Series: Max Tudor mysteries #1
Publication date: Sept. 2011
Book source: Public library
Humorous and compassionate, G. M. Malliet‘s Wicked Autumn is a real treat for lovers of British mystery. Set in the small, quiet English village of Nether Monkslip, the novel features Max Tudor, an ex-MI5 agent turned Anglican vicar, as the amateur sleuth. Max shares the stage with as collection of villagers as delightfully offbeat as you will find outside Margery Allingham’s Campion series.
Malliet is scrupulously fair in presenting the reader with all the necessary clues — and equally skilled at obscuring their importance. I spotted the murderer early on, but later dismissed that individual as a suspect; the full truth eluded me right up to the denouement. The author is no newcomer to the mystery genre, having penned the Agatha Award-winning Death of a Cozy Writer and two subsequent novels starring Detective Chief Inspector St. Just. I’ve enjoyed the St. Just mysteries, but if the second Max Tudor novel lives up to the promise of Wicked Autumn, Malliet will join Deborah Crombie on my list of favorite contemporary mystery authors.