Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review: The Haunted Season

The Haunted Season: A Max Tudor Mystery (A Max Tudor Mystery, #5)Author: G.M. Malliet
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Max Tudor # 5

Max Tudor must contend with his new role as a father as well as a murder all too close to home in Nether Monkslip in the next installment in G. M. Malliet's wildly popular seriesAgatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, Pagan Spring, and Demon Summer, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome former-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor. Hailed as “wittier than Louise Penny, lighter than Tana French, smarter than Deborah Crombie” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Malliet is a top-notch writer whose work gets better with each book.

Something sinister is stirring at Totleigh Hall, the showcase of the English village of Nether Monkslip. Usually, the Lord and Lady of the manor are absent—high tax rates, it is murmured with more than a trace of envy, force them to live on the continent for most of the year. But Lord and Lady Baaden-Boomethistle have been in residence for some weeks now, and the villagers are hoping for a return to the good old days, when the lord of the manor sprinkled benefits across the village like fairy dust. Father Max Tudor’s invitation to dinner at the Hall comes as a welcome novelty; it will be his first time meeting the famous family that once held sway in the area. But before he has time to starch his clerical collar and organize a babysitter, a sudden and suspicious death intervenes, and the handsome vicar’s talent for sorting through clues to a murder is once again called into play in this charming and clever novel.

It was fall, and the patchwork fields around Nether Monkslip were changing color from gold and jade to bronze and topaz in that strange alchemy of the turning seasons.

In the long run, mankind did its worst work, and told the most lies, when trying to justify its actions, to impose a certain outcome.

And he was taken aback by the look on her face. If he hadn’t known better, he might have thought it was a look of the purest venom. The look was directed straight at Awena.

Malliet delivers just what readers need in order to get ready for Halloween in the fifth book in this series: murder, mystery, intrigue, and some truly enticing characters and picturesque detail. I do not want to give too much away regarding the murder mystery, but I will say that it was one of the most memorable that I have read this year. Pay close attention as you read; Malliet will give away hints, clues, and foreshadows what is to come in her writing. Max Tudor, our main character, has returned, of course, and thrown in the mix are his new family dynamics: his wife, Awena, and their new baby, Owen. I love following a series like this and watching their lives change book after book. I believe that none of the books will ever touch the first in the series, but this one comes in a close second.

Malliet’s writing style is very eloquent and sense of characterization is astounding. She can flesh out a character like no other. Max Tudor gets better and better with each book, I believe. I feel as if I learn more about him the more situations I see that Malliet puts him in. I always feel that some things just ended up being too coincidental, thus why the book only received a four cupcake rating, but this is the feeling that I am left with after reading many cozy mystery novels. Some things are just predictable and you can guess what will happen, but it does not take away the joy of getting all nestled down in a blanket and losing yourself in the story. The ending of this book left me hungry for the next; I hope I do not have to wait a whole year to read it!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Minotaur Books in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. As a mystery fan, I'm surprised I have never heard of this series. Thanks for introducing me to something new!