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Wicked Autumn

(Max Tudor #1)

by
3.42  ·  Rating details ·  5,274 ratings  ·  886 reviews
Max Tudor, former MI5 agent, has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold’s in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. Wanda Batton-Smythe, highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women’s Institute, turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. Peanut allergy looks accidental, but Max has many suspects for murder.
Hardcover, Minotaur Books, 297 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  5,274 ratings  ·  886 reviews


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Richard Derus
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.125* of five

The Publisher Says: What could be more dangerous than cozy village life in the English countryside?

Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. Now he has found a measure of peace among urban escapees and yoga practitioners, artists and crafters and New Agers. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the
...more
Leah
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-to-me, 2013, crime
A tribute to the Golden Age…of America

President of the Women’s Institute and self-proclaimed leader of all village ventures, Wanda Batton-Smythe is overbearing and rude to all. Nobody likes her, but does someone hate her enough to kill her? When she is found dead during the Harvest Fayre, local MI5-agent-turned-vicar Max Tudor suspects foul play…

This is a fun take on the Golden Age mystery with much to recommend it. Well written and with a good deal of mild humour, the book nods repeatedly towar
...more
Deanna
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
3.25 Adequate English cozy mystery

Pro:
+English mystery, so it gets standard bonus points from me.

+Though cozy isn't a genre I read much, this one isn't sweet, cute, or overly domestic or hen-clutch-ish. That makes it unusual for a cozy, as I know them, so it's palatable enough for my tastes for a very light read.

+The MI5 officer turned village priest is a potentially interesting concept that sort of worked well enough for the kind of story that it is.

Con:
-The crime is uber cliche and pretty
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benebean
I really wanted to like this book, but in the end the characterization of the main character as an Anglican priest just drove me crazy. Now, in fairness, I've never lived in England and maybe Anglican priests really do act like this-- but the clergy this side of the pond, and the clergy of other books set in the UK do not. To be more specific, Christianity is an exclusive religion in that it doesn't teach that it doesn't matter which religion you pick, as if any of them are fine. Jesus said in t ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy lovers everywhere
G.M. Malliet's probably better known for her Chief Inspector St. Just mysteries, including the Agatha Award-winning Death of a Cozy Writer. Take St. Just, give him a shadowy (if implausible) MI-5 past, and slap an Anglican dog collar on him, and you have village vicar Max Tudor, the protagonist of Wicked Autumn, the first in a planned series. They're virtually indistinguishable, right down to the philosophical ruminations and the shy schoolboy-like romances.

Not that it matters. I enjoyed the tw
...more
Julie  Durnell
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
A solid 4 star read! I went into this with low expectations and was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Max was probably one of the least things I liked about the book however. But his methods in talking with the suspects was done well. I really liked all the townsfolk and their shops or trades and was hoping none of them would be the murderer of a particularly nasty and overbearing woman. Can't give it all away but it was a well done mystery for the first in a series. ...more
Juli
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had the Max Tudor mystery series on my TBR pile for some time. I am sure most fellow reading enthusiasts will understand exactly what I mean when I say my TBR is ponderous and it takes quite awhile for great books to find their way to the top. I wish this series had found its way out of the chaotic lists of my "to read'' pile much much sooner! I very much enjoyed this first book in the series!

The basics: After a career with MI5, Max Tudor decided he wanted to follow a totally different, l
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.
Joan Curtis
May 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Wicked Autumn debuts in a typical English village with the first sentence grabbing my attention: Wanda Batton-Smythe, head of the women's Institute of Nether Monkslip, liked to say she was not one to mince words." Captivated by this sentence, I kept reading.
The author paints a very nice picture of the English village full of delightful characters. Malliet provided a list of those characters at the beginning of the book in order to help our feeble minds keep up with everything. The best part of t
...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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 read ...more
La Tonya  Jordan
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Lovers
Recommended to La Tonya by: Carmel, IN Public Library Mystery Book Club
Shelves: good-read
Max Tudor - Anglican priest, former M15 agent, and village heartthrob - investigates the murder of Wanda Batton-Smythe. Wanda is a resident of Nether Monkslip a sleepy United Kingdom town where a murder had not been committed in centuries. Wanda was known for her bluntness and rudeness, many thought of killing her in jest. But, someone actually did.

The evidence starts to pile up. But, the pieces do not fit together until Lydia Lace, an acolyte, at St. Edwold's church faints after she sees the k
...more
Dawn Michelle

Oh I really enjoyed this book!! I was a little concerned when it was picked for our book club, but those fears were quickly put to rest as I started reading this book. In fact, midway through this book, I ordered the second one. I think this will be a great addition to my mystery series that I truly enjoy.

Max Tudor, local MI-5 agent turned Vicar/Priest in the village of Nether Monkslip [there are a TON of Monkslips in this book; THAT was the only thing that bothered me; trying to keep up with
...more
Judy
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed some sections of this mystery, the first in a series set in a Midsomer Murders-type village, but overall I found it a disappointment. The detective, Max Tudor, is an intriguing character - a former secret agent who has created a new life as a vicar, yet can't forget his former training. There are also some good witty lines. Unfortunately, though, many of the villagers are painfully stereotyped and some of the humour doesn't work all that well, to me anyway.

I started off listening to t
...more
Liz Woods
Mar 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
I appreciate that Ms Malliet loves the UK and wants to pay her homage to its tradition of village crime novels, but.....If you're going to do that - at least get things right! UK students write essays, not 'papers'. We eat 'wheat toast' but we don't call it that. The Queen is 'The Queen' not Queen Elizabeth. We ensure that things might happen, we don't 'insure' them in that way. I could go on. Too many gaffes. Throws book away in disgust. ...more
Jackie
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Something just didn’t do it for me in this book... I honestly didn’t like the main character that much! I’ve been told the series gets better so I will try book 2!
Mostserene1
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Father Brown meets James Bond!

Okay, perhaps a G.K. Chesterton - Ian Fleming collaboration is rather far-fetched, but were they able to collaborate, they might have produced something akin to G. M. Malliet's stalwart hero Max Tudor.

I should confess right off that I'm well disposed toward the Cozy Mystery, even with its associated expectations. Generally set in an English village, Cozies require a cast of quirky characters, a protagonist who may be a professional police officer/detective (or a lit
...more
Rosemarie
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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 narro
...more
Kathryn
This is the second series of Anglican vicars turned detectives that I have started in the last couple of months! This does mean that avoiding comparisons is next to impossible...

This one was recommended to me by a family member, and besides knowing that it was about an ex-MI5 agent who became a parish priest and then got mixed up in murders, I didn’t read the blurb to find out the details of what it was about. Despite this, it was fairly clear from the outset who the murder victim was going to b
...more
Gerry
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a great start to this mystery novel set in the village of Nether Monkslip where retired MI5 agent Max Tudor has become vicar of St Edwold's. It is a quiet, idyllic village and Max thinks that he has found the perfect place to escape his harrowing past and enjoy a life of peace among the mixture of eccentric, retiring and sometimes fractious and argumentative villagers.

He is preparing for the Harvest Fayre with the various characters involved; the formidable, bumptious Wanda Batton-Smyth
...more
Hallie
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For readers who relish a traditional mystery with a satiric edge, perfect for a cozy fireside read, try G.M. Malliet’s “Wicked Autumn.’’ It’s set a world away from London and a breath away from Agatha Christie’s St. Mary Meade in Nether Monkslip, a quaint, isolated village with copious bucolic charm but not a smidge of ethnic diversity. Where once there were blacksmiths and wheelwrights, now shopkeepers peddle New Age crystals and organic jellies and jams.

The story opens with the formidable Wand
...more
Tina
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Thin mystery but enjoyable enough. The strength was in all the colorful personalities.

The audiobook narrator trilled his 'r's a little too much for my taste. But I got used to him and the story flowed.
...more
Jane
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK if you're a die-hard fan of British-Village-Cosy, but for my money, the Reverend Sydney Chambers Grantchester series is a lot better. ...more
Charlene
4 - 4.5 stars

I will definitely read more in this series; I liked that the clergyperson was portrayed as an interesting multi-facted character who was after both good and truth. He had had a kind of "Saul/Paul on the Road to Damascus" experience and was a former MI5 agent before becoming the vicar in a small contemporary English village.

Yes, I agree with critics who would like to see British English spelling and punctuation, including Britishisms, if the book is meant to be set in England. If we
...more
Cliff
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting take on the 'English village murder' genre, but set in the present. Good plotting and characterisation.

But, oh dear! Again another, I assume, American author, as we are told she lives in Virginia (although studied at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities). Again, this means the book is full of 'howlers' that display a lack of knowledge of the country. Fist of all she has an English character refer to an 'eggplant'. No, dear, we never call them that, they are 'aubergines' here. 'N
...more
Gwyneth Stewart
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Louise Penny blurbs a book, I'm likely to read it, and in this case, I'm very glad I did. In many respects, this is a classic English village mystery. Set in the Brigadoon-ish village of Nether Monkslip at the time of the annual Harvest Fayre, it features the usual eccentric villagers and a murder victim so universally disliked that anyone could have done it. What raises this book above its "cozy mystery" neighbors is the amateur detective. The Reverend Max Tudor, parish priest of St. Edwol ...more
Carol
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This is my idea of the perfect summer beach-read book. Malliet's writing style is easy to like. The characters were generally well-rounded (excepting the recently departed murder victim) - although I was quite glad for the summary of characters at the front of the book. The mystery worked and, unlike many an otherwise satisfying cozy mystery, the culprit wasn't telegraphed to the reader before the half-way mark. As a bonus, this is the first of the series I'd read and I didn't have the sense tha ...more
Kimberly
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 75-books-in-2017
It was very difficult for me to get into this book. I bought all of the books in this series expecting to love them. I am so disappointed.

I did not like the language used, it was hard to understand what was going on at times. There were way too many characters to keep track of. Way, way too descriptive. I dont like when an author interrupts a convo between 2 characters to give a 2 page back story.

I felt disconnected the whole way through. I did not form an emotion or a connection with any of th
...more
Dan Myatt
Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
What a load of twaddle this book was! I honestly think it's the worst book I've read EVER!

1. If you want to write a story set in an English Country Village use English English not American English as we certainly don't have "Fall" we have Autumn.

2. A priest who was once an M15 agent! Really?

3. It's jam packed with Clichés the author obviously had a bet with her self to see how many she could fit it.

I could go on but I don't want to waste more of my time on this terrible, terrible book!

If I could
...more
Colleen Shogan
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the start to this series. The writing is excellent. I will need to learn more about Max but it's fun to read about an "amateur" male sleuth for a change of pace. ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
3.5

I dug Max, the sensible Anglican priest with a past, the detective who respects his position, the new-age guru who feeds him dinner and stimulates him with conversations, some of the eccentric townsfolk. The victim was a hated character overall but that added dimension. Who ended up doing in the deed was actually pretty sad and grim, the ending was a reveal of how dastardly and cold-hearted it was. The small town has personality, as does the beautiful church with a leaking roof. Seeing the in
...more
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G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just mysteries, the Max Tudor mysteries, the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE , and numerous short stories collected in crime anthologies or published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Strand.

Agatha Christie is the main inspiration for her writing. Her modern-day favorites include Ruth Ware and Tana French; her TV favorites range
...more

Other books in the series

Max Tudor (7 books)
  • A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor #2)
  • Pagan Spring (Max Tudor #3)
  • A Demon Summer (Max Tudor #4)
  • The Haunted Season (Max Tudor #5)
  • Devil's Breath (Max Tudor #6)
  • In Prior's Wood (Max Tudor #7)

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