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I loved this book for so many reasons. I believe Malliet must be the reincarnation of Agatha Christie and some popular present day satirist/ comedian. Max Tutor is a handsome Anglican priest who used to be a MI-5 agent. His church is located in the small English village of Nether Monkslip, with all the foibles and characters one would expect to inhabit such a village. But Malliet has updated their thoughts and actions to fit expertly into the twenty-first century.
Max is a combination of Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, and Sherlock Holmes. As an Anglican Priest, his life is further complicated by his 'love interest', the beautiful spiritualist and town's herbalist. He is also haunted by the death of his MI-5 partner who had taken Max's place in their last mission together, where Paul was killed.
This second in the Father Max Tutor series, ( Wicked Autumn was book one) finds Max being asked to go to an English Manor house to 'observe' the remaining family gathered there for a Christmas holiday. The Lord of the manor has been murdered, just before his twin sister died of natural causes. Of course the family is full of 'characters' that have many idiosyncrasies of their own. The interactions between these characters is written wonderfully, with stereotypes and additional characteristics that were a feast for this reader!! AND---the mystery was wonderfully done also. Never guessed till the end, but the clues had been placed expertly throughout the book !
I had read book one and enjoyed it very much, but book two was exponentially better. So looking forward to reading Malliet's take on spring and summer with Father Max and more mysteries!!
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to A Fatal Winter again? Why?
Probably not--though it was quite good.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Although the characters were initially a little difficult to keep straight, ultimately I felt they were all so well drawn that each was an interesting person in his/her own way, and each equally suspect for the murders. Max Tudor is a new kind of hero, a priest with MI5 background. This makes him able to be empathic with other characters, while having credible (though not known to most of the people around him) sleuthing skills.
Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?
I didn't have a favorite--but I was very impressed by the way he made all the voices so distinct from each other--this was a large group of characters. He did wonderfully with even women's voices--which must be a challenge to a male narrator.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Not really--it was too long (but I liked that it was long, because I could have that much more time to enjoy it)--and this was a book that kept moving with challenges to the reader trying to predict who committed the crimes.
Any additional comments?
I thought the "solution" was very clever, and unexpected. I liked that there were other background things going on that worked well to flesh out the characters and atmosphere, without seeming as though they were "fillers," added just to make the book longer (which I believe happens in some mysteries). Good balance of main story with side stories. I liked this book, and hope there will be more in the series going forward. Felt the narration was excellent!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I fell in love with Max and his sleuthing from the first book. A beautiful dream of what the church could and indeed should be while the actual adventure is stunning. Also the side story is a thing of beauty and I am in love with the characters. Please do listen to these books in order as the arch is so beautifully written it would be sad to jump into it half way through.
The narrator is wonderful, I cannot fault his performance, and even the intro music sets the scene for this book.
All in all I can't fault this book or indeed the series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Although several murders take place it remains a gentle story with eccentric characters on every page. Every church should have a vicar like the hero of this book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful