Rosemarie's Reviews > Wicked Autumn

Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet
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's review
Feb 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in November, 2011

As the first in an intended series, quite a bit of this book was devoted to a leisurely set-up so thorough that a careful reader could find his way if dropped suddenly into the center of the village, and could probably recognize many of the characters on the street. No map is necessary (although one would have been delightful.) The cast of characters is listed, so we can probably expect to meet most of them in subsequent books - unless they're killed off first.

Although the lanes are still narrow and some of the buildings may lean a little, Nether Monkslip has had a bit of an update since the days of the traditional cozy. Most of the businesses in town do a brisk internet business in items from antiques to hand-knitted designer sweaters to marzipan candies. Father Max, the new Vicar, formerly of MI5, thought he had found an idyllic place to scrub away the memories that still haunted him.

Of course every pudding has its lumps, and Nether Monkslip's is wealthy Wanda Batton-Smythe, formidable self-appointed Leader of the Community and head of the Womens' Institute. As the book opens, she is busily planning the Harvest Fayre; perfectly sure of how it should be run, running roughshod over any and all other opinions. Are we unbearably surprised when she shows up dead in the midst of the Fayre?

This is an enjoyable fair-play spoof on the mysteries of the Golden Age, with occasional flashes of well placed laugh-out-loud humor. I was a little concerned at how much of Max's past the author revealed in this first book; will he continue to be as intriguing with his angst out of the bag (at least to the reader), so to speak?

I will certainly read the next book to find out.

The author has published a charming interactive online map of Nether Monkslip here:
Well worth a look!
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