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Sally Spencer's newest series promises to be a winner

The Shivering Turn

A new series set in Oxford

by Sally Spencer

Severn House Publishers

Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 01 Feb 2017


Sally Spencer's new series featuring private investigator Jennie Redhead is off to an auspicious start. The Shivering a Turn is a compelling mystery set against the rapidly changing culture of 1970s Oxford. I like Spencer's other novels, but I think The Shivering Turn is her best thus far. It does an excellent job of capturing the flavor of the time.

Jennie's investigation into the disappearance of a young woman leads her into the murky world of Oxford's privileged classes. Before her disappearance, Linda was spending time with members of an exclusive Oxford student club - The Shivering Turn. Money and connections make the young men practically unassailable, but Jennie is convinced they were involved and is determined to prove it.

Jennie is far from perfect, but she is principled and determined - part of the reason she is no longer part of the CID and is instead working as a PI. It is easy to admire her grit and integrity and equally easy to despise the protections enjoyed by the privileged classes and their casual disregard for those they see as lesser.

The Shivering Turn has appeal for both traditional mystery lovers and those who like mysteries set against the unique backdrop of Oxford. (Such as the Inspector Morse mysteries). I look forward to Sally Spencer's next novel.


I received a copy of The Shivering Turn from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



Introducing Oxford-based private investigator Jennie Redhead in the first of a brand-new mystery series.

'My daughter's not just run away - she's dead!' When Mary Corbet walks into private investigator Jennie Redhead's rundown Oxford office one pleasant spring day in 1974, she is a desperate woman. Although she's convinced her daughter has been murdered, she can get neither the police nor her husband to agree with her.

Jennie is not convinced either, but more out of compassion than conviction agrees to take the case. The only clue she has to go on is a fragment of an obscure 17th century poem she finds in Linda’s bedroom: Or will you, like a cold and errant coward/Abandon all and make a shivering turn. But from that one clue Jennie’s investigations will lead her beyond the city's dreaming spires to Oxford's darker underbelly, in which lurks a hidden world of privilege, violence and excess.

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