Book: Wicked Autumn
Author: G.M. Malliet
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/British Mystery/Small Town Murder/Spy
Summary: The first in a delightful series set in the bucolic English hamlet of Nether Monkslip, Wicked Autumn stars a handsome and eligible vicar with a shadowy past as a secret agent. Max Tudor has all the village ladies swooning until one of them turns up dead. Perfect reading for Agatha Christie fans, Wicked Autumn is wickedly entertaining and G. M. Malliet is a rising star. - Minotaur Books, 2011.
I got this book in Barnes & Noble when I saw a display for popular mystery titles. I love autumn and the summary said it was “perfect” for Agatha Christie lovers so I decided to give it a shot.
I must say, Malliet captured the spirit of Agatha Christie’s writing very well. I felt like I was reading one of her novels (to a certain extent). The spirit of a little town murder mystery is very much alive in this novel.
I enjoyed the story very much. The characters are enjoyable and the plot develops at a very comfortable pace. It does drag a little at times, but not so much as to completely lose your interest. There are also times where the main character soliloquizes just a bit too often. It gets in the way of the mystery and can be a little frustrating.
As this book is the introduction to a four book universe, there was very little information given about Max Tudor, especially in regards to his MI5 days. I suspect we might get more information in future novels, but as of right now, the man is still mostly a mystery in himself.
The characters within the village are your stereotypical, one-dimensional village archetypes at first, but they begin to show more depth as the novel goes on. It’s really nice to see that they’re not trapped within their assigned shops so to speak.
The mystery itself is very clever and well-written. I wasn’t expecting the identity of the culprit at all. Malliet does a great job of keeping you guessing and throwing suspicion on multiple characters so you’re never quite sure whether you’re looking at the right person or not.
Overall, it was a very good introduction to the series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them. As the series is grounded in the seasons, I’ll be reading them during the respective season. It helps me feel more immersed in the world of the novel.
I give Wicked Autumn an A+.
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