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The Body in the Ice

(Hardcastle & Chaytor Mysteries #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  432 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Christmas Day, Kent, 1796

On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.

It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace in St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim's identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Start your review of The Body in the Ice (Hardcastle & Chaytor Mysteries, #2)
We are back at the tail end of the 18th century on the Kent coast in the latest installment of the Romney Marsh series. I enjoyed the first one and this is a great sequel with the return of the amateur detectives, the Reverend Hardcastle, now a Justice of the Peace at St Mary in the Marsh and the still grieving widow, Mrs Amelia Chaytor. It is 1796 amidst a desperately harsh winter, on Christmas Day, Amelia is with her friends, Miss Godfrey and Miss Roper, when she is alerted to a dead body in t ...more
Miriam Smith
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Having not read the first in the Hardcastle and Chaytor murder mysteries by A. J. Mackenzie, I was a little worried that I would struggle with continuity of the characters being a historical crime thriller set in the late eighteenth century. "The Body in the Ice" works well as a standalone but like with any series, reading the first would help with understanding how some of the characters appear time wise in the story. Although not an era I have a lot of interest in politically, I did find mysel ...more
Liz Barnsley
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this – you know I love my modern detective stories but sometimes its nice to read a mystery set in a time when there were no mobile phones or DNA matches or anything really except legwork, good old fashioned common sense and the use of the little grey cells (Yes this is a little bit Christie)

This is my first novel in this series although I have the other one sat in the never ending pile somewhere so will definitely have to dig this out – I was particularly struck by the setting an
A thoroughly entertaining historical murder mystery!

Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction series is full of lively and interesting characters and events during era (late 1700's) of mistrust between nations with lingering fears and/or preparations for new battles. The two main characters of Rector Hardcastle and Widow Chaytor provide steady anchors to the swirling firestorm of complex characters converging on the less than peaceful Romney Marsh. Christmas brings a murder and the winter storms are supplemented with the stormy arrival of the Rector's novelist sis ...more
Karen Mace
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book does a wonderful job of transporting you back to 18th Century Kent where Christmas has turned into a worrying time for the residents where a body is found dumped in the frozen horse pond. No clues to who the victim is, or who is the murderer, so it is all up to the Reverend Hardcastle, who also happens to be the Justice of the Peace, to get to the bottom of the mystery and find out what exactly happened - and to see if anybody else in danger.

I really loved the gentle pace of this story
Historical crime fiction is one of my favourite genres and The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie is a most enjoyable read. It’s the 2nd Hardcastle and Chaytor Mystery set in Romney Marsh and the surrounding countryside in 1796-7. I haven’t read the first one in the series, The Body on the Doorstep, but it didn’t seem to matter as I had no difficulty in reading this as a standalone, even though there are references back to the first book, but I do intend to read it as I enjoyed the second book so ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
How delightful to read about a pair of amateur sleuths in a time when there was not police force as we know it, no electricity, no computers or cell phones. What Amelia Chaytor and the Reverend Hardcastle do have in 1796 is mail. And mail was very fast in those days. You could write a ltter in the morning, send it off and have the answer before lunch. Not to mention the fact that they both have a sharp mind and a very good insight in what drives people.
The story is built around the impending war
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
(This review can also be found here:

I think I’ve found my new favourite crime series. Aside from the fact that the setting of this novel is local to me, which has an appeal in itself, everything about The Body in the Ice is perfect.

Widow Amelia Chaytor and Reverend Hardcastle are my favourite detective duo. They’re fun, witty and solving a mystery alongside them was a thrilling experien
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History and Crime lovers
Recommended to Trisha by: Net Galley
Shelves: ebook, historical, crime
Kent, Christmas Day 1796.

While most others are content to sit and enjoy the food and festivities of the day, others are intent on murder and leaving their victims to freeze solid in the ice. With no apparent clues to the identity of the victim or having any idea who the killer might be, the odds are ever dwindling that this case will be solved. Why would a stranger be at the vacated New Hall estate? Why would someone attack them and leave them for dead? Reverend Marcus Hardcastle, the acting ma
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

The little village of St. Mary in the Marsh is experiencing a very cold winter in 1796. It is Christmas Day and the body of a man is found frozen in a horse pond by the New Hall. Mrs. Amelia Chaytor and others respond to the call for help. Upon further inspection, it is discovered that the frozen body is that of a woman. It is a case of murder. Mrs. Chaytor and the Reverend Hardcastle begin to look into the case. But no one knows who the young black woman was.

Another person joins their “t
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. This is an historical novel set in the 1700sand the setting is Romney Marsh, Kent. Apparently, this is a sequel, but I enjoyed it as a first read. A body is dumped in a horse pond during the Christmas period. Two amateur sleuths – a widow and a reverend are set to solve the crime. A great read and I read it over the Christmas holidays, which was very enjoyable.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 2 days and it is the first book in quite a while that I didn't want to put down!

We are in rural Kent on the marshes towards Dungeness - a very distinctive, lonely, eerie world. We have a young but astute widow in Amelia Chaytor and her friend the local reverend and justice of the peace Marcus Hardcastle. Unfortunately a body is found in the frozen horse pond of the local manor house which is currently empty.
Without giving anything away, the book has several twists and turns a
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There were many things here to like. There was the historical fiction angle, there was plenty of mystery and murder, it was also very much a family saga coming down the generations and then there was the setting between two countries and the time of 1796.

A remote village in Romney Marsh and a very old manor house is being opened up again for its owners. With the excitement of a new family coming in, there is apprehension when a body is discovered of a young man encased in ice in the horse pond.
Melisa Broadbent
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I was sent The Body in the Ice to review and the storyline enticed me into reading this straight away!

I hadn’t read the first book in the series (but I have since bought it!) but this didn’t seem to matter too much but it might be wise to start with this as characters from that book are mentioned and it will probably make it easier.

The story begins when a body is found frozen in water and the main challenge for the characters is trying to identify who this is. What were they doing? Why were they
From the blurb:1796,Kent, a killer at large, a family feud and a house with a secret. Doesn't it sound good? 
The year is 1796,the United States have gained their independence some 20 years previously, the British took part of Canada from the French and the French fleet is ready (or so it seems) to invade Britain. The relationship between the British, the Americans  ( republicans) and the French( revolutionary) is slightly troubled,to say the least. Against this background a small coastal commun
Helen Hollick
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

"Justice of the peace for St Mary in the Marsh, the Reverend Hardcastle, has to investigate what is obviously a callous murder, but it seems he has an impossible task ahead of him.... a riveting and most exciting read"
Aaminah Ackerman
Jul 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
A reason it could be, that I continued reading this book only because I wanted to see the mystery resolved. As it happened, I would've been better off ignoring it altogether. Frankly, I'm surprised that I let myself read this to the last page when there was only a thread of perseverance and mild amusement to link me to it. Ah, amusing. That's the word.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it

Source: Complimentary copy from Bonnier Zaffre.

Christmas Day, Kent, England, 1796.
On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.

It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace at St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim's identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known motive, it seems like an impossible task. Working along with his t
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Body in the Ice is the second in the Hardcastle and Chaytor mystery series.

I loved the first book and I eagerly looked forward to reading this and wondered whether it would be as good ..... and I'm so pleased to say that it is every bit as good as the first book.

It was wonderful to be back in the company of the irascible Reverend Hardcastle and the ingenious Mrs Amelia Chaytor as they attempt to discover the identity of the frozen body in the icy pond of New Hall on Christmas Day 1796 and wh
Louise Marley
I love this series of murder mysteries set in the late 18th century. I've read all three now and I think this one is my favourite. It starts with Amelia Chaytor being invited to Christmas dinner with her friends, the elderly Miss Roper and Miss Godfrey. It's not going well but things perk up considerably when one of the servants rushes in to say he's found a dead body frozen into the pond. How is the recently deceased connected to the American family who are about to arrive in the village? And j ...more
Trevor Snape
This was an interesting book, but it was very slow for the first third of the story. This made the first part of this book not an exciting read. I understand that authors want to set the scene for their story, but this has to be woven into the plot to keep the reader interested. Apart from this the story has many merits. It is set in the late 1790's in the southeast of England in and around the village of St. Mary which is south of Folkstone and north of Dungeness and on a clear day you can see ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. WOW oh WOW I really liked this book! I love mysteries and thrillers and what a wonderful historical perspective this book added to the repertoire! I was transported back in time, yet at the same time I wanted desperately to know what happened. That's definitely not easy to accomplish and the author does a fantastic job of drawing the reader in.

This book has twists and tur
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve had to make a discerned effort to get through my Netgalley shelf of ‘books older than 3 months’, and this was my first choice.

I downloaded this in April and am only reading it in October. Well more fool me. This book is an absolute gem of a murder mystery. And just to make me feel better its set-in December with dark nights, cold draughts and frosty weather. Which made it the prefect read for an autumnal afternoon by the wood burner and a cuppa tea.

This is the second book in what is a new s
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The Body in Ice is set in 1796 in the Romney Marsh area of England. The first chapter had me wondering if I'd finish the book, but each successive chapter got more interesting, and I liked the characters.

The late 18th c. setting is quite interesting. Twenty years have passed since America gained independence, but relationships between the two countries are still tense; the French Revolutionary Wars that followed the revolution keep England on edge with the threat of spies and invasion; the Blues
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I really didn’t want this book to end. I’ve become very fond of the Rev Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor.
At Christmastime in St Marys on the Marsh a body is found, hit on the head and almost frozen into a pond. The body is found near the stables of the local ‘big house’ New House. Those who have read the first book will know there has been a lot of trouble there before and it is a central character in this book.
We have returning characters like Stemp (now the local sergeant but still a smuggler) L
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. I was intrigued by the title and cover (yes, I was judging a book by its cover) and the brief write up. I haven't had much luck recently picking up books that are part of a series when I haven't read the others but this one surprised me. Although it is book #2, just enough of the backstory was included to let me understand the main characters and enjoy the book without feeling like I was missing important past interactions.
I found the story line
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in my opinion is well written and very descriptive. It is a book based in the 1700's and covers a wide variety of topics such as war, spies and smuggling, it also touches on sensitive topics such as mixed race marriage and the problems brought about by this in the 1700's - it does make you wonder how much things have changed from the 1700's to present day!
I personally enjoyed this book, i like the way the author describes the setting and the way the law worked in those days. It is a b
Cherry London
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This book is a mixture of racialism, hatred and most importantly love; with the body of an unknown black woman dressed as a man and found frozen in the pond at New Hall, it was left up to the rector Reverend Hardcastle who is also the magistrate along with is able man of business Stemp an officer by day and a smuggler by night and not forgetting Mrs. Chaytor to investigate the circumstances of her death and who she was. As the tale unfolds and the clues get put in their right order, the conspira ...more
Angela Kelly
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Goodreads for providing a copy for review.

This is a well-written story which blends historical fiction with mystery in a satisfying way. The novel is atmospheric as the authors weave the fog, ice and snow into every crevice of the story. I also appreciated the strong female character of Amelia Chaytor and the sanguine Rector who was not in the least holier than thou. Probably my favourite character was Calpurnia who, along with her cowardly dog Rodolpho, added some much-needed lightnes
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