Fabulous Fiction Firsts #310
This cozy series opens with 1222 * (translated by Marlaine Delargy) when Train no. 601 from Oslo to Bergen derails on the icy tracks during a massive blizzard 1,222 meters above sea level. The driver is killed but luckily the 269 passengers survive and find shelter nearby in an once-grand hotel that is virtually empty, except for a small crew of resourceful staff. With an unexpectedly bountiful supply of food and drinks, the passengers settle in agreeably until one after another, someone turns up dead.
Confined to a wheelchair, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen (with a solidly related backstory) finds herself slowly being coaxed back into her old habits as curiosity and talent for observation force her to take an interest in the passengers and their secrets. Most intriguing is the presence of a mysterious rail car attached to the back of the train and the rumors of the royal family on board.
"A skillful riff on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, ...Holt creatively combines the classic locked-room murder police procedural and the Scandinavian thriller in this "frigidly good whodunit."
* = starred review