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Publisher's Summary

Someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one - particularly his wife - finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey.
The powerful Lord complains loudly to the local bishop, who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, to investigate. Just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well. Can Max Tudor solve the case and restore order in time to attend his own nuptials?
©2014 G.M. Malliet (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Byron on 11-01-14

A must read for all cozy enthusiasts--

This superb series has covered all the seasons with this fourth book. It's an awesomely humorous and mysterious book that combines Agatha Christie, Louise Penny and Dan Brown----and Malliet mentions all three authors' works within this book so cleverly too.

Former MI-5 operative Max Tutor, is called upon by his Bishop to travel to Monksbury Abby to check on some unusually financial issues with the records from the Handmaids of St Lucy nunnery. Max also finds himself investigating a suspicious fruitcake poisoning, while he's there.

This mystery, though serious, is sparked throughout by such intellectual humor and brilliant connections to those other famous authors, it is unlike any other cozy series I've read recently. There are chapter heads that tell the rules of these Handmaids St Lucy, along with history of this lady. There is a clash between worldly ways and silent contemplation that adds much to the mystery. I would consider this a must read for any enthusiastic cozy readers!! I listened to a fabulous Audible version of this book which made something great into something extraordinary!!

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Colby on 12-22-14


The first three books of this series were light weight but fun. This book takes a weird turn, as Max Tudor reveals himself to be a judgemental, hypocritical jerk who, oddly for an Anglican priest, doubts that any Anglican nun actually has a religious vocation as opposed to a neurotic desire to flee from the wide world. Max has a pregnant girlfriend who will not marry him in a church, and he hasn't mentioned this circumstance to his boss, the bishop, yet he is outraged that the convent has kept secret their discovery of a valuable icon. It is all very inconsistent and calls his character into serious question.
I will not bother with another of these books.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Kl Love on 07-11-16

Too sloppy to be convincing

Would you try another book written by G.M. Malliet or narrated by Michael Page?

I have listened to all the Max Tudor series, and while it began promisingly, this book is a disappointment. Obviously these are stories set in the classic legendary village in Nevernevershire; but there are some basic conventions that need to be respected to allow the 'suspension of disbelieve' that makes fiction enjoyable. Unfortunately in this book the rampant Americanisms are really distracting: no aged English nun is going to use the word 'scads', and most English people will remember the Famous Five rather than the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. The character of Max Tudor too has become thinner and flatter and far less interesting, despite the attempts to introduce excitement by the improbable device of an Anglican priest concealing from his bishop the fact that he is going to have a pagan wedding with the local white witch.
Stock characters, sloppy writing, a plot so improbable as to be uninteresting----I was quite sad, this book marked a definite step down.

What will your next listen be?

I will go back to some of the classic mysteries that are being recorded---I've enjoyed listening to books by some of the early authors whom I didn't know.

Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No; but while he reads with good pace, he has trouble with women's voices, which always sound whiney.

Was A Demon Summer worth the listening time?

Alas, no.

Any additional comments?

I probably won't bother with any more Max Tudor books.

And by the way, this format for reviewing books is really awful. It means there is often no opportunity to say what one would really like to say about a particular book!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Debbie Slater on 08-23-16

Cozy in the extreme!

The increased number of anachronistic Aamericanisms in this, the fourth, in the series is beginning to jar, however.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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