Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play. As the investigation unfolds, Max becomes more intricately involved. Memories he'd rather not revisit are stirred, evoking the demons from the past which led him to Nether Monkslip.
©2011 G.M. Malliet (P)2011 Dreamscape Media
"Agatha Award–winning author Malliet (Death of a Cozy Writer) debuts a superb new series... You’ll marvel at the author’s low-key humor and crystal-clear depictions of small-town life... Malliet, like Louise Penny, brings a contemporary freshness to the traditional mystery." (Library Journal)
"Malliet has mastered the delights of the cozy mystery so completely that she seems to be channeling Agatha Christie... with a hero who adds sex appeal to the mix... includes snippets of ironic humor...making the story even more delicious...winning." (Booklist)
"[A]n authentic village mystery that also pokes fun at the conventions...Malliet deftly juggles all of her characters...the murder plot here is quite devious and the motive quite evil.... The author provides a story that works on several levels, including the pleasure of a visit to a traditional English village." (January magazine)
I don't review every book--only books I feel strongly about--hence the many 4-5 star vs 1-2 star reviews. Just my opinions--hope they help.
I really enjoyed this first book in the Max Tudor mystery series for its dry, witty sense of humor. The writing is subtle, urbane and insightful. The whole story is full of small insular village flavor with a cast of wacky and often strange characters.
Be aware that to me this is a full blown cozy. So don't expect edge of your seat suspense and over the top violence. What you will find is a comfortable (within the limits that this is a murder mystery) listen that easily engages and entertains. Very like Agatha Christie comes to the modern world as a Anglican Priest.
I am looking forward to continuing the series with book two as a winter listen.
A lot of the characters are caricatures: the vegetarian, the independent femme fatale etc.
There is quite a lot of preaching about tolerance of difference which I found utterly tedious. The narrator is superb and wasted on such drivel. The author plays it too safe and endeavours to convert the reader to political correctness. A great setting and a fun idea for a cozy but the fearful and timid writing destroyed what it had the potential to offer.
I loved Wicked Autumn, but some may find the writing too literary and the British reader too stuffy. I enjoyed the characters and the setting and found the prose brilliant. When I first started listening, I wasn't able to concentrate to follow the rhythm and accent of the reader, and it doesn't help that they start with the list of character descriptions, which I think was a mistake. However, when I restarted I was completely drawn in and loved the intelligent and elegant prose and the uptight British reserve. It is vital to listen to a segment to see if it appeals to you as much as it does to me.
I am always on the look out for a good series in which I can lose myself for countless listening hours. Malliet's first novel in the Tudor series passed all of the "tests" I apply when determining whether or not I will be able to immerse myself into the author's world. Wicked Autumn provides an entertaining cozy-style novel featuring the witty, attractive Max Tudor. Tudor is the single, charming village Vicar with an above-average mystery-solving ability due to his previous career. Malliet throws in a steady stream of funny and sardonic comments, quips and observations, which only added to my enjoyment. The narrator (which, as fellow listeners know, can make or break the listening experience) is, in my opinion, fantastic and is now on my list of top favorites. His ability to narrate female voices, particularly the elderly women, is quite entertaining...he has an uncanny ability to sound like a frumpy older English woman. Overall, it was a fun, easy, and entertaining introduction to a series which I can only hope extends beyond the fourth novel, which presumably will be set in summer. My only "complaint" was that it was shorter than many of the novels to which I'm used to listening, and accordingly it was finished fairly quickly. Oh well...on to "A Fatal Winter"!
LIfe-long reader, fond of mysteries, scifi, fantasy. Prefer good story-tellers, with interesting premises. Road warrior-so listen a lot!
It appears to be a quiet English Village with lots of traditions and life centering around the pub and the church - and it is - but the personal and family tragedies behind the scenes stretch out to many countries and many walks of life. Even a backwater can be a boiling kettle of all the emotions, and the job of their nearly-new rector is to try to make peace, provide comfort, and it turns out, to solve a murder.
The good Father Tudor burnt out when he lost his partner to a terrorist bomb, and he is converted to an active spiritual life in the devastation of that loss. But the murder of the most disliked woman in the village, both rich and domineering, both piques his old professional curiosity and needs solving for the good of the parish.
There are a sufficient number of possibilities to keep the story full of twists and turns, and a lot of emotional happenings without a lot of explicit sex or violence.
I'll be interested to read the next in the series.
I enjoyed Wicked Autumn as a social satire more than as a mystery. The writing is witty and observations about current culture very to the point. The village characters are well drawn and catty. My interest began to drag because the novel concentrates more on the secondary characters than on the mystery of Wanda's death. I would have liked more action. This is a true armchair mystery because the main character, the Vicar, spends most of the book sitting down taking the secondary characters back through the day of the murder. Like Malliet's other books, the solution seems forced at the end and unrelated to most of the events or characters in the story. Great narrator.
Do they still have village fairs like that in England?
A pretty good mystery story, definitely a cozy. I liked the idea of a former special agent turned village vicar. Interesting characters and descriptions.
The narration was better than the book - it was superb.
Cozy, Easy, Funny
Agatha Raisin Series- English village and the cast of characters
Crystal clear pronounciation and well timed pauses made for easy listening.
Yes but toward the end I forced myself to turn it off because I didn't want the book to end.
AUDIBLE- Please ask for more of GM Malliet's books be made into Audiobooks.
A wonderful cozy style mystery with a modern touch. Ex-MI5 agent Max Tudor is world weary. He turns to the cloth, and finds that even in the most quiet of hamlets, murder and chaos preside. As the new Vicar in the sleepy hamlet of Nether Monkslip, all is definitely not as it seems... A fun and engaging listen.
I would not try another book by the author. The narartor was very good.
the characters in the beginning were very colorful and I found myself laughing out loud from their amusing descrption. The mystery element was very very weak, and really had almost nothing to do with most of the characters. Solving the mystery was a big disappointment. There was no danger to the protagonist or really any one else other than the victim. The way it was solved was so weak that it negated the whole novel.
He is very good and captured the essence of the characters.
I would have revised the ending making the "solve" much more exciting. I don't want to give it away by saying more. It could be argued that this was a "cozy" and did not need more than a clever "AHA" moment. The ending negated the whole pleasant ride of the beginning of the book by being so weak and coincidental. The necessaary clues with the exception of one were not put out till a few pages before the boring "solve." Then it was so dull and obvious as to ruin the book.
I no longer cared about any of the characters, most of whom had nothing what so ever to do with the mystery.
What a good beginning and then disappointment this was. I expected so much more after the first few chapters. A protagonist who was a former MI5 agent turned priest seemed such a great hero. A village filled with disparate personalities as a background. Such a good idea, such a let down.
"More tea vicar?"
Very enjoyable mystery with well developed characters and plot. Excellent story telling, very entertaining listen.
"For watchers of Midsommer Murders"
Moments of laugh-out-loud character dynamics catch you entirely off guard in the best possible way.
The lead character is both human and endearing, without seeming impossibly perfect.
This is one of those narrators who reminds me why I love audio books.
It made me (and my beloved) laugh long and heartily.
One reviewer said it was twee. Well - yes. But in a GOOD way. It isn't gory, and it isn't dark. It reads like the best of the Midsommer Murder episodes and will appeal to those so inclined.
"Enjoyable modern take on a classic village mystery"
Classic mystery, modernised
The detective, a former MI 5 man turned village priest, is an intriguing character. Bits of his own past are slowly revealed as the book goes on, which gives an interesting additional dimension to the story.
A description of the dinner with his 'new age' friend. It was a pleasant image of people who like each other despite their different persuasions.
No. It was enjoyable to pick it up when I had time.
I will look for other books by this author, to see if he develops this character further.
"Too, too twee"
A pastiche of a British village where everyone seems a big fish in a small pond. The hero, if that is what he is is too, too dashingly handsome, the victim is such that even I am happy to see her dead etc...All this, combined with an unctuous reader who reads giving the impression that he wants us to know that he knows he is reading something very witty almost leads me to tear my hair out, gnash my teeth or stamp my foot and many other cliches.
I was totally mislead by the blurb!
"Not as. Dire or as Delicious as portrayed!"
If you are accustomed to reading the Miss Silver novels, then this is on a par. Certainly no better, but definitely not worse. Maybe not as clever as Agatha Christie, but in my opinion, it gives Ngaio Marsh a run for her money.
So I definitely enjoyed it, in the way that I definitely do not enjoy the small village antics of Agatha French(!?! I've forgotten the characters' name!!), which is like marmite! I intend to keep on discovering this cast of characters. An enjoyable, gentle read.
"Very long winded a waffly"
Far too long winded and full of waffle. One of the 2 books from a couple of hundred I've bought that I just couldn't finish...even stuck in an hour long traffic jam on the way back from Oxford. was so waffly and never got going. It needed a good editor to take it in hand and save us nearly 5 chapters before something begins to happen.
Sadly, a very big yes. The book could've been excellent if it had fulfilled its potential.
Silly voice characterisation.
Was looking forward to some non challenging English mystery...so disappointment and frustration.
Was looking forward to having another series to get stuck in to, but it was just too long winded. So listened to an old Agatha Raisin to remind me what a better writer can produce.
"Should have been set in Cabot Cove"
200-300 American English terms that made the novel inauthentic
Max is fun but not English. More of a Jason Bourne
That I'd been cheated
Sloppy editing spoiled a story that was otherwise witty and funny.
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