Check It Out: Chilling winter tales

We are in the throes of winter, and while the weather has been unpredictable and there are still a few weeks until the groundhog emerges to indicate whether spring will come soon or not, here are some chilling tales to remind you that it's still winter. They are sure to have you running to your closet in search of gloves, a scarf, and a coat to keep you warm.

"Ice Cold," author Tess Gerritsen's newest thriller, leaves Maura Isles and five of her friends stranded during a blizzard. To retreat from the snowstorm, the group seeks refuge in an eerily abandoned town known as Kingdom Come, Wyo. When Maura ends up missing, good friend and Boston detective Jane Rizzoli arrives to investigate the disappearance, but what she finds is much more than what she bargained for.

Discover 40 vignettes based on the 40 times the Thames River has iced over in Helen Humphrey's "The Frozen Thames." From 1142 to 1895, Humphreys captures each frozen moment as an individual episode in the book. Whether it's Queen Matilda escaping her castle in a snowstorm or Henry VIII riding across an icy highway, each entry gives depth and variety to this compelling collection with an intense coldness.

In John Rector's debut, "The Cold Kiss," Nate and Sara are headed to Reno to get married. A stop in Nebraska has lasting consequences when the two cross paths with a man who needs a ride to Omaha. He's willing to pay them and, in need of cash, Nate and Sara take him up on the offer. When a snowstorm forces them to abandon their travels, they find shelter at an isolated, run-down motel and simultaneously realize the man in the backseat has died. The stranger also has $2 million in his possession. Before they know it, the recently engaged couple is thrown into a terrifying nightmare turning what they thought was a blessing into a curse.

"Blood and Ice" by Robert Masello takes journalist Michael Wilde on assignment to the South Pole. During a routine dive, Wilde, along with other scientists and explorers, uncover a shocking discovery. Two bodies, a man and a woman, are found at the bottom of the ocean. Bound together with chains, they are perfectly preserved in a block of ice. Wilde sets out to solve the mystery of what led these two to their demise. Masello's supernatural thriller is filled with plenty of chills.

Ericka Falck returns to her hometown to deal with the death of her parents only to find a childhood friend of hers is dead, frozen in an ice-cold bath. It appears Ericka's friend has taken her own life, but all is not what it seems. Set during winter in the coastal town of Fjallbacka, Camilla Lackberg's "The Ice Princess" is for fans of Scandinavian crime literature.

Make sure to have a hot cup of cocoa, coffee, or tea by your side and a warm blanket as you curl up with any of these chilling reads that can be found at the Newport Beach Public Library.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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