Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of this darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new series!

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.


I read this book having not read the previous book in the series and not knowing what was going on at all – but, I caught up quick! I flew through this book. I absolutely loved it.

Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah are fabulous characters. They are strong women who’ve been through something horrendous but have come out of the other side and tried to get on with their lives.

I love how kind and caring Dorothy is. Especially when it comes to a gorgeous dog that you get to know throughout the book.

I’m very impressed with how the author has managed to bring together two seemingly very different businesses and put them together. Who’d have thought that the local funeral director was also a PI?!

Doug explores the characters really well. Especially Hannah who is battling her inner Demons and suffering mentally due to what happened in the previous book. I felt drawn to Hannah throughout the book. She is very determined and won’t stop until she gets the answers she is looking for – whether that’s personally, or in order to help someone else.

Jenny is incredible. She has been through so much and while she has her wobbles, she is essentially getting on with her life and trying to move away from what happened in the previous book.

Again, the storyline is explored just enough that reading this as a stand-alone book is made possible.

I am so grateful to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for arranging the blog tour and sending me an advance copy to read on my kindle.

Doug Johnstone is definitely an author I will look for in the future. I definitely want to read more of his work.

I gave this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can purchase the book as either a kindle read now, or hang on until August 20th to get your paperback copy.

Treat yourself 🤩

2 thoughts on “The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone

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