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The Dead of Winter (Cora Oglesby #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  424 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Cora and her husband hunt things – things that shouldn’t exist.
When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible. But if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 19, 2013 Susan added it
I need to try this not only because it sounds interesting. But because there is a fully clothed woman on the cover. I thought that was against the rules of paranormal covers these days.
Mr. Matt
Oct 26, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: western, horror, 2014, vampires
I like stories that surprise me. The Dead of Winter surprised me. When Cora Oglesby and her husband, Ben, ride into Leadville, CO in the early 1880s I thought it was going to be another cowboys versus the supernatural story. It definitely started out that way.

Cora was the hard-drinking, hard-talking, tough-as-nails heroine who could take down the unnatural using a combination of lightning reflexes, an indomitable faith, and grit. She is the driver of the story and it was refreshing to read about
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 26, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What can I say???? Great book. This is a western, really. It makes no pretense at being anything else...well, I mean besides a fantasy. This is about "monster hunters" in the American west. And I like it. It does what it does rather well.

So, why 4 stars not 5? Well I have a couple of gripes. They are not huge gripes, some won't be bugged at all...some of you will disagree on at least one point. No biggie, nothing huge and definitely nothing that takes away from the book.

So...on to the novel. We
Milo (Bane of Kings)
“How do you make vampires more original? You put them in the Western genre. Collins has created a stunning debut here that is sure to entertain.” ~The Founding Fields

So, The Dead of Winter. What a heck of an enjoyable read, and Angry Robot continue to impress me with another stellar debut. The storyline is unique and engaging, and it moves along at a brisk pace. This is the first novel in the Cora Oglesby series and it did not disappoint - I loved every second of it.

"Cora Ogelsby and her husband
Anzu The Great Destroyer
I tried. I really tried. I cannot get into the story. There’s just too much useless talk, and too few monster hunting. I’m what, 30-40% in, and it’s not getting any better. I can’t get myself to care about any of the characters. The story seems useless. I’m bored. I need more action.

And Cora, the MC, is just getting on my nerves. I give up. Many thanks to the publishers for giving me the opportunity of reading this book though. You guys rock.
Ranting Dragon
Jul 18, 2013 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: dan

The Dead of Winter is the début novel by American author Lee Collins, and billed as "True Grit meets True Blood," it's a paranormal western action mystery (I know right!?). It pits the investigating gunfighters Cora and her husband Ben Oglesby against vampires and other supernatural enemies in the silver mining town of Leadville, Colorado.

Certainly a novel concept
It seems so tempting these days to slap the suffix "-punk" onto every genre that already exist
I didn’t know much about this book apart from the tag on the front of the book ‘True Grit meets True Blood’. This was enough to get my attention and I felt like a western paranormal urban fantasy novel might be a fun read. Cora and her husband Ben are hunters, but for things that should not exist in the world. When the Marshall of Leadville, Colorado calls her in to help with a series of mysterious deaths, Cora feels she may have finally met her match.

I’m not sure how to classify the novel; is i
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
This book was "ok", and that's about it.

In the Old West, Cora and her husband Ben are bounty hunters of supernatural critters. Ben annoyed me for most of the book, though, because he didn't really do much of anything. There's a reason for this you find out later, but it didn't really change how I felt about the earlier parts.

And Cora - well, Cora's a nasty drunk and a generally disagreeable person. I mean, I liked flawed protagonists and all, but Cora was just kind of annoying, and it was hard t
Dec 18, 2012 Mihir rated it really liked it

Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Lee Collins’ debut was one that I almost missed out on. I had gotten hold of an e-copy earlier however due to work and my TBR pile, kept on passing it over. But I kept seeing praise about it on twitter and with me being in a recent book slump of sorts, I decided to take a look at it. It began a bit slowly but I’m glad I took a chance on it as I think I’ve discovered another debut that might make the year-end lists.

The book begins in 1883 i
Dec 02, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you're interested and can look past the problems I've outlined, go for it
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: folks who think they might enjoy it
Trigger Warnings: Plot holes. Discrepancies. Annoyances.

My Thoughts: I’ve seen a number of negative reviews for this book, but it sounded like something I might like, so I figured I’d check it out and see what I thought, rather than relying on what other people think to decide whether or not it was a worthwhile book. Of course, I ran the risk of wasting my time reading a really horrible b
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vicki

The Dead of Winter is a Supernatural Western. Some will have the same confused insta-reaction to this hybrid genre as they did when Joss Whedon announced production on Firefly, the Sci-Fi Western. ‘How will that work?’ they said. And unfortunately, they never really gave it a chance. Now is the chance to right those wrongs! Any past indiscretions, where you have overlooked awesome because it might have been a little bit too far outside of your comfort zone, ca
Sep 24, 2012 Elspeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
The person who wrote the blurb on the back of this book should either be fired or given a raise. Do the people that write them actually read the book, or are they given a synopsis that they reword into something polished enough to go on the back of the finished item, but I digress.

I have to say that the writing for this story was quite well done, that the bones of the story was interesting. I enjoyed that part of it, it's just too bad that the characters ruined it.

I really couldn't find it in m
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews another Angry Robot 2012 debut title, this one about the Wild West and Vampires and other supernaturals.

“Stunning, mind-blowing, amazing, fan-frikkin-tastic. None of those word can convey just how much I liked The Dead of Winter. I can’t even tell, although I know better, that this novel is a debut and not an author’s best at the peak of his career.” ~The Founding Fields

I’ve asked
Dec 13, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
Another brilliant debut from Angry Robot's amazing 2012 schedule. If you love supernatural stories then you're in for a treat with this one.

The Dead of Winter stars Cora Oglesby and her husband Ben who specialises in hunting things that even the most hardened hunters are afraid of. Think of them as a Western version of Supernatural's Sam and Dean Winchester if you will. Like Dean, Cora has a quick to anger temper and prefers action to words, whereas Ben is a more laid-back, thoughtful fellow. De
Beth Cato
Oct 06, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it
I received this free Advanced Release Copy through NetGalley. The book is out November 1st.

The Dead of Winter bears the pitch line, "True Grit meets True Blood." That's quite apt. Cora and her husband hunt "spooks"--that is, the undead and other nasty critters that crawl out of hell. There aren't too many willing to take on that job in the late 19th-century pioneer west.

The book's pace and feel is like that of an urban fantasy, but against a very cold, very dark Colorado winter backdrop. The mi
Ben Babcock
This is a book I wouldn’t ordinarily give a second glance on a library shelf. It’s an ambitious attempt to combine a western with the "hunter" subgenre of urban fantasy. I’m just not a fan of the western tropes or, in fact, the time period or setting. I don’t sympathize with the dangerous, romanticized nostalgia for a “simpler” time on the “frontier” when men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were … nowhere to be seen. So had The Dead of Winter o ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Deniz rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
3.5 Stars

Dead of Winter was an interesting read to say the least. It's a blend of several different genres: Western, Paranormal,Dark Fantasy,Historical … It's all in there. And it was done really well, actually.
When I first started I was wondering how Collins is going to blend in any thing Paranormal into the story… since it was so classic western actually.
And honestly to my surprise it actually worked.
I am not sure if it is because the world building is quite solid or because Collins didn't re
Oct 26, 2012 Mieneke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
Westerns and I have usually been rather reluctant companions; they're not really my cup of tea, but Wiebe loves them, so I'll have to sit through either Once Upon a Time in the West or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly once a year. As a consequence I've always been rather hesitant to pick up weird westerns, thinking I wouldn't enjoy them. But in my bid to broaden my reading and as the blurb and synopsis of the book sounded rather interesting, I took a chance on The Dead of Winter. It turns out west ...more
Matthew Baker
Oct 09, 2012 Matthew Baker rated it it was amazing
Wow...I just finished THE DEAD OF WINTER, the debut novel from author Lee Collins, and I have to say that I’m impressed. Very impressed. For a first time author, Collins displays a nice diversity of writing skills, including a unique voice, a solid story, and damaged characters that are both likable and strong. Not to mention an original storyline that throws plenty of punches throughout its course.

Don’t confuse this book’s title with DEAD OF WINTER, the excellent Brian Moreland novel I reviewe
Oct 30, 2012 Dragana rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of western novels with a dash of horror
Cora and her husband Ben are bounty hunters on paranormal creatures. In this book we follow them while they are solving a couple of cases in a small western town. If you are not a lover of western novels, better skip this book because this book has all the elements: sheriffs, deputies, saloon, whores, miners, trains, etc.

One of the things I liked when I read the summary for this book was that main characters will be a married couple. That was a refreshing change from solo hunters/assassins. I wa
David Monroe
Think Holmes on the Range mixed with Harry Dresden and Anita Blake. Unlike most Occult Detective literature, the protagonist -- Cora Oglesby, has no powers. She doesn't commune with the Fay, she isn't half-something-or-other or an enchanted creature. Cora is just a deeply, deeply psychologically disturbed, but highly capapable, 100% human.

In the years just after the Civil War, she became a bounty hunter--then, after a chance meeting with a priest dealing with a pesky nest of Vampires--she becam
Book Review & Giveaway: We’re participating in the Fangs, Fur & Fey Giveaway Hop, and our giveaway is fangs related. Cue the evil book reviewer’s laugh. Thanks to the publisher, we’re reviewing and giving away an advance readers copy (ARC) of The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins. The book cover says it all: “True Grit meets True Blood.” Yep, this novel is alternate history – a Western with strong elements of paranormal fantasy and some horror thrown in for bump-in-the-night thrills. Read ...more
Tammy Sparks
Nov 07, 2012 Tammy Sparks rated it it was amazing
Set in the old west of Colorado just after the end of the civil war, this gritty supernatural tale is high on my list of favorite books this year. Filled with colorful characters, authentic dialog and plenty of blood and mayhem, I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. There are so many successful elements that make up this book, but the best one has got to be the character of Cora, a truly unique protagonist whose rough edges might turn some readers off, but will more likely have you ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Burgoo rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
1880s Leadville, Colorado: Monster hunters come to a mining town to eliminate a threat. They find more monsters than they expect, and also find out secrets about themselves.

It’s difficult to summarize the plot of The Dead of Winter without leaping directly into spoiler territory. I think that’s a tribute to the tight plotting that Collins has done here. It’s a relatively small story, but one with serious ramifications for our protagonist.

Your enjoyment of The Dead of Winter will depend heavily o
Christy LoveOfBooks
I knew I needed to read The Dead of Winter as soon as I saw it. A supernatural western? I am all over that! Especially when it is described as "True Grit meets True Blood," because True Grit (with John Wayne) is one of my all time favorites. Would I say that's an accurate description of this book? Hmm.... not exactly, but I still enjoyed it.

Unexplainable deaths are occurring in a small but rowdy Colorado town, and Marshal Mart Duggan doesn't know what to make of it. When Cora Oglesby and her hus
I received this free Advanced Reader's Copy through Goodreads Giveaways. I would say it's more "horror western" than "dark fantasy".

Apparently the author wrote this for National Novel Writing Month, and once I knew that it all made a bit more sense. Overall, I liked it. I think this author has potential and I may read other series by them.

The setting was good, I could almost imagine myself there. You could almost feel the cold described with this one. The atmosphere was just right. The first th
Feb 01, 2013 Jacqie rated it it was amazing
I think this is the author's debut novel. I picked up the sequel the day it came out.

This is sort of a supernatural western, set in the grim little mining town of Leadville. I could hear the main character's drawl from her first line of dialogue, but it wasn't overdone. Atmospheric, but not cliched. Cora has a lot of pathos and loss in her life. And she doesn't handle it all especially well- she drinks too much and takes foolish risks. Yet I never got annoyed with her, but felt interested in he
Chris Bauer
Feb 12, 2013 Chris Bauer rated it really liked it
I continue to be impressed by the roster of authors in Angry Robot's stable. Of course, not all of them are writers whom I follow, but I always find a new writer to discover.

Lee Collins is such an author.

Collins' first book, "The Dead of Winter" is labeled on the cover as True Grit meets True Blood which might work well as a high concept elevator pitch, but it is much more than that. His characters are flesh and blood for the most part and well developed. The pace was brisk and kept me turning t
While Cora Oglesby is not exactly a female character one at first is inclined "shine up to" she is intriguing, fairly intelligent, competent even when impaired by drink and most of all unapologetic that she is not the "ideal" of femininity that one would expect of women in the 1800's. This is a very typical western with very untypical paranormal twists, different enough to keep me engaged and reading on to see what happens next.

The very unexpected twist that the author takes near the end of the
Nov 05, 2012 Jaime rated it it was ok
This book is a Western. I don’t know why it is only categorized as a Dark Fantasy. I liked that our heroine is kick ass and crazy. Who would’t be after spending ten years hunting and killing evil creatures of the night. She’s also an alcoholic, but again I understood, especially as more of her story was revealed. The problem is the story was boring. While there was action, so much of the story was just character’s standing around talking, and not about anything interesting. None of the ...more
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Having grown up in Colorado, Lee Collins is no stranger to mountains, pine trees, and unstable weather patterns. He remains, however, willfully ignorant of certain other Rocky Mountain delicacies. A job at his alma mater supports his writing, reading, and video game habits.

After receiving a degree in English, Lee remained in the dark with regard to all things publishing. This darkness continued un
More about Lee Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Cora Oglesby (2 books)
  • She Returns From War

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