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A Killer in King's Cove

(Lane Winslow #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,011 ratings  ·  190 reviews
A smart and enchanting postwar mystery written for fans of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear.

It is 1946, and war-weary young ex-intelligence officer Lane Winslow leaves London to look for a fresh start. When she finds herself happily settled into a sleepy hamlet nestled in the idyllic interior of British Columbia surrounded by a suitably eclectic cast of small
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by TouchWood Editions (first published March 12th 2015)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,011 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Cindy Burnett
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lane Winslow served as an MI-6 agent during World War 2 and is ready to leave that life behind when the war ends. She moves to a small town in Canada in hopes of starting over. But the weary and intelligent protagonist is not to find peace in Canada when a murder happens soon after she arrives. Whishaw fabulously creates a sense of place in the tiny Canadian town and populates the town with likeable (mostly) and unique characters. I really enjoyed the mystery and the budding relationship between ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lanette “Lane” Winslow has relocated to British Columbia in 1946, a time when that province was very rural. Lane wants to escape the loss of her beloved and her career as a British spy. The 26-year-old has settled in tiny King’s Cove, a village so isolated that fewer than a dozen families live there, all but five inhabits much older than than she.

Lane was quite taken with the scenic beauty of Western Canada; however, Lane has only been there a few months when a corpse turns up with her name wri
Jan 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is part of a series, it seems and based on this one that I read, I will not be reading any others.

I wanted to like it. It's a mystery, which I enjoy, by a Canadian author, and had been given a decent review somewhere. I added it to my reading list and up it popped.

I only finished the thing because I was curious to know how she ended it. To get to the end involved a lot of skimming, I can tell you. This book needed a serious editing job. It was so long-winded. And repetitive.

Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this cozy mystery for a bunch of reasons:
- the time period (right after the Second World War, with flashbacks to the heroine's wartime experiences as a spy);
- the plucky heroine Lane Winslow (who moves from war-shattered England and buys a farmhouse in rural Canada to start her life over);
- the setting (the fictional King's Cove is located somewhere near Nelson, British Columbia, with wonderful descriptions of the gorgeous West Kootenay landscape);
- the murder mystery itself
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lane Winslow left the British secret service and moved to King's Cove in rural British Columbia. She finds herself a suspect when a dead man is found in her creek. No one in the community knows the man. Inspector Darling and Constable Ames investigate. Because Lane is sworn to secrecy on many matters, she cannot always provide an answer to questions. Lane is held in the local jail until a man from Lane's past shows up confirming the man's identity and asserting Lane's innocence. Will that be eno ...more
Carolyn F.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were some inconsistencies of hair color. The raspberry subterfuge was so ridiculous a child could have figured it out. And the plot took forever to finally move along, but other than that I really enjoyed the book, enjoyed the characters, enjoyed the landscape. I'm planning on reading more of this series. ...more
Jocelyn H
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. The first in a series of mystery novels that take place in a small fictional village in BC's Kootenay Mountains. It takes place in 1946 and features a young woman who was a British Secret Service agent during the war and who reluctantly helps to solve a murder in her new community. It somewhat brings to mind Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, albeit a less glitzy, Canadian version, mainly in the way that people perhaps underestimate Lane Winslow, and the way that she gets inv ...more
Ruth Linka
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great first book in a series featuring a female sleuth. She’s a lovely character who was a spy during the second world war in England and has moved to rural BC to get away from her old life. I look forward to more in the series.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this a couple weeks ago and was super into really everything about this. I always enjoy a secret!spy! past. Plus an amateur detective. And also, this is a rare cozy mystery series set in Canada. Also, I was very aware while reading it that Lane and Darling (especially Darling) are essentially my grandparent's generation. I would also say, it felt very Canadian in feel (it's set in rural BC), and in how it portrayed Canadian experiences of WWII (from what I've heard of them). Also, I just re ...more
Nicole (bookish.canuck)
A solid start to a new-to-me Canadian mystery series! I love the time period of the series and although I found the writing to be a bit lacking in description at points I think there is a lot of promise in this story! Lane is a great character with a lot of her past to still be explored and I feel that all the other resident of King's Cove have much more to their stories as well. The mystery was good, however I did *mostly* solve the murder quite a bit before the end of the book. Overall I will ...more
Kayla Heffner
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read the back of this book and thought it sounded really good. It took me 100 pages to get into it before the murder even happened. Incredibly predictable and slow developing plot. Some chapters nothing even happened, just small town people talking. I really didn't care for the writing style either. It jumped narratives mid chapter and was just repetitive details or inner dialogue from the character that was just fluff writing. ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
perhaps I am being harsh because this is the third consecutive poorly-written mystery I've picked up. Plenty of promise here in terms of characters and set up, but the author cannot write in a way that creates interest or tension--at least for me. Complicated plot--multiple time settings matter. But i think this one is in the one-and-done category. Unless I hear that subsequent ones are just great. Sigh. ...more
Enjoyed this series launch about a young woman escaping from the trauma and heartbreak of WWII to a new life in a tiny town in British Columbia - until her peaceful existence is interrupted by murder - and she is the chief suspect! Here is a link to my review:
Excellent debut to this Lane Winslow series. Canadian author, Iona Whishaw, sets a good tone accurate to subsequent novels of WWII British espionage . Variety of interesting local British Columbia area characters and settings .

A new series I'll befollowing.
Janet Hutchinson
A new series for me - set in Nelson, BC, post WWII. I found it a bit long, and unnecessarily convoluted in some spots, but I suspect that being the first in a series, characters, place, and plot all needed to be introduced. A satisfying read, nonetheless.
Laura Santoski
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked the setting of the book and want to live in the main character’s house, but the mystery itself felt oddly paced - very slow boil, then rushed and choppy at the end.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this book, being set post WW II in British Colombia, and being toted as a book for those who love Bess Crawford and Maisie Dobbs. I have to confess it really took me awhile to get into this story. The beginning felt disjointed and I was frustrated rather than enticed by the things that were left hidden and unsaid in the waiting for Lane's past to be revealed.
I am glad I stuck with it however. The story of this small village in the interior of BC near Nelson being
Chyina Powell
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a thrilling read!

This novel with it's ex-intelligence protagonist and it's secretive cast of side characters is absolutely fantastic. Through the use of multiple narrators telling their story across time, across borders we seamlessly fall into a tale of murder, of dealing with past hurts and of coming to terms with the new.

When a random stranger is found near Lane Winslow's home and evidence against her seems to keep turning up in the most random of places, how can she defend herself? She c
Liz Mc2
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Wishaw’s debut mystery has an interesting and beautifully-evoked setting—post WW II in a tiny town on Kootenay Lake, BC—and a strong heroine in Lane Winslow, who has come to this remote-ish spot to escape her memories of wartime intelligence service. This reads like a debut, with some uneven pacing and awkward cutting between points of view. The plot was a little melodramatic (and also it took a long time for Lane and Inspector Darling to catch on to what seemed like some obvious clues). Overall ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to finish this one. I like mysteries from this time period and the setting was interesting. I liked the main character, in spite of some of her questionable decisions. But, as other reviewers have mentioned, parts of this book moved very slowly. I wish the mystery had been revealed a little later; it felt like we were let in on too much, too soon. This being the first in the series, there was a lot of will they/won’t they in the relationship between the main character and the p ...more
Could have been condensed and had some better editing. Jumped around a bit too much. But since it's local to my area and a first time author, I will give the second book in the series another try. ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
**1/2 Way too long. It could benefit from some editing. Also very predictable for a mystery.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
It might be bit harsh only giving this three stars but it was not as good as the second book in the series which was a solid four stars. If I had not read the second book first I may not have finished this one. It didn't get going until page 60. There may be two reasons the author spent so much time on the characters 1) to introduce them all and 2) to create a sense of an idyllic community but it was a yawn and I didn't pay attention (to my detriment) which made it a bit harder following later o ...more
Read for the 52 Book Club 2021 Challenge: Prompt #33 Featuring adoption

I found this series at my local used bookstore, bought what I thought was the first 2 books and then realized later I had picked up the wrong book (because I verified that they had book #1) because I had books #2 and #5. Swung back by the store later and someone had bought book #1 ...argh! So I tracked down the first book on Amazon and got the Kindle version. I really love stories/series that have plucky, independent female p
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lane Winslow, former British spy, has emigrated to British Columbia to put the war and a lost love behind her. She settles in a tiny village, lives by herself in a charming old house with an orchard and a veranda and instead of the quiet, contemplative life she seeks, she’s plunged into a murder investigation in which she is the prime suspect. Lane is smart, independent, a little reckless and determined. I will enjoy reading this series.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Laine Winslow has had enough of wartime spying and in 1946 she moves to Nelson, BC, an idyllic small town surrounded by lush forest and soaring mountains. When a body is found on her property, she is pulled into a mystery that connects with her wartime secrets, and threatens her freedom. This is a well-written and clever book that kept me guessing until the last chapter.
Jen Jones
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Really enjoyed the setting, era, and characters in this charming mystery. I don’t read much mystery, but I plan to read the rest in the series. If you enjoy Alan C. Bradley, Alexander McColl Smith, and even perhaps Colm Toíbin, you’ll love this.
Jun 06, 2021 added it
Shelves: new-in-2021
An excellent story which concentrates as much on the characters as it does on the solving of the crime. The mystery is not overly convoluted; instead, the complexity lies more in the people and their back stories. The pace is excellent. It is very much a page-turner.
Bree | alibraryforone
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Review to come.
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Iona Whishaw has been a youth worker, social worker, teacher and an award winning High School Principal, who continued with her writing throughout her working life. Receiving her Masters in Creative writing from UBC, Iona has published short fiction, poetry, poetry translation and one children's book, Henry and the Cow Problem. The Lane Winslow mystery series is her first foray into adult fiction. ...more

Other books in the series

Lane Winslow (8 books)
  • Death in a Darkening Mist (Lane Winslow #2)
  • An Old, Cold Grave (Lane Winslow #3)
  • It Begins In Betrayal (Lane Winslow #4)
  • A Sorrowful Sanctuary (Lane Winslow #5)
  • A Deceptive Devotion (Lane Winslow #6)
  • A Match Made for Murder (Lane Winslow #7)
  • A Lethal Lesson (Lane Winslow #8)

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