Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

Wicked Autumn
by G.M. Malliet

The libraries’ Just Desserts mystery book group recently selected the entire body of G.M. Malliet’s work for one of our monthly mystery discussions. Malliet has two series — 3 volumes in the Detective Chief Inspector St. Just series, starting with Death of a Cozy Writer (previously reviewed for the Staff Recommendations), and 6 volumes in the Max Tudor series, starting with this volume, Wicked Autumn. Both series feature elements of the “cozy” and of the “amateur detective” mystery subgenres.

Max Tudor is a former MI-5 (British Intelligence) agent, who, after a tragedy while on assignment, finds himself disillusioned with the violence and deception of intelligence work. Surprisingly, even to himself, he follows a calling to become a pastor, the vicar of St. Edwolds in the quaint English village of Nether Monkslip. This first volume in the series picks up as Max as been the vicar there for only a few years, and is still considered something of a stranger to the village…though because he’s extremely handsome, the ladies (both single and married) tend to hover around him.

In Wicked Autumn, as the village is celebrating the annual Harvest Festival, the much-disliked coordinator of the festival is found dead in the Town Hall, killed in a highly unusual way. Max Tudor uses his skills from years in the intelligence field, to assist the local police inspector in investigating the crime, and in the process uncovers numerous secrets about his fellow townsfolks and parishioners. In the “cozy” tradition, very little violence occurs “on screen”, and the group of suspects is all part of a small, tightly-knit local community. But there are elements of the story, and Max’s background, that are a bit darker than the traditional “cozy”.

I enjoyed Wicked Autumn very much, and look forward to reading more of the Max Tudor series. As of 2017, there are 6 of them out there, with a 7th scheduled for 2018.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Malliet’s other series, starting with Death of a Cozy Writer.] [ official G.M. Malliet web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

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