Max Tudor must contend with his new role as a father as well as a murder all too close to home in Nether Monkslip in the next installment in G. M. Malliet's wildly popular series
Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers and cozy fans everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, and Pagan Spring, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome former-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor. Hailed as "wittier than Louise Penny, lighter than Tana French, smarter than Deborah Crombie" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Malliet is a top-notch writer whose work gets better with each book.
Now, in The Haunted Season, something sinister is stirring at Totleigh Hall, the showcase of the English village of Nether Monkslip. Usually, the Lord and Lady of the manor are absent—high tax rates, it is murmured with more than a trace of envy, force them to live on the continent for most of the year. But Lord and Lady Baaden-Boomethistle have been in residence for some weeks now, and the villagers are hoping for a return to the good old days, when the lord of the manor sprinkled benefits across the village like fairy dust. Max Tudor also looks forward to getting better acquainted with the famous family that once held sway in the area. But a sudden, macabre death intervenes, and the handsome vicar's talent for sorting through clues to a murder is once again called into play in this charming and clever novel.
Max Tudor worries whether he has somehow become a magnet for murder as violent death once again strikes Nether Monkslip, the English village where Max is adapting to life as a husband and parent, in Agatha Award winner Malliet's subpar fifth cozy featuring the former MI5 agent turned priest (after 2014's Demon Summer). When the local lord of the manor goes for his evening horseback ride, someone stretches a length of wire across his lordship's path, with fatal results. Inspector Cotton, Max's friend on the force, asks him to assist with the investigation, which begins with the dead man's family: his two grown children, his bride, and his mother, known within the family as Crazy Caroline. Some readers may find that the many names that sound as though they come straight from Wodehouse Fugglestone Parva, the Rev. Destiny Chatsworth distract from the mystery. The cold calculation behind the murder and the resolution of a minor subplot will strike others as contrived and implausible.