"There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth . . . Malliet delivers all that." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
Last year, Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees with Wicked Autumn, the first mystery featuring her captivating protagonist, Max Tudor, and the small English village of Nether Monkslip.
In A Fatal Winter, Max—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.
Agatha Christie fans will relish Malliet's delicious second Max Tudor novel (after 2011's Wicked Autumn), which, in classic golden age fashion, includes a closed-circle of suspects and a dramatic final reveal to a captive audience. Tudor, a former MI5 agent who's now the vicar of St. Edwold's in Nether Monkslip, looks into the deadly goings-on at Chedrow Castle. During the Christmas season, someone stabs wealthy Lord Footrustle to death in his bedroom shortly after he survives a bout of food poisoning. When his sister, Lady Baynard, hears the tragic news, she dies of apparent shock. Tudor questions the many family members in the castle at the time, all of whom could have had pecuniary motives for murder. Clever deduction and a logical fair-play solution are enhanced by the author's wry humor (e.g., one character "sound remarkably like an Eliza Doolittle who has skipped a few lessons").