Book Review Tuesday: Cold Dark Night by Joan Hall #mystery #suspense @JoanHallWrites

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

Welcome to another Book Review Tuesday. Cold Dark Night is the first novel in Joan Hall’s Legend of Madeira series. It follows her recent novella prequel, House of Sorrow, but you needn’t have read that to enjoy her latest release. Cold Dark Night serves perfectly as a stand alone. For those who read House of Sorrow, you’ll be richly rewarded by how everything fits together in this enjoyable mystery that weaves past and present with author finesse.


New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.

Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.

But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s one-hundred fiftieth year, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.

Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, Jason will be the next to die.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tami Montgomery and her husband, Jason, have just moved to Madeira, New Mexico where Jason has accepted the job as Madeira’s new police chief. They settle into an old Victorian home, which Tami soon learns has an interesting, disturbing history. Several of Madeira’s former police chiefs lived in the house and met with untimely deaths, more than one of them murdered.

As Tami delves deeper into trying to uncover the link between the deaths and her home, Jason has his hands full dealing with a rebellious officer, a string of burglaries, an officer-involved shooting, and the mayor’s interfering wife. There’s also the unexpected arrival of Jason’s estranged father, and the frightening dream visions of danger from Tami’s new friend, Abbey.

I loved the small-town setting of this novel. Hall does a great job of bringing Madeira vividly to life, not only in the present but the past as well. There are several chapters that give readers glimpses into characters from the 1800s, and how their lives will eventually impact what takes place in the present. The author weaves a tale of more than one unsolved murder, doling out clues like breadcrumbs. Another plot thread incorporates lunar folklore and how it may or may not factor into the murders. I especially enjoyed how Hall incorporated those threads into the story, tying everything together for a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

Bottom line: Cold Dark Night is an intriguing mystery that includes all the elements that make for a page-turning read—wonderful characters, a multi-layered plot, historical elements, and folklore. And easy five stars!

63 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: Cold Dark Night by Joan Hall #mystery #suspense @JoanHallWrites

  1. Added this one, Mae! Good to know it’s a standalone. It sounds excellent and I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. Lovely review as always! 🧡

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mae, enjoyed your review! I had bought Joan’s book a week or so ago and it is patiently waiting on my kindle. It sounds like just the thing for a mystery-lover like me.Joan, congrats on your new novel and hope you sell tons of copies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As one mystery lover to another, Maura Beth, I’m sure you’re going to love the story. It’s a great follow up to House of Sorrow, but also stands well on it’s own. Thanks so much for visiting to check out the review and wish Joan well!


  3. I am SO looking forward to starting this one. My reading time has been very limited the past week or two, but it’s next on my Kindle, so hopefully I’ll get started on it soon. Just read an excerpt over on Harmony’s site that really drew me in. Can’t wait!

    Great review, Mae, and Joan, I really do hope you sell a kajillion of these!! (Looks like you just may!) 😊💗

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fantastic review, Mae! I really do look forward to getting into this new book from Joan. I loved “House of Sorrow,” and it laid the groundwork for this series. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and congrats to Joan!

    Liked by 2 people

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