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Paraffin Winter

By Peter Chowney

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The winter of 1963 was the coldest winter of the century in the UK, at a time when post-war austerity and social class divisions made for a miserable life for many people. These were the days of back boilers, bubble and squeak, paraffin oil stoves, gas works, steam trains, and starting handles. The 1960s technological and social revolution hadn’t happened yet. Ronnie and Jenny Delaney live in the south coast town of Poole, close by the gas works. They get by - Jenny works in the local pottery and Ronnie runs a paraffin delivery round, helping to keep his grateful customers warm. But then something unexpected turns up on the paraffin round: an eyeball. It doesn't take Ronnie long to work out that it's got something to do with his past as a small-time crook, back in the East End of London. Someone's messing him about. He can handle it. Or so he thinks. But things start to get complicated, and he quickly finds himself way out of his depth. It's going to take someone cleverer than Ronnie to get to the bottom of this one. And that someone is closer than he could ever have imagined ...

Customer Reviews


Paraffin Winter is on a different level the majority of the other books here. The story is great and the recording is very well done This is a 4.5 out of 5 stars work of fiction, and I would highly recommend it.

Paraffin Winter

A fine murder mystery. I was hooked early by the characters and the mundane 1960's cultural references, even to the point of a brief mention of Silent Spring and lot's of frozen peas. I thought the pacing was just right.

Impressed. Very Much.

I'm listening to PW at my catering job. It's rather dull and I have a lot of time where I'd otherwise just be sitting inside of my own head, musing. I have to say, I only grabbed PW because it was promo'd on the front page, but I am really, really enjoying it.

I'm about 3/4+ of the way through, so I haven't quite seen how everything plays out, but I am hopeful. And so very glad that you took the time to record and release this book, Peter.

I went in expecting a relatively interesting read, something to break up my normal podcasts. But, and this surprised me, I got a really compelling picture of class relations at mid-century. I grew up in a pro-union household in the US and, even though it's always been an issue I've taken interest in, I've not heard much about labor/industry outside of my country. So, it's fascinating to see bits and pieces of how the efforts and politics seep into culture in other parts of the world, whether fiction or real life.

Good job. I dipped in for a crime novel and I've got something that has me thinking when the audio's turned off. I don't know if this will get to the author, I'm a bit late to the game it seems, but I really am enjoying myself, and I'm grateful for the time and care that went into bringing this story to the internet.