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A Fatal Winter by G. M. Malliet
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A Fatal Winter

by G. M. Malliet

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Reading Part 1 was accomplished with ease. Then Part 2 began and I thought that I might not finish the novel. I preservered but it was a struggle. I don't know that I would read another selection by this author. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Nov 16, 2017 |
Father Max is called upon to investigate the deaths of an elderly brother and sister at Chedrow Castle, one an apparent natural death but the other, definitely murder. Before the unfortunate deaths, several relatives were summoned by the Lord of the Manor for a reunion of sorts. But now, with the deaths, this greedy and grasping group only are interested in what they will inherit. Max is becoming fed up and suspicious with the lot of them, and determined to discover who had the most motive for murder. And while most of his brain is occupied with solving this despicable crime, some of his mind is concerned about his duties to his neglected flock. But even more disconcerting, Max finds himself being preoccupied with one Awena Owen, owner of a New-Age shop, a most lovely but totally unsuitable woman for a vicar. Wonderfully written, quite entertaining, and, in the audio version, nicely performed by Michael Page. ( )
  Maydacat | Feb 6, 2017 |
A typical cozy mystery. Not great depth of character, but a nice escape read for the winter. Very satisfying ending (surprising yet inevitable). This felt very much like a sequel. I will want to go back and read the earlier book. I liked the detective and would like to get to know him better. ( )
  njcur | Dec 22, 2016 |
When Lord Footrustle and his sister are found dead in a nearby castle, Father Max is called upon to assist the local authorities in their investigation. The sister's death is found to be natural. The family is full of unlikeable members, any of whom could have had motive for killing the relative for whom few cared. Max stays at the castle -- partially at the request of Lamona -- who was disturbed about the murders, but mostly because he was asked to do so by the local officials. Another person turns up dead before the mystery is resolved. This is a case where the author tried to draw out a mystery far too long. The pacing was too slow to maintain interest, and then it took about an hour to get through the reveal which went far too long. Then it went on another hour just so Father Max could get back to Nether Monkslip to interact with his parishioners. It would have been far more effective and plausible if the castle had been located in his own parish, although I know there are reasons he needed to be unfamiliar with the family. The mystery was definitely weakened by these things. The audiobook narrator, however, did an excellent job. I'm not certain whether I'll read future installments of this series or not. While there is a bit of promise here, both installments I've read are lacking overall. ( )
  thornton37814 | Oct 26, 2016 |
A Fatal Winter - G.M.Malliet
Audio performance by Michael Page
3 stars

This is a 1930’s English village mystery displaced in time to the 21st century. It’s not a time travel novel. (That might actually have been more interesting.) It just uses the typical mystery tropes in a contemporary setting. Instead of Miss Marple, the amatuer detective is a Church of England priest, Father Max Tudor. Father Max just happens to be an ex-MI5 investigator. Local police just naturally include him in their murder investigation and gratefully allow him to find the killer.
In the deep mid-winter, the far flung members of the local aristocracy gather at the family castle. In a nod to contemporary reality, castle and grounds are maintained by the National Trust while several family members remain in residence. And naturally, the head of family is brutally murdered. Which of the unlikable heirs committed the crime? It wasn’t hard to figure it out. Despite some updated, 21st century technology and window dressing, Agatha Christie did it first and better.

It was pleasant to listen to Michael Page. And, even though it was very predictable, this was a mildly entertaining audiobook.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Marley was dead: to begin with. / There is no doubt whatever about that. / -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Dedication
In memory of Dave F, Dave L, and Ranger Mike
/ -December 2011
First words
Oscar, Lord Footrustle, was in his castle, spying from the squint in his private chamber overlooking the Great Hall.
Quotations
The hand that rocked the cradle might rule the world but the hand that wrote the evaluations determined the pay level, and for the most part that hand still had rough cuticles and dark hair growing on its knuckles.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Max Tudor, a former spy turned cleric, becomes involved in a mystery when a rowdy group of long-lost relatives arrive at Chdrow Castle and dead bodies start piling up.
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Max--Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob--investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder.… (more)

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Minotaur Books

An edition of this book was published by Minotaur Books.

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