Having spent three years in the idyllic Nether Monkslip, Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold’s church. Quiet village life is perfect for him:
Max has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. However, the serenity is soon shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women’s Institute is found dead at a local fête…
Agatha-award winning author G.M. Malliet has been compared by critics to Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. This new series confirms such praise, serving up the perfect English village, a flawed but engaging protagonist and a brilliantly modern version of the traditional mystery.
Firstly, I loved the cover of this book; it has a really nice new feel to it with the detailed embossing and being as I love a good murder mystery I had high hopes.
It’s obvious from the first few chapters who the intended victim was going to be, she’s really not very nice and has the ability to rub everyone up the wrong way but she does make for a great character!
If you like Agatha Christie you’ll love this, it’s Christie for the 21st century, same sleepy little English village, lots of nosy characters so lots of potential suspects, however I did find the setting of the scene and the characters a little slow to start with and was a little put off by the cast of characters at the beginning – I wasn’t quite sure why we needed this as all the characters lives are well covered throughout.
Max takes on the Miss Marple counterpart in this novel, though he’s not quite so meddlesome as I think he got himself sort of himself roped in to investigating. Who isn’t going to trust the village vicar, open up and admit their sins?
As I’m reading I was thinking who has the means, motive and opportunity and I didn’t work out the whodunnit – I think I just missed the obvious because in hindsight the clues were there but I just didn’t pick up on them
When the murderer is revealed I was a little disappointed as it came about quite quickly and whether I misunderstood what was happening or it was wasn’t explained properly but I felt it was a bit of an anti-climax and the situation surrounding the murderer was maybe a little predictable – trying not to give too much away here.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read which didn’t disappoint me and I would like to read a sequel but there are little attentions to detail that would need to be corrected – this book is set in England, why does it have Americanizing of words such as neighbor and eggplant (we call them aubergines)…just the little things.
Many thanks to the publishers Constable & Robinson for sending me a copy for review.