Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Bleak Midwinter (Special Agent Constance Mandalay #1)” as Want to Read:
In the Bleak Midwinter (Special Agent Constance Mandalay #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Bleak Midwinter

(Special Agent Constance Mandalay #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In 1975 the small town of Hulis was ground zero in a frantic search for 10 year-old Merrie Frances Callahan, as well as an intense manhunt for her abductor.

35 years later, it seems the FBI would like to pretend it never happened.

Special Agent Constance Mandalay didn’t get that memo…


IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER is based on the sho
Paperback, 302 pages
Published November 18th 2011 by WillowTree Press, L.L.C. / E.M.A. Mysteries (first published October 31st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Bleak Midwinter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Bleak Midwinter

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  21 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of In the Bleak Midwinter (Special Agent Constance Mandalay #1)
Nick Cato
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Special Agent Constance Mandalay is assigned to a case in the small town of Hulis, Missouri. She's the latest in a string of FBI agents who have spent the past seven Christmas seasons attempting to uncover a murder that occurs each year--each one identical to a brutal crime that happened at the same location back in 1975.

Agent Mandalay has her share of suspects as everyone in Hulis seems to be holding back information. Sheriff Addison "Skip" Carmichael (who was a rookie deputy at the time of the
Linda B.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Constance Mandalay is one of my favorite characters that M. R. Sellars writes about. I love everything that he has written. This novel gives us a insight into Constance. I would recommend this book.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Tedious, poor police procedures, silly towards the end (I didn't finish the book)
A Book Vacation
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am in awe of M.R. Sellars. This is a riveting read, and I highly enjoyed it, especially the many twists and turns in this “whodunit” murder mystery.

The first section of the novel deals with events as they are happening in 1975, yet most of the novel is spent in 2010, and I thoroughly enjoyed that the novel remains in the present tense throughout both timeframes. This allows the reader to actually become a part of the story, becoming privy to background knowledge that not all the characters in
D. Alexx Miller
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you think you have read this story because you read "Merrie Axemas", the short story M.R. Sellars put out last year for the holidays, STOP! This incorporates "Merrie Axemas", but takes it to a whole new level. I admit (reluctantly) that I actually looked up the town to see if it existed (had I read the back of the book first I would not have bothered). OK! I did, but I can see where he got his small town from after taking the long way home from a trip to see family in the suburbs of Chicago. ...more
D.J. Weaver
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The small, Midwest town of Hulis, Missouri is in for another very cold winter and another very strange Christmas season, as Special Agent Constance Mandalay is assigned to solve a cold case murder that keeps repeating itself every Christmas Eve.

For the last seven years, the town of Hulis has been the scene of a horrific murder on Christmas Eve, but no one knows how or why it’s happening. Every year, Skip Carmichael, the town sheriff receives a blank Christmas card with no evidence he can use. E
Starr Gardinier
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
By M.R. Sellars

This book touts itself to be a paranormal thriller and that it most definitely is. Sellars
drives you forward, having you so engrossed in the story you forget where you are.

Special Agent Constance Mandalay is sent to the very rural town of Hulis, Missouri to aid
in a hunt for an annual serial killer. Every Christmas for the last seven years, a body is found in
the same exact place and no one, neither the previous seven FBI agents who were sent there
over the year
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes a story that is really unique!
Simply put, this is one of the BEST books I have read in quite a while. Constance Mandalay is one of my favorite characters from the Rowan Gant Mysteries and in this story, she shines.

This book will take you on a ride. I'd read more than half of it and couldn't put it down until it was finished and I got the whole story. A great way to start off a Sunday morning, let me tell ya. Smart, sharp-witted, and compelling.

If you're expecting this to be exactly like the RGM's, you will find that they'r
Claribel Solis
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
After reading a mini version of this book called "Merrie Axemas" by M.R. Sellars which ending with such an abrupt ending leaving me thinking what happened next what happened to Merrie, Constance and Skip. Well in the book "In The Bleak Midwinter" it takes you back to the beginning back to 1975 at the time of the original abduction of Merrie though parts of the book made me think had I read this before so if you have read Merrie Axemas parts of this book may seem familiar but there are a lot of a ...more
Kirsten Lenius
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
FBI Agent Constance Mandalay has had more than her share of encounters with things that go b ump in the night, one of which almost killed her when she was protecting a consultant during an earlier case. This story finds her sent to a tiny town a few days before Christmas to investigate a case in which a new person is killed every year. The murders are patterened after one that took place years earlier when a young girl was kidnapped on Chrismas Eve and the new murders are taking place every year ...more
Shadow Girl
I’ve been a M.R. Sellars (and Rowan Gant) fan since I picked up my first copy of Harm None many moons ago. I am so happy that SA Constance Mandalay got her own story (and soon-to-be-series :) I can’t wait for Book 2: INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!).

Full review posted HERE.

Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
This is a greatly expanded story, loosely based on Sellars' "Merrie Axemas." It tells the story of the abduction and rape of a 10-year-old girl in 1975, and the aftermath that is still happening today. Very good but definitely creepy.
 Reading Reindeer Emigrates To Pluto
Review to follow. What an extraordinary book. Read it's novella, Merrie Xmas, first-then this.
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What can I say TOOOO LONG Between BOoks Love this writer ,Love his work
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read! keeps you guessing until the end, well written great characters that you care about.
T.W. Fendley
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read the audiobook ...
Michele bookloverforever
very creepy paranormal mystery... ghosts...tragedy , haunting in more ways than one.
A.R. Moler
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Absolutely brilliant!
Nov 11, 2011 marked it as to-read
added from M.R.'s blotter
WTF?! I'm still in shock.

Horrible, horrible, horrible Christmas story. But great story for other times.
rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2014
Lady Bug
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2013
Jennifer Farmer
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2013
Claire Tiernan
rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2016
Ronda Hardesty bordeau
rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2014
rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Kane
  • L.A. Sniper (A Kane Novel)
  • Allison
  • Dead and Gone
  • A Killing Tide
  • When Darkness Falls: Part 1
  • When Darkness Falls: Free eBook Part 2
  • Phantom River (Columbia River #2)
  • When Graveyards Yawn (Apocalypse Trilogy #1)
  • An Unwanted Guest
  • Relative Danger
  • Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11)
  • The Judas Line
  • Free Fall: A Prelude to Hidden Order (Scot Harvath #11.5)
  • Mouth Of The Rat (Samantha Jamison Mystery, #5)
  • Paper, Scissors, Death (Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-n-Craft Mystery, #1)
  • Terror on the Beach (Judith McCain, #3)
  • The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural
See similar books…
A member of the ITW (International Thriller Writers), M. R. Sellars is a relatively unassuming homebody who, in his own words, “tells pretty lies for a living.” Although his penchant for creating fiction began at an early age, he was eventually inspired to pursue a degree in journalism, an endeavor he describes as, “a good chase, even though it got away.” His career plans re-routed, he put a secon ...more

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
37 likes · 7 comments