Top positive review
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A very enjoyable third in the series.
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.