A tiny village in the English countryside during a storm-wracked winter. A house party at the local castle that ends in two deaths. A dishy vicar, formerly an MI5 agent, summoned to the castle to solve the certain homicide of the lord. Put it all together, and this is one gift-wrapped package for cozy lovers and Agatha Christie devotees. But it is also a pretty cheeky cozy, written by someone who knows how to use the conventions and poke fun at them at the same time. In the second in the series starring vicar Max Tudor (following Wicked Autumn), Tudor escapes the amorous clutches of the church ladies in Nether Monkslip to visit Chedrow Castle in the wake of the deaths of Lord Footrustle and Lady Baynard. (An old cop friend wants Tudor on the scene to observe the viper's nest of relatives.) Tudor's observations on evil, honed by both his spy and vicar backgrounds, are one of the best features of this thoroughly entertaining mystery.
G M Malliet has brought the village cosy into the twenty first century... Wicked Autumn is a refreshing read for everyone who loves a really good murder.