Reviews for Fatal Winter
Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
A tiny village in the English countryside during a storm-wracked winter. A house party at the local castle that ends in two deaths. A dishy vicar, formerly an MI5 agent, summoned to the castle to solve the certain homicide of the lord. Put it all together, and this is one gift-wrapped package for cozy lovers and Agatha Christie devotees. But it is also a pretty cheeky cozy, written by someone who knows how to use the conventions and poke fun at them at the same time. In the second in the series starring vicar Max Tudor (following Wicked Autumn, 2011), Tudor escapes the amorous clutches of the church ladies in Nether Monkslip to visit Chedrow Castle in the wake of the deaths of Lord Footrustle and Lady Baynard. (An old cop friend wants Tudor on the scene to observe the viper's nest of relatives.) Tudor's observations on evil, honed by both his spy and vicar backgrounds, are one of the best features of this thoroughly entertaining mystery. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #1
Priestly duties fall by the wayside when Max Tudor must investigate what appears to be a murder in an upper-crust family living in a local castle. Traveling back to his home in Nether Monkslip, Anglican priest Max Tudor finds himself stuck in a train compartment with Lady Baynard of Chedrow Castle and having rather unpriestly thoughts of annoyance and impatience. Unfortunately, Max is soon summoned to Chedrow Castle by DCI Cotton, of the Monkslip-super-Mare police, who eagerly seeks Max's MI5 experience to investigate at the castle when Lady Baynard's brother and titleholder, Lord Footrustle, is murdered. It being the holidays, the castle is brimming with familial suspects whose loss will doubtless also be their pecuniary gain. Soon after his arrival, Lady Baynard's body is found. Now, the pressure is on Max to determine who most profited from the deaths of the brother and sister. Some relatives, including Lord Footrustle's daughter, Jocasta, and his former wife, Gwynyth, seem too out of touch with reality to be complicit in the deaths. By contrast, adopted granddaughter Lamorna's quiet snooping and religious moralizing send her to the top of Max's suspect list. DCI Cotton implores Max to find the murderer lest any other lives be lost. Max, however, is distracted by thoughts of his dear friend Awena Owen, whose assistance he can't help but desire, though he's becoming aware that his thoughts about her amount to more than just thoughts. The handsome priest-turned-detective hero who debuted in Wicked Autumn (2011) nearly meets his match in a suspect list that rivals the telephone directory. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2012 October #1
Imagine the headlines: "Twins Dead at Castle." The victims are the miserly patriarch, viciously stabbed, and his sister, found dead in the greenhouse. Astutely, Detective Chief Inspector Cotton deploys his local contact and friend, Vicar Max Tudor (former MI5!), and plants him in the castle as an unofficial spy. Max has his hands full with a group of sullen relatives, all of whom have less-than-righteous agendas and some of whom haven't caught on that a murderer is in their midst. When the next victim falls, folks begin to pay more attention. VERDICT Malliet doesn't miss a step in her stellar second case for her handsome vicar. Just to mix it up (after Wicked Autumn), she wisely takes him out of the village and into the region's local castle. This series shines for its wit, well-drawn characters, pitch-perfect dialog, and intricately structured puzzle. Don't expect to be rushed--it's a leisurely paced read begging for the reader to catch every last detail. For Louise Penny fans, of course, but also for those who crave a well-done Golden Age-style mystery. [Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
When rich, elderly twins are murdered in their castle, it's time to bring in the talented vicar to spy on the grieving relatives. Malliet's artfully plotted puzzler subtly dazzles with its sly humor and astute observations. (LJ 10/1/12) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 August #1
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"). Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC