Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Father Max Tudor has been the vicar at St Edwold's in Nether Monkslip for three years and he has been warmly welcomed into what he perceives as a kind of Eden after his eventful years with MI5. But all is not well in his little town as he discovers when the chairman of the Women's Institute, a much disliked busybody, is murdered on the day of the Harvest Fayre she worked so hard to make a success. I might add that this is the most unusual method of murder I've encountered in all my years of reading mysteries.
The plot is excellent, the characters just what one wants in a village mystery, and the reader will find appealing this clerical amateur detective, not to mention Detective Chief Inspector Cotton whom he assists in solving the crime. Unfortunately, the author feels it necessary to lecture the reader about politics in the Church of England (which she gets all wrong) and the importance of religious tolerance (not something the Anglicans need to be lectured about.)
However, this series, of which this is the first, looks promising and I will be on the lookout for the second book, A Fatal Winter, which will be out some time in 2012.
2012 No 36