In A Fatal Winter, Max Tudor - Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob - investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder. With a cozy setting, intricate puzzles, and a handsome (non-celibate) priest doing the sleuthing, the books in this series are destined to become instant classics in the mystery world.
©2012 G.M. Malliet (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Clever deduction and a logical fair-play solution are enhanced by the author's wry humor...." (Publishers Weekly)
I loved this book for so many reasons. I believe Malliet must be the reincarnation of Agatha Christie and some popular present day satirist/ comedian. Max Tutor is a handsome Anglican priest who used to be a MI-5 agent. His church is located in the small English village of Nether Monkslip, with all the foibles and characters one would expect to inhabit such a village. But Malliet has updated their thoughts and actions to fit expertly into the twenty-first century.
Max is a combination of Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, and Sherlock Holmes. As an Anglican Priest, his life is further complicated by his 'love interest', the beautiful spiritualist and town's herbalist. He is also haunted by the death of his MI-5 partner who had taken Max's place in their last mission together, where Paul was killed.
This second in the Father Max Tutor series, ( Wicked Autumn was book one) finds Max being asked to go to an English Manor house to 'observe' the remaining family gathered there for a Christmas holiday. The Lord of the manor has been murdered, just before his twin sister died of natural causes. Of course the family is full of 'characters' that have many idiosyncrasies of their own. The interactions between these characters is written wonderfully, with stereotypes and additional characteristics that were a feast for this reader!! AND---the mystery was wonderfully done also. Never guessed till the end, but the clues had been placed expertly throughout the book !
I had read book one and enjoyed it very much, but book two was exponentially better. So looking forward to reading Malliet's take on spring and summer with Father Max and more mysteries!!
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Probably not--though it was quite good.
Although the characters were initially a little difficult to keep straight, ultimately I felt they were all so well drawn that each was an interesting person in his/her own way, and each equally suspect for the murders. Max Tudor is a new kind of hero, a priest with MI5 background. This makes him able to be empathic with other characters, while having credible (though not known to most of the people around him) sleuthing skills.
I didn't have a favorite--but I was very impressed by the way he made all the voices so distinct from each other--this was a large group of characters. He did wonderfully with even women's voices--which must be a challenge to a male narrator.
Not really--it was too long (but I liked that it was long, because I could have that much more time to enjoy it)--and this was a book that kept moving with challenges to the reader trying to predict who committed the crimes.
I thought the "solution" was very clever, and unexpected. I liked that there were other background things going on that worked well to flesh out the characters and atmosphere, without seeming as though they were "fillers," added just to make the book longer (which I believe happens in some mysteries). Good balance of main story with side stories. I liked this book, and hope there will be more in the series going forward. Felt the narration was excellent!
I fall into the group that really liked this book. The characters are nicely drawn, some a bit crazy, some quite heart-warming. 4 stars is about as high as I ever go for a mystery, so this is the highest rating on my own personal rating scale. As for Michael Page, I liked his rendition of The Care of Wooden Floors better (which I recommend overall). I didn't care for his voice for Max -- too old as someone else commented.
These murder mysteries are set in modern times but are narrated in a melodramatic fashion kind of like something from the 19th century. The narrator's voice quality and ability to play different characters is fantastic; his voice is also very melodious. Both the main storyline and the recurring cast of village characters are well developed and intriguing. This is the second Max Tudor book I have listened to and it continues to reveal, little by little, what his life was like as an agent and why he left and why he joined the priesthood. It all fits in and relates well with the things that go on in the main storyline. If you like cozy mysteries that take place in Great Britain, this is the cozier! I just hope the author can write some more and the same narrator can record them by time I finish the last book currently available! This series is one, in my opinion, that is better heard than silently read.
It's just a turkey. Main character Max Tudor, a la Poirot, groups the suspects for the whodunit reveal, and begins with sudden near first-person clarity the events that lead to the murder or murders. At one point in this description- involving beekeeper gear and overdate produce, one suspect interjects, "You've got to be kidding" I thought I had spoken the words myself.
Left off at least one of the mystery writers' cliches. Disguises, meticulous planning, twins everywhere, a thoroughly beatific pagan love interest for the priest, an asthma inhaler, and 'petticoats' (!!) for one character...
Less oldtimey melodrama in the voice
Detailed character descriptions.
I had previously sworn off Ms. Malliet's works for some of the same reasons I did not love this story. However, I was in the mood for a mystery, a British narrator, and a wintry scene. Never again.
It was quite good. Very satisfying story, and the narrator's voice is like warm butter. The thing I like about this author is that in the story you can imagine several other plausible solutions, and I fall for those red herrings every time! I totally called this one wrong too just like the last one.
"Father Brown" -- duh. Although I did like the twins quite a bit as well.
His voice is hypnotic. Sometimes I have to re-wind and listen to it again to actually HEAR what he is saying.
SPOILER-ish ALERT: OK, I was going in a totally different direction with the motive, I thought for sure that we were going to learn that Milo (the butler) and Lamora were related due to their Russian heritage. But no!
Michael Page's narration is fine with the exception of the "voice" he chose for Max Tudor. Max Tudor is a 40-something year old man but Michael Page's voice for him is that of a man well into his 60's - too old, too phlegmatic.
The first Max Tudor book, A Wicked Autumn, was really captivating, interesting and had
interesting characters who were complex and developed. Max himself was somewhat introspective and also interesting. This book, the second, was superficial, has stereotypical characters who were not appealing and about whom this reader didn't care.
It is hard to believe this second book was written by the same author, they are that different in quality.
No, but it may make me hesitate to buy another by this author.
It was boring, and I lost interest.
Read the first one, Wicked Autumn, and give this one a pass.
I liked the first book in this series, the village, the characters, etc. they all came together to make for a "cozy" mystery. In this book of the series I was surprised, Father Max knows he's "all that" for most of the story? There were too many times in this book he came off as arrogant and not at all the Father Max of the first book, who was much more charming. It felt like it was someone's first book, a little forced to get points across, characters acting out of character (Max was used to women reacting to his gray eyes, good looks, etc) not smooth. No spoilers, but at one point one of the main characters which really doesn't have much to do with the mystery (but does have to do with part of the story) is all of a sudden popped in and out of the middle of the mystery. Didn't really offer much contribution, I did get the point, but when the character popped back out of the scene just as quickly I was left to wonder what the heck that was about? Like the editor reminded the author that this main character needs to be included? Another impression I got was that the author had this idea for the mystery in the castle, and actually the outcome was surprising and it was a good story - but maybe it just needed a little more time to get the characters to flow a little more together. I'm listening to the third book of the series now, and it's a bit better, but I have to say book one of this series so far was the best, and I'm hoping for better things for the second half of the third book. Overall, if this series keeps up I'm hoping for more of what I saw and I do look forward to reading (listening) to more, because I really do like that all the main characters.
There were readers who liked this book, and even compared Malliet to Christie et al, but it didn't work for me.The narration was not objectionable, and the plot, as described, held promise (at least for me, a lover of cozies). The hero is a likable guy. But somehow the author didn't successfully create any tension in the construction or dialogue of the story. I wish I knew more about the mechanics of creative writing, so I could understand why I was so bored that I returned the book unfinished - and after the murder had occurred.
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