'It is London, 1880, and nine-year-old Sofia Jarmyn is dead in a horrific domestic accident in the drawing room of the family home. Six months later a fatal train accident in a provincial town results in the death of another little girl.
'In the days following Alice’s death, her distraught father, Thomas Brinklow, journeys to the capital seeking answers to the terrible accident that has seen his own daughter taken from him. He wants justice or revenge. Amid growing public outcry against the railway he owns, wealthy industrialist, Lucas Jarmyn, struggles to make sense of the cruel death of his beloved youngest daughter. His wife, Aurora, seeks solace in the rigid social routines that rule their lives and attempts to reconnect with a husband who now appears to shun her. Her eldest daughter, eighteen-year old Dinah, searches for meaning in the endless round of social calls and charitable work that once filled her days but now seem futile. Only the housekeeper, the stalwart and estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on – but then she is an expert on tragic and sudden deaths.
'In a house where the cook has a morbid fear of pigeons and both the maids have quit, events hinge on an ill-fated trip to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a broken vase. Half the World in Winter is a captivating and atmospheric story of accidental deaths and changing times.' (Publication summary)