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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 15 April 2017
I found this book rather slow going. It started well with a helpful summary of all the main characters which would be a useful addition to other crime books as I have a terrible memory for names. But the first 70 pages of character development are quite dull, although it is obvious that things are being said and done that will probably have some significance later in the book. Maybe if the murder took place first and then the plot flashed-back to the prior events, that would have worked better. I also found the prose stilted and pretentious in places eg 'The river this morning wore gray on gray, shimmying its way to the sea like a fashion model down a runway. A mist that carried the smell of metallic rain washed his face". Since I associate runways with aircraft taking off, I found this quite amusing! As for the plot, it was as contrived and based on coincidence as any of Agatha Christie's but without the final denouement when the detective cleverly reveals whodunnit - we are left to find out in a different way. And just when we think the story is all over, there is another Chapter tagged onto the end which adds little to what we already now know. Maybe her other books are better, but I won't be reading them to find out.
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on 23 January 2014
Handsome Father Max has two things on his mind; what to write in the Spring/Easter sermons (Imbolc/Ostara to the village New Age followers) and how to justify his relationship with his heavenly love, Awenea, the magical mystical purveyor of all things Neopagan and spiritual, to the Bishop. New incommers arrive in the village of Nether Monkslip and it's during a welcome evening at the house owned by Theaddeus Bottle and his wife Melinda where murder raises its ugly head. Galvanised into action with DCI Cotton by his side, Max sets out to discretely investigate this deadly deed aided ( unofficially) by the intrepid villagers of his parish. I thoroughly enjoyed this and was so pleased for number three the author decided to revert back to her original format of a village murder mystery; book two, A Fatal Winter missing the mark for me having the murder and investigation outwith Nether Monkslip and in the Castle at Chedrow. All the elements which came together in Wicked Autumn making it such a good read reaccured here. Max Tudor is a terrific character but with the backing of his faithful flock, aka the villagers, it really comes into its own. This author is a master of the tongue in cheek observation, witty and smart she pulls you into the lives of this varied cast of characters making you smile when you probably shouldn't and cringe when you should! All manner of personalities pepper this Southern English idyle from Awena, Max's forbidden fruit, the neopagan spiritual Goddess, to Suzzanna the desperate vamp and across to the Writing Square with its eccentric collection of aspiring authors, sadly doomed to be left on the shelf. The village secret agent is a gem disguised as the ex school matron, Miss Pichford along with her troops, a selection of females, young and old, sent out to seek and find at her bidding, often to the exasperation of Father Max who only came to the village for a quiet life when he quit being a secret agent for M15. Mr's Hooser, his accident prone housekeeper is the thorn in his side as Max tries to solve yet another disturbing murder with the help of DCI Cotton, fashion icon of the investigation team, not forgetting the star which is Luther, the church cat, on a mission to upset whoever he can! I absolutely loved this and giggled and smiled throughout. On a more serious note this is no ordinary murder mystery. I don't want to write any spoilers but I feel I must mention the very moving reasons, if there are such things which brought this murder to pass, it raised this small village mystery up from a cozy to something more poigniant. Congratulations to G M Malliet, a murder mystery with a heart, fabulous.
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Murder seems to be following Church of England Vicar Max Tudor around. He attends a dinner party in Nether Monkslip and later that night one of the guests is found dead. Who could have been responsible? There are plenty of suspects and DCI Cotton needs Max's help to unravel the mystery.

Max has found happiness in his private life but fears he may have to choose between his vocation and his life if his Bishop fails to understand about Awena's religious beliefs.

This once again is a book which takes a while to get started but it is worth persevering with it as the characters and descriptions make it worthwhile. I suspect a second reading would reveal things that people miss on first reading. I love the recreation of village life in this entertaining series.

If you like tradition crime stories brought up to date a little then you will probably like this series. It is best to read them in the order in which they were published so that you can watch the development of the series characters.
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on 9 August 2015
The actual story is really good here but it is executed in a long and drawn out way. The author tries to set the scene by providing detail in the way that Agatha Christie does but I don't think it works here. There is a lot of trivia and the characters are caricature in style. The police detective does very little and the solution to the crime comes suddenly to Father Max with little build up of evidence. I did consider not finishing this book but it did get better. The last chapter is very sickly sweet. If you like a mystery surrounded by lifestyle trivia then this will be a good read. It says on the cover 'All is not as it seems in Nether Monkslip' but this suggestion of intrigue is not borne out. It might be a better read if the Author's note at the end is read first.
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on 29 January 2015
It had good potential. But contained too much boring chat. To give you an idea, a few years ago I read the unabridged War & Peace. But I didn't even get half way through Pagan Spring.
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on 6 June 2016
Yet again we are subjected to an American view of English village life. In an Agatha Christie type setting we have to endure Americanisms: 'gotten' and spellings - color, theater, center, etc. The supposedly English villagers do not seem to behave in an English way. Instead of enjoying a good plot and exciting mystery one is constantly on the look-out for the next 'slip-up' from the author. A sorry state of affairs indeed.
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on 6 March 2016
A good read. Light, bit of romance and murder. A Vicar that's ex-M15 but still gets called in to help the local police. Just my cup of tea.
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on 7 November 2014
Up to her usual standard.
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on 15 March 2014
I read a lot of books and always find the author brilliant keeps you a wake to continue have read a lot of this author and would recommend .
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on 2 October 2014
very good story
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