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Pagan Spring: A Max Tudor Mystery (A Max Tudor Novel) Hardcover – October 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: A Max Tudor Novel (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250021405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250021403
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Contemporary cozies don&'t get much better than Agatha-winner Malliet&'s third Max Tudor mystery (after 2012&'s A Fatal Winter). A former MI5 agent turned Anglican vicar, Tudor has made a new beginning in the English village of Nether Monkslip, where he&'s been fortunate enough to find the love of his life, Awena Owen, though her religious views quite differ from his own. Tudor once again slips into sleuthing mode after a mysterious death following a dinner honoring playwright and actor Thaddeus Bottle, who recently retired with his wife to Nether Monkslip, his boyhood home. Familiar elements include a polarizing figure whom many wish ill, the planting of red herrings, and a well-clued solution, but Malliet isn&'t content simply to update the golden age template. Between her unusual lead, his love interest, and the other village residents, she&'s created well-thought-out characters who are much more than stereotypes, and has added plenty of wry humor to boot. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Oct.)

From Booklist

Nether Monkslip, a classic English village with ancient roots, is growing, the old residents and businesses selling to newcomers. One of its newer residents is Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent now vicar of St. Edwold’s. With his current love out of town, Max is invited to join other relative newcomers at a dinner party. Among the guests is Thaddeus Bottle, a prominent actor who has recently returned to Nether Monkslip. The dinner party is a good break from preparing his Easter sermon, but Max gets a shocking surprise when Bottle is found dead in his bed the next morning. That no one, including Bottle’s wife, will miss the victim makes for a large pool of suspects. As he applies both his MI5 background and his pastoral skills, Max learns that each of his fellow dinner guests has something to hide, but ultimately it is their shared past that informs the present. In this third in a charming series, Malliet has grafted a contemporary village setting onto the classic roots of the beloved English cozy, with a dash of historical motivation. --Karen Muller

More About the Author

***Author, PAGAN SPRING (2013), nominated for Agatha and Dilys awards.***

**A "charming series" - The New York Times on the Max Tudor mysteries.**

*Author, A FATAL WINTER, 2012 Agatha nominee for Best Novel, and WICKED AUTUMN, 2011 Agatha nominee for Best Novel and an NBC TODAY show Summer Reads Pick (Charlaine Harris). Books chosen by Library Journal: Best mysteries of 2011 & 2012.*

Newest in the Max Tudor series, now available everywhere: A DEMON SUMMER (October 2014).

http://GMMalliet.com

G.M. Malliet is currently writing the Max Tudor series for Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books. The first book in the series is the Agatha-nominated WICKED AUTUMN (September 2011), which received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Library Journal and the Boston Globe also named it a Best Mystery of 2011: "Sly humor rivals Jane Austen's."

WICKED AUTUMN also was chosen by Shelf Awareness book review editor Marilyn Dahl as one of the top ten books of 2011. In addition to being nominated for a 2012 Agatha Award for best traditional mystery novel of 2011, it was one of five books short-listed for the 2012 Dilys Award. Deadly Pleasures magazine included Wicked Autumn in its list of the best mystery-crime novels of 2011.

The New York Times' Marilyn Stasio describes it as "executed in high style and with good humor."

The second book in the Max Tudor series is A FATAL WINTER. It was a featured alternate selection in the Mystery Guild's 2012 holiday catalog.

The third book in the Max Tudor series is PAGAN SPRING, just nominated for the Agatha and Dilys awards.

Malliet did post-graduate work at Oxford University after earning a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, the setting for her earlier series, the St. Just mysteries. She has lived in places ranging from Japan and Hawaii to Europe, but she most enjoyed living in the U.K. She now lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C. area, but frequently travels in Europe. She writes full time and is currently writing a screenplay in addition to her mystery novels and short stories.

Her books are affectionate send-ups of the traditional British mystery. Two of the previous books, Death and the Lit Chick (2009) and Death of a Cozy Writer (2008), were Anthony Award nominees. Death of a Cozy Writer also won an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, having first been completed with the aid of the Malice Domestic Grant. Kirkus Reviews named it one of the best books of 2008.

In addition to the Anthony Award, Death of a Cozy Writer was nominated for a Macavity for best first novel. It also was nominated for a Left Coast Crime/Hawaii 5-0 Award (best police procedural) and a David award, and won a Silver Medal IPPY (best mystery/thriller/suspense).

The second book in the St. Just series is Death and the Lit Chick (2009). Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine named Death and the Lit Chick one of the best paperback original mysteries of 2009.

The third book in the St. Just series is Death at the Alma Mater (2010).

Her short story "Bookworm," which appeared in the fourth Chesapeake Crimes mystery anthology, was nominated for a Macavity Award.

Malliet credits Agatha Christie and other "Golden Age" authors with making her want to write a detective novel of her own. She is a lifelong fan of the humor and graceful writing styles of Robert Barnard, Caroline Graham, and Martha Grimes.

G.M. Malliet is on Facebook (g.m.malliet), Pinterest (gmmalliet), and Twitter (@gmmalliet). Links to her pages on all these social media sites appear on her website at http://GMMalliet.com.

Also see the contact page on her website for agent and publisher information, and to sign up for her newsletter: http://GMMalliet.com.

Customer Reviews

This book is overly descriptive with very little plot.
A Customer
Lots of interesting twists and turns and an ending that kept me thinking for a days after.
A Customer
I look forward to the next one and I hope it will be here soon..
A Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By rwu on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By barbara b williamson on October 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Sloane on October 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Malliet has created an attractive, offbeat hero in Father Max Tudor, with an intriguing backstory (I assume the latter will be resolved in the next book, unless the author plans to come up with additional seasons). Writing is much better than average, the cast of supporting characters is entertaining, and the plots, especially this last entry, have some meat on their bones. The only nit to pick is the incorrect attribution of Conan Doyle's famous "dog in the nighttime" plot point to "The Hound of the Baskervilles", not "Silver Blaze". I'm sure Malliet knows the correct source -- surprised that her editor didn't make the catch.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn E. Baxter on November 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An enjoyable follow-up to Wicked Autumn and A Fatal Winter, Pagan Spring finds our handsome vicar, Max Tudor back on another murder case. As an ex-MI5 operative, his credibility with local DCI Cotton is high and his opinion - much respected. As a vicar, people open up to him and clues are dropped about like cookie crumbs.

No one seems terribly saddened by the demise of a narcissistic thespian has-been, who has returned to his childhood home of Nether Monkslip to rub the locals' noses in his success. The obvious suspects are just too obvious. There is much more to this murder and one is held in suspense well until the final pages. I look forward to the next installment of this series, presumably set in the warmth of sunny summer days and breezy balmy evenings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. W. D. on March 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had read the book prior to this one, and wondered how an Episcopalian priest and a new-age pagan were going to have a relationship. I was three pages into the first chapter of Pagan Spring when I regretted buying it. I did finish it, but with difficulty.
The understanding villagers are really unbelievable, and the plot of this book is thin.

I will not be buying another of Ms. Malliet's books. Anyone who compares her (based on Pagan Spring) to Agatha Christie must not have read many of Christie's works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ixony on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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 fun.)

More importantly, in a book that devotes vast swathes of text to WW2, the resistance and the suffering of people at the hands of the Nazis, the author takes meticulous care never once to mention Jews, the principal targets and victims of the Nazis. She edits them neatly and completely out of history, despite the fact that six million Jews were murdered in the very period she focuses on. They don't have to feature in the story, but trying to pretend they weren't there is not only distorted, it's shameful. They deserve at least a mention.

One star, and a recommendation to give this one a pass. Too many problems, on too many levels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Ivonne on November 10, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
In G.M. Malliet's third novel in the series, handsome and perspicacious Anglican priest Max Tudor investigates the death of Thaddeus Bottle, a bullying has-been character actor murdered in his bed. At the top of the list of suspects are Bottle's beleaguered trophy wife, Melinda; her lover, local architect Farley Walker; several of Thaddeus Bottle's previous sexual conquests, and some of the members of the village of Nether Monkslip's writers' circle.

As in the two previous novels -- the serviceable Wicked Autumn: A Mystery (Max Tudor Novels) and the excellent A Fatal Winter: A Max Tudor Novel -- the former MI-5 agent turned country vicar aids Detective Chief Inspector Cotton in bringing the perpetrator to justice. Malliet combines an interesting plot, lively and eccentric villagers, the developing odd-couple romance between Tudor and neo-Pagan Awena Owen, and the humorous incidents to develop a pleasant cozy that readers will devour. The ubiquitous comparisons with Dame Agatha Christie are, of course, hyperbole; however, readers will thoroughly enjoy Pagan Spring.

While Malliet's has another series, one featuring Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just, that series is much sillier. I have but one questions for Ms. Malliet: Surely, this excellent series won't end as a quartet, will it? Your many fans will want the series to live on long past "Summer."
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