Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dead of Winter (Piper Blackwell #1)” as Want to Read:
The Dead of Winter (Piper Blackwell #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dead of Winter

(Piper Blackwell #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In a deceptively peaceful county, a murderer hides in plain sight…

Fifty-eight minutes into her first day on the job, twenty-three-year-old Sheriff Piper Blackwell is faced with a grisly murder—the victim artfully posed amid decorations on his lawn. Drawing on former military training, Piper must prove herself worthy of the sheriff’s badge, and that won’t be easy.

Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Imajin Books
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 The Dead of Winter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dead of Winter

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Steven Leiva
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Times Square Ball has dropped in New York, viewed on televisions throughout Spencer County, Indiana. The well-wishing "Happy New Years!" are still reverberating throughout Spencer County. The sheriff receives a phone call. And fifty-eight minutes into her first, and possibly only, term as sheriff of Spencer County—it's murder....

Read the rest of my review here:
Janet Deaver-pack
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
I had some difficulty writing a review for Jean Rabe's first Piper Blackwell mystery because she and I have been friends for a long time. But after reading this book, I can't help myself. Jean has written everything from fantasy to non-fiction, including true crime and newspaper articles--but in this mystery, she has truly found her voice. Her experience as a newspaper bureau chief who reported on plenty of crimes makes her backgrounds feel natural. She has done her research with police procedur ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am impressed with my high school bandmate's writing! This is a taut, Midwestern police mystery with well-drawn characters. Hard to put down! Glad Jean is continuing the Piper series!
Donald Allan
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“The Dead of Winter (A Piper Blackwell Mystery)” is the first novel in a new mystery series from Jean Rabe. This is apparently her first foray in writing mystery novels after writing so many best-selling fantasy and science fiction novels. The novel introduces a battle-hardened young, twenty-three year old female Military Police sergeant who has left the service to care for her ailing father, who has recently left the position of Sheriff in a rural county in the United States. She runs for the p ...more
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love the characters

The plot of this book is enough to make a reader's hair stand on end. Some person in Spencer County is killing people and staging them to look like Christmas Cards. However, what really makes this a great book are the characters. They are human and low key, as you would see in real life.
Tim Cahoon
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Piper Blackwell is here to stay

Gutsy, smart, facing a serial killer during her first week on the job, Piper is struggling to keep it all together. I was captivated by the series of murders and how her staff, who she barely knows struggles to work together to solve the crimes. Jean keeps you at the edge of your seat as you read you don't want to put it down.
Christine Verstraete
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Great mystery! Rabe makes the scenes come alive with great description and strong characters. Enjoyed the setting especially and looking forward to the next adventure!
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway
I won this book from Goodreads, and thought it was a fantastic book. I would highly recommend it.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my review for the audiobook version of "The Dead of Winter" (I also posted it on audible and amazon):

It's one of the best audiobooks I've listened to so far. Not only is the story itself interesting, but it is also read brilliantly by Ms Wenglowski.

The plot is great. It starts with a murder that shocks everyone around, then adds to it another murder, even more shocking, and then another... And there are also some undercurrents when it comes to the detectives working on the cases, with th
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
Talk about a page turner! I was hooked from the start reading the first Piper Blackwell Mystery. As if the characters weren't engaging enough, Jean Rabe spins a mystery that will have you gasping and going, "ewwww", all at the same time.

Piper Blackwell, military veteran, has returned home to help care for her ill father, the retired Spencer County (Indiana) sheriff. While there, her dad puts the idea into her head to run for his old job. Only 23, Piper is hesitant even though she has plenty of e
Shawn Remfrey
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised by the mystery content here. Rabe did an incredible job of throwing in likely suspects along the way. As a reader, we're just as gung ho to solve the murder as the sheriff's department is, and just as clueless. Once they figure it out, you're like 'oooh...yeah...yeah...i um...totally thought that too...' I was half-expecting to find that it was some character we'd never heard of. Depending upon the type of reader you are, it may be someone you've never heard of. It's o ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 stars
Good start to a series. I really enjoyed this story. It was very entertaining and drew me in right away and held my attention. It kept me guessing. I didn't realize who the bad guy was until all the clues were connected. It's good story with an interesting plot and a great cast of well rounded characters. Both likable and unlikable. There is plenty of mystery, suspense and murder without being to overly graphic or violent.

The story is told between two POV's, Pipers and the Killer.

May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Dead of Winter: A Piper Blackwell Mystery, Book 1
: Jean Rabe

Oh my! I wasn't sure if I would like this murder mystery / suspense thriller, but wanted to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. The descriptions of the settings were well done and drew me in. Each of the characters had their own personality, and they sometimes clashed as the new young sheriff tried to lead her department through investigating a serial killer, less than an hour after taking office. We are given plenty of suspe
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Who is the Christmas Card murderer?
I loved this first book in the Piper Blackwell series, I think the series will do well. Excitement, frustration, detection, all here for a fascinating read, what else can you ask for?

There's a new sheriff in town, but not everyone is pleased. In fact, two detectives are upset, to say the least. Daughter of the retired sheriff, relations are a bit taut in the office. There is little criminal activity in the small town of Santa Claus, but things are about to ch
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Maybe I read the wrong book, but I found this to be a very disappointing read. For a short book this seemed to drag on and on. The characters were annoying and highly unprofessional. I do have a hard time believing that a 23 year old with no experience within the department would have been elected sheriff. It seems very far fetched. Oren was a huge jackass that probably should have been fired for his behavior. The premise and the way the murders occurred were pretty cool, however it just felt li ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent first mystery by Jean Rabe

When you can't put the book down, is a great recommendation for any novel. The clues were ingenious. Action scenes put the reader on the edge of there seat. Can't wait to see where Piper heads next in her adventures as sheriff! Move over Longmire, there is a new Sheriff in town!
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A very good murder thriller. Mystery, murder, action. Something for everyone. I would recommend this book to my family and friends.
Sandy Tucker
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great Read

First time reading this author but won't be the last. I really enjoyed the book and starting on the next Piper Blackwell book. Keep up this series thank you
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: murder-mystery
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun who-dun-it about a new sheriff who has to prove her smarts against the big bad old-timer. It kept me guessing and was interesting.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 for this one. I will probably pick up the next in the series. Not sure how she can top this first case!
James Matthew
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Jean Rabe. I've been reading her work for twenty-two years. I'm a fantasy enthusiast, so when I learned she had veered off into mystery, I was intrigued. Let me say this is a no spoiler review. I won't give anything away. And why would I? What I discovered in protagonist Piper Blackwell has to be that rare heroine who goes up against a system, beating it in her own way and with her own strengths. Something this magnificent speaks for itself, so by all means, get a copy now! Thi ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Not a page turner

I found myself getting easily distracted and finishing the book to see if it would get better. I had a really hard time connecting to the main character for the same reasons the characters in the story disliked her...a 23 year old sheriff with no experience in law enforcement. The suspect was revealed too soon...just didn't keep me guessing. Not awful...I would say a light read for a mystery. I did like the descriptions of the town's and counties.
Tania Huzarewicz
rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2018
Ralph Akerstream
rated it liked it
Nov 27, 2016
Tricia Kolsto
I thought this was a great read - only issue I had was that the heroine had done a lot for someone only 23. Other then that I enjoyed it. Thanks to Kindle Unlimited or I would have never picked it up!
Kristie Patterson
rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2016
cindy mott
rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sounds of Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #1)
  • Cheat the Hangman
  • The Zombie Always Knocks Twice (Hollyweird, #1)
  • Ravenmocker (Molly Bearpaw, #1)
  • A Ghost of a Chance (A Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery #1)
  • Forget to Remember (Carol Golden, #1)
  • The Nine Giants
  • Death, Guns, and Sticky Buns (Tori Miracle, #3)
  • The Library Paradox (Cambridge Mysteries, #3)
  • Echoes
  • Fault Line (Em Hansen Mystery, #7)
  • Fly Paper Soup (David Winter Mysteries #1)
  • Backstab (Francesca Vierling Mystery, #1)
  • Soul and Shadow (Lily Evans Mystery #1)
  • To Hell in a Handbasket (Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer, #2)
  • Death of a Rug Lord (Den of Antiquity, #14)
  • Dead Write (Forensic Handwriting Mystery #3)
  • Shadow Man (Charlie Moon, #10)
See similar books…
When I am not writing, I toss tennis balls to my cadre of dogs. My house is filled with books and dogs, you can smell both when you walk in the front door. It's a good smell.

I have 36 published novels and am currently writing in the mystery genre. My latest mystery, The Dead of Winter, was a finalist for the Claymore Award and is the first in the Piper Blackwell series.

I live in a tiny town in the

Other books in the series

Piper Blackwell (2 books)
  • The Dead of Night (Piper Blackwell #2)
“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without.” 0 likes
More quotes…