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!
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!
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.
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.
I did enjoy listening to it in bed - a couple of chapters a night and I was sound asleep. For me this is a good thing! The story is interesting and rather fun, and the narrator's voice is soothing. Definitely recommended for insomniacs (and others too)!
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.
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.
I admit it, I have a soft spot for Father Max. Granted, some of the situations in which he finds himself somehow strain belief (why, really, was he at the castle for so long?) I enjoy the stories. The area around his little village must be similar to Midsomer of tv fame because there are SOOOO many murders. But it keeps Max and the DCI busy.
The mystery was good. I never caught on to the perpetrator until the great reveal (a la Poirot) so that kept me guessing.
I'm glad the author includes a cast of characters but it's hard to remember with an audiobook. I was glad I had a paperback of this so I could refer to the family tree for a while. The narration is impeccable and well worth the listen.
"A gentle murder!"
Although several murders take place it remains a gentle story with eccentric characters on every page. Every church should have a vicar like the hero of this book.
"A Fatal Winter"
Kept me gripped all the way through. It is really good to listen to a voice.
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