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 ...
||CleanParaffin Winter 01||The Eye of the Storm: It's Boxing Day 1962, and the first snow has begun to fall. Next morning, Ronnie makes an unexpected find on his paraffin round. And that leads to meeting someone from his past - someone he'd rather have forgotten.||2/4/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 02||The Naming of Parts: Ronnie visits Veronica James, and gets another surprise. Back home, an inspector calls, and Ronnie has to tell Jenny what's going on, and reveal something of his past.||2/4/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 03||Happy New Year: Ronnie and Jenny celebrate New Year with dinner out, and find that someone else is in need of Ronnie's services.||2/4/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 04||Charlotte Comes to Stay: Ronnie gets some useful information from a friend of a friend, but finds himself in a spot of bother on the quay. And a new friend comes to stay ...||2/4/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 05||King Coal: More clues turn up, with Jenny making a find at the pottery and Ronnie getting closer to finding out exactly who the victim is.||2/4/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 06||Chapter 6: The Picnic. Jenny reveals something of her past, while Ronnie discovers something more sinister than a scotch egg.||2/14/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 07||Veronica Comes Clean: Ronnie finds out who it was that told Veronica to contact him. And it's someone closer than he would have imagined ...||2/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 08||Dead in the Water: where Ronnie gets some new clothes, but can't hold back the tears when events take a downward turn.||2/28/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 09||Battle of the Giants: Ronnie and Jenny see the town's power brokers in action, but Ronnie comes of worse in another little encounter.||3/8/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 10||Exile: After getting into some very hot water with DI Parker, Ronnie has to cross the water to escape, while Jenny proves to be more resourceful than he could ever have imagined.||3/13/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 11||Railway Terrace: Jenny waves goodbye to Ronnie, and goes home to Mum and Dad. She needs to talk all this through, with someone who knows what's going on ... Author/narrator's note: All this now requires some suspension of disbelief, in terms of t||3/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 12||Home Comforts: Jenny settles back into life with Mum and Dad, and sits out the snowstorms ...||3/28/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 13||Footprints in the Snow: Jenny and Veronica use their contacts to make plans. But can they trust each other?||4/3/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 14||Silurus closing: Jenny goes to London, to learn more from party comrades. And the man on the motorbike closes in ...||4/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 15||Across the Water: Jenny and Veronica go looking for the kid on the estate, and Jenny takes a cold trip across the water. Silurus is closing in ...||4/18/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 16||The Warning: Jenny goes to see Inspector Parker. But while she's there, Silurus prepares a welcome home for her ...||4/25/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 17||A Place of Safety: Trying to escape her pursuer, Jenny puts her safety into Veronica's hands. And a trip to London reveals more useful truths, from one who knows ...||5/2/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18||Friends and Comrades: Jenny goes to see an old friend, and confronts her with an uncomfortable truth. And she receives a telephone call, from a comrade in London.||5/16/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 19||Jenny and Veronica go to Poole Civic Centre, where an accomplice helps them uncover more information about Burford's activities.||7/22/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 20||While Veronica is away, Jenny works out who Silurus really is, and finds new courage to carry on.||8/5/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 21||Them Bones Again: Jenny and Veronica prize more information out of Charlie, and Jenny has an unexpected visitor.||8/21/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 22||Aboard the Petworth: Jenny and Veronica see what they can find on board - Jenny investigates, and Veronica keeps the crew occupied.||10/5/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 23||Cecil Unmasked: Jenny and Veronica go to see Fred's mum who, with a little persuasion, tells them who Catfish really is. But on the way home, there's an accident ...||10/26/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 24||Charlotte and the Red Lion: Jenny and Veronica set off for Wapping, but are forced to break their journey at a hotel in Farnham. There, as Jenny tells Veronica something of her past, they realise that they share a dark secret.||11/3/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 25||Execution Dock: Jenny and Veronica investigate the dragon's lair, and finally discover the truth, to their potential peril.||11/13/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 26||Chapter 26: A Condemned Angel. Jenny reaches into the depths of her ingenuity to aid her escape, and the flames in the night consume everything. Almost everything ...||11/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 27||Homecoming: Jenny and Veronica's plans lead to their ultimate conclusion. But Veronica has one more surprise - although maybe, it's no surprise at all.||11/26/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParaffin Winter 28||Paraffin Winter is now available as an e-book.||12/27/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
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.
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.