Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
I really enjoy the Max Tudor mysteries, and this one did not disappoint in any way. The characters are well developed, and the mystery is fun to try to solve as the story progresses. This series has so far utilized Autumn and Winter--and presumably the next one will be summer. I wonder where GM Malliet will go after that? I pray there will be more Max Tudor books for a long time to come (note to author--you could go for the months, the days, the zodiac signs, --anything--just keep on writing :-) The narration is excellent! A great read!
I mistakenly listened to this book out of order in the series, and as I realized that, I hoped I would not regret it. And actually, it was okay. Although I will remember that Emily's husband gets murdered (in the future, as I go back and read the ones I missed) I don't think that will keep me from enjoying them as much as much as I have the others I've heard.
This book focuses more on the detective Thomas Pitt's wife Charlotte, who has always been a big help to him anyway, as she comes to stay in the house where her sister Emily's husband has been murdered. Suspicion falls upon Emily, and Charlotte is determined to see that the real murderer is apprehended. Thomas seems to play a lesser role in this book, but he is there.
This book has an interesting cast of Victorian upper-crust characters, who are very intolerant of anyone outside their strict social circles. Therefore Charlotte is only barely tolerated, despite she has the same aristocratic upbringing that Emily has (but left to marry policeman Thomas, something the people in this story find incomprehensible). This tension between the classes tends to be a central point in these books, as they occur at a time when being part of the newly developed police force is looked down on, so Charlotte and Emily help Thomas in their way, by providing some entry into the snobbish homes.
I love the writing, the historical settings, the way the characters are drawn, and the narration of these books so far. I believe the continuing tenderness and closeness between Thomas and Charlotte, living in such challenging conditions, might be a bit romanticized, but I accept that as being just the way the author wants to present them, to provide contrast with the other characters, whom she tends to portray as less likable. In the hands of a less skillful author, that would be a little much, but it seems to work here okay. I found this one to be very interesting and would recommend. However, I do suggest that a reader not make the mistake I did and read it out of sequence. I don't think it will hurt when I read what I missed, but in a series, it is always better to read them in order.
I have only read several of the China Bayles mysteries prior to this one, but enough to know who the characters are and remember I enjoy them. (I prefer reading series in order, just haven't with this one). But, even as a stand alone, this book was really good.
I think Susan Wittig Albert gets the mix/balance of characters--and their side stories and plot lines-- just right. This book was a little slow getting set up, but once it was into the story I really didn't want to stop listening.
Basically, the town's coach, who is loved and respected by everybody, has an ugly dark side. And this leads to his murder. China is brought into the story from several directions--but it all gets pulled together masterfully. Additionally, as a sub plot, she is invited to read letters that involve her (now deceased) father, given to her by a man she knew when younger, but is now shocked to learn of their true relationship. It would appear that this plot will be extended into the next book, as it opened a door to further development.
This was a great listen--I think, among cozy mysteries, that this series is one of the best. I believe the narrator is okay, but sometimes felt the southern accent was a bit heavy. But that's my taste. I still highly recommend this book!