"There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth . . . Malliet delivers all that." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn and A Fatal Winter, the critically-acclaimed mysteries that introduced former spy turned cleric Max Tudor. Now, Max returns to the small English village of Nether Monkslip, where some new residents cause quite a stir.
Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda. But when one of the dinner guests is found dead in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip. Connections to long-ago crimes, some sparked by the paintings of a famous local artist, help Max unravel the clues—but can he restore peace to Nether Monkslip and still manage to finish his sermon? Funny, smart, and perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Louise Penny, Pagan Spring is a one-of-a-kind mystery featuring everyone's favorite attractive vicar.
G. M. Malliet
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the third in an apparent series of four mysteries set in the village of Nether Monkslip in the southwest of England, starring the MI5 agent turned Anglican Vicar, Max Tudor. I call it whimsical, since the author seems to bring in charming characteristics of the persons and places and events with a slightly whimsical tone. It is a fun book to read and concerns Max's involvement in the murder investigation of a thorughly unattractive character which turns the village on its ear. There is also a forward development in Max's relationship with a local New Age seller of charms and potions which is full of surprises and possibilities for a fourth book in the series. Highly recommended even if I did feel the author could be a bit more concise at places and not ramble on and on sometimes. It will all make more sense if the books are read in order, starting with Wicked Autumn and then A Fatal Winter, before tackling this one.
Some how with my undying devotion to well written British mysteries, I had never even heard of G. M. Malliet. Once I saw her PAGAN SPRING offered on Amazon, I was intrigued. As I began to read, I realized this book was going to be one of the good ones. I ordered more of her books from Amazon before I finished reading this one. It is the perfect rainy day read. I am so happy I found this author, hope she continues to write, because she does a wonderful job of it. I would recommend this to mystery lovers and if you are a lover of British mysteries, it will suit you to a "T".
In detective fiction, and in the previous books in this series (which are firmly in the mystery/detective/whodunnit genre), the sleuth sorts out how a murder was done using clues at hand. This is not case in this book. Yes, there is a murder. Yes, there is a purported sleuth. But he doesn't figure it out. The perpetrator simply decides spontaneously to voluntarily confess everything to him, in full detail, in one long monologue. How convenient. This was disappointing (as a reader), and clearly lazy writing on the part of the author.
Secondarily, our hero's romance with the village's spiritual pagan is cloying, unreal, and hard to credit. Awena glides about in her yellow milkmaid dresses with her basket in hand as she goes to the woods to gather herbs for her salves that help village residents with their arthritis, cancer, etc. Seriously? I found her vacant and annoying beyond belief. (Village vamp Susanna actually has some personality and would have been much more...
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