KK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A missing girl, a robbery, an unearthed skeleton - with so many crimes nipping at his toes, Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a busy man. If you've seen the TV show it's hard not to picture Frost as Sir David Jason, and I was grateful to have his comedic interpretation of this unusual character to visualise. I say this because there is a rather shocking point in this book that has upset many readers. I had read some unflattering reviews, all complaining about the same thing, before starting the ...more
Dec 11, 2011 Brenda rated it really liked it
Detective Inspector Jack Frost, scruffy, insubordinate, and a general pain in the butt to his superiors, but loved by everyone else. He hated paperwork, was always behind in anything to do with NOT being in the field, and forgot all the meetings and briefings he was supposed to attend.

But with 10 days until Christmas, Frost lands a case which needs to be solved quickly. A young girl, Tracey Uphill, 8 years old, has gone missing after Sunday School, and it's bitterly cold, snowing, not weather fo
Rob Kitchin
Aug 09, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it
Frost at Christmas is the first book in this delightful six book series. Frost is introduced as a befuddled, conniving, sarcastic, and insolent cop, promoted beyond his capabilities, who tackles crimes seemingly without rhyme or reason. Every one of his actions seem designed to be as inefficient as possible and annoy those around him, yet Frost receives loyalty from most of his colleagues as, at heart, he’s a lovable rogue whose two commitments are to catch the bad guys and to share any plaudits ...more
Richard White
Once again a Goodreads review introduced me to another great series. The Frost character is hilarious. Think Columbo with an attitude. Can't wait to read the next installment.
Bev Taylor
Aug 27, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it it was amazing
yes, he's back - together with the usual colleagues

h/e this time he is joined by clive, the chief constable's nephew from london. when should have been working with allen but he has been taken ill

on the way from the railway station to his digs they r called to a mother's house - her 8 year old girl has gone missing.

frost is put in charge of the case, much to his boss's disgust and with clive as his sidekick they start the search - though with each passing day and the weather it grows more and
Christine Cody
Jul 11, 2016 Christine Cody rated it really liked it
Wingfield was a wonderful writer...he drew his characters so fully, I could visualize them thoroughly, particularly Jack Frost, his widowed "hero" of the Denton precinct. I could feel the affection his colleagues have for him, enjoy the warm reactions of town folk whenever he showed up on a scene, cringe at some of his inappropriate comments and stories, and tighten up whenever he made another blunder and heard the announcement that the Chief Constable wanted him in this office, "Right now!" Gre ...more
Lee Coulson
May 03, 2015 Lee Coulson rated it really liked it
“I am just a natural sodder upper and nothing’s going to change me.”
Frost at Christmas was written in 1984 and in many ways it shows its age. This is time when police still used cassette tapes as cutting edge technology, drove Morris patrol cars, hand wrote interviews, typed their reports, ran mail rooms where they send off requisitions to forensics and smoke up a blue storm within the station. It all has the gritty, realistic feel of the early Bill TV show. Mind you, our eponymous hero, Detecti
May 22, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book after growing up with the TV series starring David Jason. Jason's bumbling, lovable Jack Frost is one of the more appealing TV detectives, with his compelling mixture of melancholy, humour and the flashes of anger that are equally likely to be directed at colleagues as criminals. The seeds of this are all here in the book, but Wingfield's Frost has rougher edges than Jason's. He's more openly sexist, ruder, cruder, and appears to be barely competent at his job. Those who ...more
Dec 13, 2014 Laurie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-mystery, hated-it, 2014
Hated this book. All of the female characters were either sex objects or old crones. And for DI Frost to defend the vicar when it was discovered that the vicar took nude pictures of a well-developed and promiscuous 12 year old is indefensible. Frost said the vicar did nothing illegal, but child porn was certainly illegal in the 80s when this was written. Frost is portrayed as a bumbling Columbo type of detective, but he just seems incompetent and not vague yet smart as Columbo was.
Jan 09, 2016 Linda882 rated it liked it
Enjoyed for the most part but couple of icky points. Not watched the TV show. Will give next a go
Dec 09, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it
Recommended to Leslie by: English Mysteries
Shelves: mysteries
3 stars. Although I wasn't sure at first that I could stand the crude vulgarity of Inspector Jack Frost, this mystery has a very good plot, starting right away with a surprising grabber. Wingfield manages to take several seemingly unrelated threads and twist them into an intricate knot in the end and I, along with DC Clive Barnard, came to find that I liked Frost more than I had originally thought possible. I will be reading more of this series. ...more
Dec 21, 2013 Marti rated it really liked it
Started to write the review, which then got swallowed up and disappeared. Inspector Jack Frost is an unconventional British police officer whois often tardy, sloppy, but who gets the job done. In this book, he is paired with Clive Barnard, the Chief Constable's nephew. A missing girl leads to a long closed case which opens several other options. Jack is irascible, but endearing.
Ice Bear
You could read any of the Frost books and they sound the same but are enjoyable nonetheless. For those of you not in the UK, if you think Columbo, Mr Bean and Benny Hill all combined set in a downtown precinct you have just about got the picture.

The dry humour stands out, and the need to tolerate the sexism and chauvinism is to understand the context of the book.

A good holiday read.
Doug Newdick
Dec 26, 2014 Doug Newdick rated it it was ok
What is it about English police stories? They always seem to have "eccentric" policeman - (usually insubordinate, untidy one who don't fit in), quiet old towns with a disproportionately high number of murders, and an absence of the basic human drives as motives: money, sex, power. Frost continues in the same vein, and never departs from it. The enjoyment is in the plot twists, the misdirection and the eventual unravelling of the labyrinthine plot, as well as the personailty "quirks" of the main ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Audrey rated it liked it
Not as good as the second one, which I read first (bear with me) but still pretty terrifyingly good. Ends differently than the televised version, too, so that was a nice shock.

A very readable series with a believably screwed-up detective and division, with twisted, petty cases that know human foibles very well.
Frost at Christmas
R.D. Wingfield
Searching for a missing girl, Frost encounters one colorful character after another. They include, for a start, an upstanding vicar with a taste for pornography, a foul-mouthed drunken tramp and a witch-like clairvoyant ... to say nothing of his own pompous chief inspector.

Dec 26, 2014 Malcolm rated it really liked it
My interest in this novel was sparked by a repeat screening of the Touch of Frost television series with David Jason as Jack Frost. Although it would not matter for most viewers, Jason's interpretation of the Wingfield character seems spot on.
What the reader will gain from the novel is a much more complicated plot. I recall just one of the cases in this novel filled a full episode of the television series. Frost's character is developed more in the novel, as is Mr Mullett, although I can see wh
Linda Rowland
Jan 14, 2015 Linda Rowland rated it liked it
I had the same problem with this as so many other reviewers. The attitude toward women was appalling. Pretty hard on animals as well.
That said, it was good story line with interesting characters.
I wanted very much to like it, and still may read the other books in the series.
The TV series was quite close to the character in the books. Good mystery!
Peter Allard
Dec 21, 2014 Peter Allard rated it liked it
The first of the Inspector Frost series. Twenty years later the seemingly inept detective is still fresh and funny. The dialogue might have been better than the plot.
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English Mysteries...: December 2013 - Frost At Christmas 34 98 Feb 02, 2014 05:20PM  
  • Fatal Frost (Detective Jack Frost Prequel, #2)
  • An English Murder
  • Christmas at High Rising
  • Cutting Edge (Charles Resnick, #3)
  • A Perfect Match (Lloyd & Hill, #1)
  • The Killings at Badger's Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby #1)
  • The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4)
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • Orchestrated Death (Bill Slider #1)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
  • The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries
  • Death Is Now My Neighbor (Inspector Morse, #12)
  • The Marx Sisters (Brock & Kolla, #1)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Father Christmas Mystery #1)
  • A Stillness in Bethlehem (Gregor Demarkian, #7)
Rodney David Wingfield was a prolific writer of radio crime plays and comedy scripts, some for the late Kenneth Williams, star of the Carry On films. His crime novels featuring DI Jack Frost have been successfully adapted for television as A Touch of Frost starring David Jason. Wingfield was a modest man, shunning the London publicity scene in favour of a quite life in Basildon, Essex, with his wi ...more
More about R.D. Wingfield...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Frost (6 books)
  • A Touch Of Frost (Inspector Frost, #2)
  • Night Frost (Inspector Frost, #3)
  • Hard Frost (Inspector Frost, #4)
  • Winter Frost (Inspector Frost, #5)
  • A Killing Frost (Inspector Frost, #6)

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