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The Dean Died Over Winter Break

(The Chronicles of Brother Thomas #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Dean Floden is dead!

Winter break is normally a peaceful time at the university, especially during a blizzard. So it shocked everyone when they found the dean murdered at his desk. Thanks to an empty campus, there are no witnesses and police have little to go on. With the police stymied, and hoping to wrap up the investigation before students return for the spring semester,
ebook, 200 pages
Published February 24th 2018 by Silver Empire (first published February 21st 2018)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Ann Hupe
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to find mystery novels this well-written which is why I stopped reading them a long time ago.

I do appreciate the various red herrings and the very complex weaving of suspicions, rumors, and questionable evidence. It also made me wonder if there really was such an investigative branch of the Vatican that still wore the robes from ancient days. (The ones I know look very modern-day priestly.)

For those interested in spending some quality time NOT speed-reading and have a hankering for the
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Intellectually, I enjoyed parts of this book. I was an English major with a philosophy minor focused on ethics and morality and an interest in comparative religion in college, so some of the concepts were appealing to me. As a fun read, however, this book was a little dry. It reminded me of the old The Rabbi Did Something novels I read as a teenager, except this book forgot to have any fun. If the author has a chance to revisit these characters, itwould be nice if he could take the time to make ...more
Katie Thompson
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. It was packed full of small details, almost as if we were stepping into Sherlock Holmes's mind for a bit. The book was well written, the characters developed well, and the mystery was incredibly well thought out.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Vikki Wright
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too preachy

I read for entertainment and/or information not to give an author a place to vent their opinion. If passionate politics is inherently important in a particular character at least let me develops some desire to read the story first. As it is written, I don't care enough about the characters, their problems, or the story to put up with the soapbox
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read. The Dean is dead with no witnesses because of winter break. An extremely enjoyable story that needs to be read by everyone once it’s released.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
The Dean Died Over Winter Break by Christopher Lansdown is the first in his Chronicles of Brother Thomas series. This is a murder mystery written in third-person. The main characters of the book are friars who are members of the Franciscan Brothers of Investigation, an order of consulting detectives. Brother Thomas and Brother Francis are tasked with solving a murder at a University in Yalevard, New York.

This book is filled with philosophical and theological Discussions, and the story itself se
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m sorry I really tried to read and love this book. I even put it down for a few days and picked it back up. It a mystery about a dean at a college who is found dead over winter break. The college decides to call in 2 monks who specialize in solving mysteries. The book was more philosophy and theology than murder mystery. If you love theology and philosophy then this is the book for you. I don’t mind it but it was just too much. I wish it was more mystery.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The Dean Died Over Winter Break takes far more inspiration from Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Father Brown then the modern mystery novels. Don't look for a down and out detective that needs this case, but a highly professional detective focused on solving a murder.

Before getting to the real review; I was given an advance copy for free.

I like my mystery novels to be focused on the mystery and in a way, The Dean Died Over Winter Break completely focuses on the mystery. The very first senten
Star Shining Forever
I may be in the minority of young adults who love classics, especially ones sprinkled with philosophy, but this book was right up my alley. Didn't think there were still people writing this way and I'm quite happy about finding this!

I love classic mysteries like Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown by GK Chesterton, and this was right in that vein. Two detective friars are called to investigate a murder at a university and end up uncovering more than a little of the darker human nature running rampa
Bob Morton
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was quite surprised at just how entertaining this book was. The premise of the series is that of consulting detective who happen to be Franciscan Friar (not a monk). They are called upon in this book to look into a murder at a university campus. On the night of a snowstorm, in his office, and with a window left open to cover the time of death. The dean has quite a few enemies all of which have opportunity.

There guide around the Camus and town is a college secretary with a doctorate. She is th
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was a bit different for me - it took me a couple of goes to get into it, but once I did I was hooked. I enjoy murder mysteries but usually when I'm reading one I find myself in the weird position of feeling as though the text is dumbed down a bit, but at the same time not having the particular type of mind that can solve them - unless I happen to spot that one particular fact/clue on the way past that makes it obvious who did it, and is usually pretty well hidden from the reader. I didn't s ...more
S.D. McPhail
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An unusual pair of private eyes bring a unique perspective to sleuthing.

In case you didn’t know, a friar is not a monk. Brother Thomas and Brother Francis are sleuthing friars, and their first murder investigation is a delight for any mystery buff. Just as concerned with the underlying “why” as the “how” of the crime, these detectives bring a deep level of philosophical thought and compassion to their work. They will talk candidly to anyone about anything in their pursuit of clues that point to
Mererid Evanna
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
All that one can expect of a campus whodunnit - a confined scene with plenty of suspects, behind the scenes shenanigans, intelligent conversation, and a wide variety of character types. I enjoyed the catholic sensibility and the references to G. K. Chesterton.

The main investigator, Brother Thomas, is intense, pragmatic and scarily insightful; he is able to empathize, browbeat and negotiate. It is not all talking, though - he is equally adept at turning up clues and reconstructing events. Having
Damien Rappuhn
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This story mixes solving murder with theology
and philosophy.
A murder occurs on a college campus over the
winter break. A pair of Franciscan Friars are called
upon to see if they can shred light on the situation.
Mystery, secrets, jealousy, adversity, sadness and
life choices combine to make this an interesting and
enjoyable read.
The characters were well developed, cleverly crafted,
energetic and very interesting.
This is an uniquely plotted murder mystery.
I volunteered to read The Dean Died Over Winte
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
life at university should be fun filled and great but a blizzard hits. then the dean is found murdered in his office. due to the lack of students and tutors around at the time witnesses havent seen anything. the police have very little to go on. will they find out who did it? this will keep you guessing until the end

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Nancy Whitcomb
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a devoted of "cozy" mysteries. Nevertheless, I couldn't put this down. I particularly liked the philosophy of Brother Thomas, and his humanity. From what the author said, this may be a stand alone. I hope not.

Sorry, I ignored your direction and wrote my whole review as the headline. I recommend this to any good soul, Catholic or not. I am an Episcopalian, which is close,but, in my experience, more thoughtful and somewhat less hidebound.
Ann Keeran
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When the Dean is found deceased the FBI is called, the Franciscan Brothers of Investigation. There is no scarcity of people who wanted him dead, but who did it? Christopher Lansdown introduces a totally new investigative technique that brings a new face to mysteries and deduction. Innovative and exciting.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A new kind of investigator team for a fantastic mystery book!
You will love the characters, the incredible plot and surprises along the storyline.
For me, it was very difficult to put down the book and not read, read it until the last page!
I recommend this book to all that love thriller and mystery

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
The Dean Died Over Winter Break is the first book in The Chronicles of Brother Thomas series. This can be read as a standalone. It is written as an old fashioned mystery rather than a newer type mystery. It was refreshing to read this story. The FBI in this book is not one that you would expect. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Scarolet Ellis
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG!!!!!! I could not put this down. I so badly am waiting to read more from Christopher Lansdown . I highly recommend this book and author to everyone who loves a terrific book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Bronwyn Kotze
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A mix of philosophy and "whodunnit" - well written with dry wit. The friars are lovable characters who I'd enjoy reading more about - they remind me a bit of Holmes and Watson. Would definitely recommend this book.
Pamela Jo
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very happy with this book. I totally enjoyed the story and the way it was constructed. The characters are wonderful and so engrossing! I highly recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review..
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did like this, however I wasn't totally sold on it or the idea, it's was nice to read about a different breed of detectives for once. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and choose to review all of the above are my own opinions.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting

The mystery was not very complicated, but the dialog was! There were a lot of philosophical questions discussed and debated throughout the book. It definitively held my interest. I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Brother Thomas.
Martha C.Rankhorn
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

At first I thought the writer surely did like to talk. I wasn't sure I'd manage to finish the book. I did and just downloaded the second one. I'll also be on the lookout for more books by this author.
Nicole Burns
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
good read. recommend this book to everyone.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great detection

The premise was engaging, & the book confirms the differences 2 friars make to a mystery. Especially for philosophy buffs.
Terje Fokstuen
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dean of a private college is found dead. Murder is suspected and the Franciscan Friars of Investigation send a two friar team to investigate the murder. A enjoyable murder mystery set in the fruit loop crazy world of elite academics. The two friars are deeply Catholic and highly knowledgeable about their faith and investigations. Recommended for fans of mystery series.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Brother Thomas is a member of the FBI, the Franciscan Brothers of Investigation, and he and Brother Francis have been dispatched to Yalevard University to investigate the murder of Dean Jack Floden of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

I must say I was immediately intrigued by the idea of an order of friars dedicated to investigations as "consulting detectives" - yes, just like Sherlock. I really liked the concept that they do their best to repair the relationships they encounter and provide
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“Priests, because they hear confessions and forgive sins and give counsel, are often called doctors of souls. You might call us the specialist surgeons of souls. We find the hidden problems, that people won’t speak about and couldn’t even if they would. We delve into the worst that human beings do—into the things that even they can’t explain—in order to find the person buried underneath the sin. Then we do our best to bring them back up with us. We see some of the harshest ugliness there is. Do you know why a person would cheat on their loving spouse with the full knowledge that it will wreck their children’s lives when the family falls apart? Do you know why a man would turn his own children against their mother so that they refuse to talk to her? Do you know why a woman would torture her children without leaving a mark, and scare them into not telling anyone? Do you know why people fake crimes and get their spouse arrested and sent to prison?” He stared at her expecting an answer, with an intensity that was almost frightening. She tried to voice an answer or two, but in the face of that earnest inquiry, they died unspoken. Easy answers and joking evasions wouldn’t do. She shook her head in the negative. “I do,” he said. “I’ve seen every one of those at least twice. And do you know what it’s taught me?” “What?” she asked, faintly. Sonia felt like she was talking with a monster. She was almost afraid of what lessons it had learned from the worst that human beings had to offer. “That the love of God is greater than all human evil. That where sin abounds, grace abounds more. I’ve seen some of the worst there is, and it doesn’t prove that life is meaningless. It proves that life is worth living. And it proves that we need God. I’m probably the most cynical person you’ve ever met, or ever will meet. But that doesn’t mean that I think life is bad. It means I know how much evil can exist in a good world. That’s what the faith gives me: I can stare evil in the face without blinking, because I know that it’s not the whole story.” He took a deep breath, then continued, a little more relaxed. “I’m sure that’s scary, if you’re used to blinking. I don’t know what to tell you, except that closing your eyes is not the way to be happy. If there’s something that you’re not supposed to look at, then look at it. If there’s something you’re not supposed to think about, then think about it. If something is too horrible to face, face it. Because the truth will set you free.” “You scare me,” she said, but it was an observation, neither a criticism nor a request to stop. He shrugged his shoulders. “Comfort is overrated,” he said. They stood there in silence for a few moments.” 1 likes
“She’s still rather innocent for someone that intelligent,” he said. “One of the dangers of being pretty?” Brother Thomas suggested. “It’s certainly possible. People tend to be on their best behavior around good looking people. That could give someone a distorted view of how humanity actually behaves,” Brother Francis replied. “I take it the cynical explanation for that is obvious?” Brother Thomas asked. Brother Francis smiled. “At the same time, ugliness is a corruption of the human ideal and beauty reminds us of heaven. To sin you must forget goodness and beauty makes that forgetfulness harder. That’s also why good looking liars are so dangerous. We know on an intuitive level that beauty should be united with truth,” said Brother Francis. “And so it should,” Brother Thomas said. “There’s much that should be, but isn’t, in this world,” Bother Francis agreed. “Since truth is beautiful, people assume that beauty is truthful; since beauty shines on the world, it is only natural that it sees a brighter world,” Brother Thomas summarized. Brother Francis smiled.” 0 likes
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