Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda. But when one of the dinner guests is found dead in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip. Connections to long-ago crimes, some sparked by the paintings of a famous local artist, help Max unravel the clues - but can he restore peace to Nether Monkslip and still manage to finish his sermon?
©2013 G.M. Malliet (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Contemporary cozies don't get much better than Agatha-winner Malliet's third Max Tudor mystery." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
PAGAN SPRING returns us to the small English village of Nether Monkslip where Max Tutor is an ex MI5 agent turned Anglican priest. His love life with the controversial spiritualist, Awena Owins, continues to blossom. Max also steps into a new possible murder. Thaddeus Bottle has moved back to a hugely renovated mansion in his family's home village. But humble he is not. Everything is about him and his desires. He desire is to be the center of everything, and his recent dinner party brings some upstanding townspeople to his home so they can properly admire the "celebrity" amongst them. But perhaps everyone is not quit so enamored as he might have hoped, as he's dead by the next morning.
Malliet fills her book with wonderful dry English humor, exquisite small town cliches, lovely clues, and characters that definitely entertain the senses. In this particular book, she also deal thoughtfully with some very serious subject matter from World War 2. Must read for cozy fans who want everything a cozy promises plus some excellent commentary on serious matters. Her best one yet!
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!
Gabby's telling of her history was shocking and spell-binding (and happens in the last hour of the book).
Michael Page's narration is melodious. He keeps the voices of the characters separate, so it is clear who is saying what. This is very important in a complex murder mystery. He is able to characterize each one so that it is not just a different voice, but it sounds like that character "ought to" sound based on personality, back story, etc.
You bet! In fact, the past few days, I listened to the first, second, and now this, the third book in the series. Addictive!
I enjoy this narrator so much, and the rhythm of the stories, that if I've found I did not fully hear or take in some of the story, I will run it back to hear it again. I do this frequently. Quite enjoyable with these stories and narrator.
Also, the relationship between Max and Awena takes a shocking turn! I will not spoil it for you. But I CANNOT WAIT till my next month's credits so I can listen to the fourth book! (Sadly, I MUST wait...)
Never lonely with a good book in hand
The characters and their stories are richer with each new book. I hope the series will continue for a long time. I enjoy my brief forays into Nether Monkslip and look forward to Father Max and his friends and parishioners very soon. This is not a preachy religious series by far but a world of real people and their problems and joys all told and narrated brilliantly by a good author and a sensitive, knowing narrator.
There's nothing scary here and the setting is 100% English village. But this novel transcends the "cozy" category, thanks to Malliet's wicked humor. No villager or social trend goes unscathed. I'm going to read 'em all.
Cozy mysteries: MC Beaton, Agatha Christie, Rhys Bowen, more.
British cozy mysteries are my favorite genre, and I was happy to find the Max Tudor series.
My favorites contain the following: a clear, pleasing British reader; intelligent, likable detective and cohort (someone with whom to discuss the case), attractive setting (the village wasn't described much in this book), dislikable victim, and interesting additional characters.
I look forward to the series with great interest, and will look for all Malliet books.
I had read a good review of this novel. I am disappointed that the story was predictable, the characters were wooden types, the language was arch and there were numerous mistakes in the plotting.
The narrator was over-reaching. He tried to do too many unusual voices instead of just reading.
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