In The Mammoth Encyclopaedia of Modern Crime Fiction, Mike Ashley noted that the author's legal knowledge 'provides a solid reliability to the Devlin books, but their strength lies in the evocation of Liverpool both past and present'.
Similarly, Russell James commented in Great British Ficitional Detectives that the Devlin books 'are all solid and well-informed'.
In Scene of the Crime, Julian Earwaker and Kathleen Becker described the Devlin series as 'a blend of classic detection and urban noir', pointing out that 'The bleaker tones of the early books...are superseded by the lighter tone and more complex plotting of the later novels.'
In Whodunit?, Rosemary Herbert said that 'Edwards rapidly made a name for himself as a writer whose law expertise informs fiction set in a well-drawn Liverpool...Edwards' work as an anthologist is highly regarded.'
In British Crime Writing: an encyclopaedia, Michael Jecks described him as 'a writer of imagination and flair' and as possessing 'a rare skill for acute description'. In the same volume, Philip Scowcroft praised Edwards' books set in the Lakes 'which he describes idiomatically and evocatively in a series of well-plotted mysteries'. Jecks summed him up as 'a crime writer's crime writer. His plotting is as subtle as any; his writing deft and fluid; his characterisation precise, and his descriptions of the locations give the reader the impression that they could almost walk along the land blindfolded. He brings them all to life.'
Reviews of The Frozen Shroud
‘If you like your whodunits with a small list of possible suspects and motives à la Dame Agatha; more than one murder investigation happening at the same time à la Peter Robinson; and important links to the past à la the late Reginald Hill, you’ll love this book... I can highly recommend it.’
Joseph Scarpato Jr, Mystery Scene
‘An excellent mystery, exciting and suspenseful. The ensemble of principal and secondary characters are well cast, each playing off the strengths of those they interact with. The beautifully rendered Lake District setting makes for an atmospheric backdrop to the murder investigation conducted by Hannah and Daniel, a storyline that turns out to be a strongly plotted and most enjoyable whodunit.’
‘I loved this book. It was not a fluffy little who-done-it, but an intelligent, smart story that made me think. I had to read it slower and pay more attention, but it is refreshing to read a wonderfully written mystery with substance. I will seek out this award winner author’s other books. Edwards is a gem.’
Laura Hartman, In My Words
‘In Martin Edwards’ books, the characters are all so alive, the settings so vividly described and the plots so intricate and compelling. I love all the historical and literary references he uses, weaving them seamlessly into the books, and then there is the ongoing friendship between Daniel and Hannah – both Daniel’s sister and Hannah’s friends keep insisting they’re right for each other.’
‘A quick and enjoyable read, ideal for curling up with on a rainy day.’
Harriet Devine’s blog
‘This is the sixth in this enjoyable and atmospheric series, which is nicely plotted and set in the lovely and usually tourist-encumbered Lake District locale; the goings-on are fun to watch.’
I Love a Mystery
‘It’s always satisfying when you get a book to review that’s right to your taste. This is a classic English mystery with everything one could want: a cast of characters you’ve met before, an atmospheric location with just a hint of the supernatural, a bit of history, and enough romance to spice it up without taking too many side trips into someone’s bedroom.. Edwards proceeds to draw all his various threads together, past and present, and provides the solution to all the murders, ancient and modern, plus brings about a very satisfying final scene for those of us who like tidy endings. Definitely looking forward to the next Lake District Mystery!’
New Mystery Reader
‘Layered, atmospheric...creepy premise.’
‘This is a fantastic mystery series. Fast-paced and very readable, I always devour Martin Edwards' books in big gulps, unable to put them down. The sinister atmosphere of remote Ravenbank is beautifully conveyed through the biting cold weather & an atmosphere of dread that affects all the inhabitants of the small community. Daniel's research inevitably steps on some toes as everyone has something to hide although not necessarily about the murders. Daniel himself is an immensely likeable character, who loves his work & is relentless when he gets a lead on a mystery. I enjoyed the details of Daniel's research into Gertrude's murder & the breakthrough he needs comes from a dusty archive where he can finally put the pieces together.’
I Prefer Reading
‘Well worth the read. The plot takes an unusual turn with many characters to keep straight. Be vigilant. All of them play a vital part in the story.’
BookLoons ‘One of those novels that plays with your mind. Just when you think you have everything figured out and you begin to expect something, it doesn’t go at all the way you thought it would.. the dialogue was very well written and was exactly like overhearing a real conversation, so that helped. I enjoyed the story and the way the author created the townspeople was a fine example of plot and character development. The actions of the minor characters helped me feel closer to the setting and the main characters. This is a book that features real literature. The wording is always eloquent, intelligent and fitting for the style of writing. The plot does not feel contrived and the development of the story has a natural seamless feel. If you love a good mystery and beautifully crafted writing, this would be just the thing!’
Readful Things ‘Edwards does an impressive job of linking the three murders across the long years.’
‘A strong entry that grips the audience from the opening murder and never loosens its hold until the final denouement. Fast-paced, the romance between the DCI and the criminologist for the most part simmers on the back burner as the murder investigation takes center stage throughout in this super whodunit(s).’
Harriet Klausner, Murder-Go-Round
‘Martin Edwards balances this extensive cast of characters, and the multiple murderous events, very well, inspiring the reader with hunger to turn the next page and a constant stream of “but what if—it happened this way?” I did not want to put the novel until I had completed it; and I definitely intend to look up the other novels in this series and put Mr. Edwards on my authors-I-must-read shelf.’
Mallory Heart Reviews
‘This is a well-plotted mystery with lots of red herrings and plenty of suspects. I've got to give Edwards credit--he had me changing my mind about the culprit with nearly every turn of the page...The descriptions of the Lake District are lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions of all the characters. I look forward to turning to the beginning of the series and seeing how the relationship between Daniel and Hannah has come about. In this novel they are just figuring out that what their friends have been saying to them just might be true--they're suited for each other. But I can tell there's a lot of water under those bridges and I want to find out where it came from. An excellent entry in what seems to be a very fine series.’
My Reader’s Block
‘A more than worthwhile novel to dive into for mystery lovers. Especially for those in the mood for a solid mystery with an intriguing premise and locale, this latest Lake District tale is sure to satisfy.’
Reviewing the Evidence
‘The twist at the end is superb, the killer being someone you would never have suspected. Overall, a 'soap-opera' style mystery that is well written and which kept me guessing till the end.’
Tomes of the Soul
‘Edwards knows his business. He understands how to parcel out the clues and red herrings so as to feed the reader enough information to keep a variety of possibilities open, while making sure to prepare for a satisfying solution.’
Excerpts from further reviews'A first rate complex thriller'
The Sunday Times
'Martin Edwards is one of the finest stylists and most perceptive crime writers of his generation. His gifts are of the more classical variety--there are points in his novels when I think I'm reading Graham Greene--and that recognition has begun to attract the attention of book buyers as it has so long attracted the attention of reviewers.'
Ed Gorman (February 2006)
'First rate...Martin Edwards writes terrific crime novels'
'A clever psychological thriller'
The Literary Review
'Martin is increasingly recognised as one of Britain's most exciting crime writers'
Liverpool Daily Post
'Edwards' mastery of the psychological thriller is as assured as ever'
'The insights into contemporary society are as sharp as the dark and discursive plotting.'
'A master storyteller...a captivating read'
'The novels successfully combine the style of the traditional English detective story with a darker noir sensibility.'
'Very highly recommended'
'Ambitious, nuanced and brimful of Lake Country atmosphere -- Edwards always gives top value'
'Martin Edwards is up there with the Masters.'
Mystery Readers Journal
'The picturesque qualities of Northern England's touristy area are fabulously described, and make a superior scenic backdrop for this otherwise dark tale of labyrinthine convoluted relationships and secrets galore, all waiting to be unearthed by skilled scavengers....'
I Love a Mystery