Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I liked Wicked Autumn by G.M Malliet. A British village mystery with Vicar Max Tudor as the helpmate to DCI Cotton. The town's bossiest woman gets killed in the Village Hall on Harvest Fayre day. Her day to shine as she pretty much arranged for the festival herself - rounding up volunteers, making assignments, and generally ticking off the entire village with her drill sergeant ways.
I liked the growing friendship between the Vicar and Awena, the owner of Goddesspell, the witchy shop in the village with its herbs and crystals and natural wreaths. There was a respect between them for the Vicar's Church of England views and the less dogmatic ideas held by Awena.
I liked that when the denouement arrived, I was quite taken by surprise. It all came together well. I am not sure how much Max's MI-5 background has to do with things. I guess just to give him heightened observation and puzzle-solving skills.
The village of Nether Monkslip is populated with enough characters as to give Max many days and nights of providing spiritual guidance and solving murders.
The author has another series of mysteries with Detective Chief Inspector St. Just. The first in that series, Death of a Cozy Writer, won the 2008 Best First Novel Agatha Award. Wicked Autumn has been nominated for the 2011 Agatha Award which honors the traditional mystery at the Malice Domestic convention that will be held in Bethesda, Maryland this April 27-29. Too bad I will be on my Great Southern Literary Tour at that time or I might have made my way to Maryland for the fun.