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Practical Sins for Cold Climates

(Val Cameron)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  41 reviews

When Val Cameron, a Senior Editor with a New York publishing company, is sent to the Canadian Northwoods to sign a reclusive bestselling author or risk losing her job, she is definitely out of her element. Val is certain she can convince Charles Cable, but first she has to find him.

Aided by a float plane pilot whose wife was killed two years ago in a case gone cold, Val’s

Paperback, First, 276 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Henery Press
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Ivonne Rovira
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: thinking women
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Take Candace Bushnell’s Carrie Bradshaw, transplant her to a Canadian version of the TV show Northern Exposure, and saddle her with a two-year-old unsolved murder and a soupçon of chick-lit romance, and you have Practical Sins for Cold Climates. I should have hated this, right? But somehow author Shelley Costa pulls it off magnificently.

Even as a fellow New Yorker, I found Valjean “Val” Cameron, a Donna Karan-clad senior editor at a boutique publishing house, initially annoying, a woman whose c
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to and the publisher for sending me this free ebook. I enjoyed reading it and give it four out of five stars. Val Cameron is a New York city book editor who is sent to northern Ontario to get a signed contract from a reclusive author. She realizes that there is a possibility that he may be involved in a suspicious death two years before. She could lose her job if she doesn't do due diligence. She does solve the case.
This book is the first in a new promising series. I liked
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, netgalley, f
'Practical Sins for Cold Climates' is not the typical Henery Press adorable cozy mystery, yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The story is very well written, uncomfortable, haunting at times, and, eventually, honest.

Valjean Cameron, the leading lady of the book, is a senior editor at a New York City based publishing company. Due to her ‘complicated’ relationship with her boss, she is sent to a small settlement on a remote lake in Canada to sign a best-selling author. Being a city girl through a
“In this edgy first in a new cozy series from Costa, Val Cameron, a senior editor at a New York publishing company, travels to the tiny town of Wendaban, Ontario…A strong plot and engaging characters make for a well-crafted mystery, and Val’s humorous attempts to cope with the wilderness do much to lighten the tension. The core of the story is Val’s discovery of her own self-worth.” – Publishers Weekly
Sean Talbot
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
this was quite good, and i am pleased at thr fact that the characters were well developed.

A great read from thr far north of Ontario. i loved the locale
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
*Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

This was my first book written by this author and I really wanted to give it a try. The plot looked interesting and fresh, different from all the other cliches. I somehow managed to finish it for more than a week ( for cozy mysteries I usually need day or two) and here are my thoughts:

The main character here is Valjean (Val) Cameron who works as an editor at a successful publishing house in Manhattan. Her boss is a
Jan 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2016
Practical Sins for a Cold Climate by Shelley Costa is the first book in the Val Cameron Mystery series. Val Cameron has been sent to Lake Wendaban, Ontario Canada to get the reclusive Charles Cable to agree to let Schlesinger Publishing publish his latest book. Val does not like remote wilderness, but she is not given a choice (she had a little bit of trouble with her last client). Her boss, Peter Hathaway (a very odd duck with a shaved head and pajama like clothing) insists that she go (her job ...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Suspicious goings on in the Canadian Wilderness!

This is a very readable book, and if allowed I would have awarded three and a half stars, as I did enjoy it despite what I felt was an unconvincing plot.

Valjean Cameron is an editor at a successful publishing house in Manhattan; here boss is the rather strange Peter Holloway, who seems to have had a personality change, from conservative businessman to eccentric hippy.

The business has been in trouble due to having published a book about paedophilia
Andrea Stoeckel
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
[I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising]

"To know a clue when it slapped her silly would depend on a familiarity with these lives that she didn’t have."

Valjean Cam
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! This was my first book by Shelley Costa and boy was it action packed! Most of the book took place near the water dealing with canoes, sea planes and fishing boats all things that I myself are not comfortable with. So with that going on and the story, my heart beat was definitely pumping faster than usual.

While trying to get a reclusive author to sign a publishing contract Val, stumbles upon a questionable death where all signs point to the author as being the perpetrator. Already hav
Judy Lesley
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: investigation
My overall rating for this novel is three stars because the author managed to hit so many of my "hot button" dislikes. However, there are going to be many readers who don't have the same issues and I'm sure they would be willing to give a higher rating than mine.

I didn't like the romance aspects constantly impinging on the story. If Valjean Cameron wasn't thinking about participating in a romantic encounter.......she was thinking about having participated in a romantic encounter. I become very i
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Practical Sins for Cold Climates is a well written and professionally edited mystery/romance novel. I am not sure whether this is going to be a series or a standalone novel.

Valjean, an editor from a prestigious small press publishing company, is sent by her boss, and sometimes lover, to the Canadian back woods. Her mission: to get the signature of a reclusive author on a publishing contract. A contact that will make or break her career. She finds herself stumbling into a murder mystery amid the
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: serial-cozy, e-arc, 2016, own
In Shelley Costa's Practical Sins for Cold Climates, the first installment in the Val Cameron Mystery cozy series, she tackled a grittier nail-biter in this new cozy series debut. For Val Cameron, a senior editor from Fir Ta Dine publishing company in New York, she headed over to Canada to procure a contract deal with a recluse in the Canadian mountains. From there, she met an interesting array of people who supported Camp Sojo and learned the astonishing history behind it with the debate of tea ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given PSFCC by NetGalley for An Honest Review . Just posted one on FB & NetGalley...Hoping For A Series!!
A Simple assignment for Senior Editor Val Cameron,tracking down elusive Author Charles Cable to sign the contract for his new book "The Astroid Mandate"in Lake Wendaban Ontario,Canada...Val is a New Yorker,so not much can phase her.The Rollercoaster ride of actually finding Charles,is more then she bargained for.. Not a 2 day trip as planned..Curious Val,an excellent trait for an E
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, e-books
Val Cameron arrives in Northeast Canadian woods to do one thing in this alien area. She has a contract to be signed by a best-selling author. Her plans are to spend one day getting the signature and return to New York at once. Almost at once, her plans go astray as the author keeps disappearing. Soon she is involved in a cold murder. Her thoughts turned to the meaning of life. How she managed the events in order not to become involved in her life changes. I had problems getting into the book as ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by Shelley Costa that I've read, but it certainly won't be the last. The plot kept me turning pages from beginning to end as I tried to figure out 'who done it'. I also liked the second story line of Val coming into her own.

Ms. Costas's characters were well developed. I felt like I knew them! I am glad to read that this is the beginning of a new series.

I received an ARC from NetGalley.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a interesting murder mystery set in a remote Canadian village. Valjean travels from NYC to get an author signed for her publishing company. She becomes involved in a cold case murder, suspicion about which villager murdered the local camp owner, and how this all fits into her life. I think Valjean grows as a person on her visit to Canada and discovers she likes herself.
Katherine Clark
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: Shelley is a friend of mine, and another friend had finished this book this year and loved it, so I came to it with mixed feelings. (When someone loves a book, I am often, can't help it, skeptical).

This book is interesting for many reasons. First, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. The main character, Val, was annoying to me, and I often lately have difficulty with unlikable characters. By the way, I could imagine most people liking Val, so I do think that is me.

On the other
Karen Cleary
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is has an intriguing setting and plot, and interesting characters. It's also well-written, and I enjoyed the author's very dry humour.
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries, cozy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Somewhere in the cold far north of Canada, there are some lakes that experience a brief summer. A summer full of rain, fog and mosquitoes. But a summer where birds hatch chicks on the lakes and if you are so inclined you can catch fish. You may even catch sight of the loons with their chicks riding on their backs [photo].
In these watery environs you boat or canoe to your destination. Your destination may well be an island and your nearest neighbour is on the next island but one, and it takes 30
Jeanette Hubbard
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-books
I loved this book. Fast, funny exciting murder mystery. I love the main character. She's gutsy, snarky and willing to make necessary changes in her life.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Val Cameron was trying to advance her career in literary publishing. When her boss,
Peter Hathaway, sent her to northern Ontario to get an author to sign a contract. She wasn’t happy about the assignment but felt she had to go. A previous contract with an author with what turned out to be a major skeleton in the closet made it imperative to get this one done. The company really needed the money. And, after all, it would only be a quick fly in-fly out trip.
A New Yorker through and through, she
I always wonder why anyone puts lots of comments by critics in the overview blurb of a book, stating over and over how good the book is. That is how this book’s blurb reads. Get to the overview already! I got this book to read and review through NetGalley a few weeks ago. I began the book, with no preconceived ideas about it, the main character or the setting. I soon found myself wondering where the author was going. The book starts slowly. Val Cameron, a Senior Editor with a New York publishing ...more
Donna Davis
What a terrific surprise! Shelley Costa is a contender. This is the first of her books that I have read, although she has won the Agatha Award with her first novel, You Cannoli Die Once, which I have to find and read now. For those that love a snarky, spirited female investigator, Practical Sins for Cold Climates is a must-read. Thank you to both Net Galley and Henery Press for the DRC. The title is available for purchase January 26.

Val Cameron has been sent out to Lake Wendaban, which is out in
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really liked how this book ended. I liked the way the author made Val Cameron grow throughout this book. I think that her stories can be a worthwhile series, but I nearly didn’t find out. I struggled to get though this book. I nearly gave up on it a couple of times. If I had a book that I REALLY wanted to read sitting near the top of my TBR pile, Practical Sins for Cold Climates would have been toast. I started two other books, but neither of them grabbed me, so I dropped back and decided to g ...more
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
4.5 Stars - I'm so glad I picked this up - I thought it was really good but I have two minor complaints 1) the title - I still don't know how it relates to the book, and 2) a map - I really needed a map of the area.

It's not really a cozy, although the main protagonist is not in law enforcement, and it's set in a rural area/small town. There is a bit more violence and sex than your typical cozy, although in no way is anything graphic. I think the main thing that pulls it from the cozy realm for m
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading a book that was so much more than I expected. Practical Sins for Cold Climates is the first in a new series of mysteries by Shelley Costa. It is definitely not the last work in the series that I will read. I approached the book with expectations of zipping through a chick lit book of the “airplane genre,” the kind of fast-moving, engaging but formulaic mystery that absorbs you in the airport waiting area and on the plane in the midst of noise and chaos and then is quickly ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The right mix of suspense, humorous situations, beautiful scenery and great characters.

New York City is Val Cameron's environment so when she finds herself in the remote Canadian town of Lake Wedaban in Northern Ontario to get author Charlie Cable's signature on a contract for his new book, she's terrified but determined not to show it.

Figuring out a new language that includes poutine, LCBO, GO JAYS, on top of new places like the Honey Bee Restaurant and Bob's Bait Shop, Val finds herself curiou
Lynn Farris
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
‘Practical Sins for Cold Climates’ is the first book in a new series by Shelley Costa. Her book, ‘You Cannoli Die Once’ was nominated for the prestigious Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She is also an Edgar nominee for Best Short Story. Shelly has her PhD in English from Case Western Reserve University and currently teaches creative writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Shelley is also a member of the NE Ohio Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

As the story opens, Val Cameron, a Senior Editor wi
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