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!!
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
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 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.
My first G.M. Malliet read, and now I don't remember much about it- ergo- must not have been too great.
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.
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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