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A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor #2)
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A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor #2)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,119 Ratings  ·  351 Reviews
"There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth . . . Malliet delivers all that." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

Last year, Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees with Wicked Autumn, the first mystery featuring her captivating protagonist
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I have so much love for this series. I love how Malliet moves the plot along and also weaves a few elements that foreshadow events in the future books. The Christmas season setting in the house party murder mystery was a nice touch. Max Tudor as an MI5 agent turned vicar, battles with himself over past demons, a devotion to truth seeking, love, and the expectations of his bishop.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but somewhere in the middle it started to drag quite a bit, to the point that I was frustrated by the time the murderer was revealed. I missed that it took place outside of Max's village and villagers, which I found so charming in the first book.

Also, while I do enjoy the detailed descriptions of the people and places, I grew really tired of being constantly reminded how handsome and beautiful and perfect both Max and Awena are, by every character th
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes there's nothing better than a good old fashioned British "cozy." In this case, there's more than a bit of tongue-in-cheek despite the setting in a village known as "Nether Monkslip." (Doesn't that make you want to visit? It did it for me.) Then there's the main character, Father Max Tudor, very handsome - even dashing? - former MI5, now an Anglican priest and vicar of St. Edwolt's. Father Max has become an unofficial investigator for the local inspector who is a terrier in his own way ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Fatal Winter

My "in a nutshell" summary...Father Max...lives in a quaint village with an odd housekeeper, a cat and a dog, and a penchant for solving mysteries.  

My thoughts after reading this book...

Thank goodness for the cast of characters because this was the kind of amazing English mystery that I love and yet have trouble keeping everyone's names correct.  There is the very very rich Lord Footrustle and there is everyone else who is either related to him or was once married to
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
The first novel in this mystery series by G.M. Malliet, Wicket Autumn, introduced readers to the former MI5 Agent turned Anglican Vicar Max Tudor who assists police with murder investigations. This second novel in the series, A Fatal Winter, draws him to the lavish setting of Chedrow Castle (outside of the Village of Nether Monkslip where he is asked by DCI Cotton to investigate the savage murder of the 75 year old Oscar, the 8th Earl of Foootrustle and seemingly natural death of his twin sister ...more
Dawn Michelle

I really like Max Tudor. And I really like all the people in the village where he lives [even though they are a bunch of gossiping biddies who really aren't a bad sort, just bored]. And I really like Awena Owen and the relationship she has with Max and their willingness to try at it even though their theologies don't exactly mix and mesh.

THAT said - this book was....horrible. NOT the parts with Max and DCI Cotton and Awena and the villagers; those were enjoyable as always. BUT the people w
Trudy Pomerantz
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Despite its many inadequacies, I could actually see myself reading a couple more of this series. I found overall the story did work. What didn't I like? Well, if this priest is anything to go by, the Anglican church is in a great deal of trouble (and it is). The kind of God that Father Max was portrayed as believing in bears little resemblance to the Christian God, in my not so humble opinion. God seemed more as an opportunity for Max to spout off some applicable platitude to make everyone feel ...more
Darcia Helle
Sometimes I come across a book that leaves me shrugging my shoulders with a kind of "So what?" feeling. This was one of those books.

The pros:

There is an intriguing array of characters. The family dynamics gave the story both tension and humor.

The whodunit mystery allows readers to play detective along with the characters.

The cons:

The pace is quite slow. Nothing much happens for the almost the first third of the book.

Part I, the first 30 or so pages, is an information dump. All the characters
Nancy Butts
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
After the promise of the 1st book in this series, WICKED AUTUMN, I was disappointed in this installment. The author is skilled, and she's got some great ideas: the village of Nether Monkslip, the mystery du jour of each book, and the character of Max Tudor. But something is lost in translation from germinal idea to actual book. She head hops to a destructive degree, does far too much telling when it's convenient for her plot, and her characterization of her village characters—especially Max and ...more
Carolyn Hill
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
No doubt that G. M. Malliet is intelligent, well-educated, and with a wicked sense of humor, however I felt that her second Max Tudor mystery just dragged. It's never a good sign when I have to push myself to pick up the book and finish it, when neither the story nor, especially, the characters fully engage my attention or sympathies. As is often the case, the murder victim was not well-liked - a super wealthy earl who had been rapacious in his business practices and monumentally uncaring toward ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Max Tudor, MI-5 agent turned vicar in southwest England, returns in this sequel to Wicked Autumn. In this go-round, Oscar, Lord Footrustle, invites his estranged family -- children by various ex-wives, grasping ex-wife, nephews and others -- to join him at Chedrow Castle at Christmas time. This being a British cozy, one of his nearest and dearest of course ushers Lord Footrustle out of this world and into the next long before Christmas Eve. Before Father Tudor unravels the mystery, there will be ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
The plot and writing is good. The characters, except Max, are AWFUL. I almost didn't finish this audiobook. I kept thinking for the last three hours of the book that I didn't have to finish it.

This is an Agatha Christie style mystery with a snow-bound castle fille with murder suspects. Christie's books have a good amount of humor in them which might have offset the horribleness of the characters but this book doesn't. Also it dragged along to give the characters many chances to demonstrate thei
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is coming up to the season of goodwill when Max Tudor, Anglican Priest and former MI5 agent becomes involved in investigating the murder of Oscar, Lord Footrustle. He is invited to stay at Oscar's castle home where all the relatives are gathered ready to celebrate Christmas.

No one seems to know why Oscar had invited everyone for Christmas since he didn't really get on with most of them. His sister, Leticia, Lady Banyard was also found dead at about the same time as Oscar's murder is discover
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
There are much better books than this one.
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it

Well, a bit of a slow start, not just in introducing all the new characters, but the whole part early on where Max and Awena go on a date and talk about religions and history and enjoy the wine and stars and coo about karma and I’m sure it was great for them, but have you have ever watched two people on a date? Unless a fight breaks out and dinner rolls start getting tossed, that kind of shoompiness is boring in the extreme to observe.

Anyway, an extended family of aristocrats, none of whom have
Susan Hulstine
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-quit-on, cozy
Well-written but overly wordy. It reminds me of the 19th century writers like Dickens who were paid by the word.
Most of the characters are unlikeable -- mean-spirited, selfish, and shallow. And those are the church members. The exceptions are a neopagan love interest of the vicar and Max Tudor himself (who says he believes in karma). She goes on for two pages about the Druids and how they were "not so different from contemplative monks". The difference is Christ, not karma. Strange to me that a
Vickie Buenger
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm sort of unclear on the concept of how an Anglican vicar could drop out of his congregation's life long enough to move to a local castle and solve a double murder or why the police would actually encourage it or how it would work for said vicar to fall for a new age shopkeeper (how do you explain that to your bishop?). And finally, how are we going to keep Max Tudor in murders enough to keep the series going when he lives in a teeny-tiny and quite isolated village where the one murder in the ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this book up as part of the "Blind Date with a Book" exhibit at the public library. It was wrapped in brown paper and labeled "A British mystery." I am glad I did. I enjoyed the book and will be reading the rest of the series. Sometimes things all seems to come together and this is one of those times. I am currently watching "Grantchester," a PBS show about a vicar that solves crimes in the 1950s. I am also enjoying working my way through the Louise Penny mystery series which follows qu ...more
Lord Oscar Footrustle and and his twin sister Lady Leticia die on the same day at their shared home of Chedrow Castle. She died of natural causes, perhaps in reaction to her brother's murder. Just before these deaths the Footrustle family had come from near and far for a family reunion of sorts at the request of Oscar. There is his estranged daughter Jocasta and her American husband Simon, Oscar's much younger ex-wife Gwynyth (whom everyone in the family considers a gold digger), and their two c ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book for so many reasons. I believe Malliet must be the reincarnation of Agatha Christie and some popular present day satirist/ comedian. Max Tutor is a handsome Anglican priest who used to be a MI-5 agent. His church is located in the small English village of Nether Monkslip, with all the foibles and characters one would expect to inhabit such a village. But Malliet has updated their thoughts and actions to fit expertly into the twenty-first century.

Max is a combination of Hercule
Ken Montville
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This one is a little more tightly written than the first book - Wicked Autumn - in the series but it runs a little long. G.M. Malliet tends to take a chapter to explore each character in her book, one at a time. This is a double edged sword. It makes for a somewhat complex, nuanced book yet there are several characters that are really on the periphery that don't need the in depth exposition.

Still, it's a captivating read with lots of twists. The main characters are highly sympathetic and this no
John Lee
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This is my third novel by this author. I couldnt make my mind up about the first two and I am still left with a feeling that I should have enjoyed it more than I did. Dont get me wrong. It was OK but why did I find it so hard going when it had so much about it that I enjoy.

As with the other books, the author spends plenty of time in the early stages painting good clear pictures of the characters who are to play the leading roles although throughout the book I found myself referring back to the f
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly delightful!! This is a classic cozy in the hands of a master. It's got all the elements: wealthy father/uncle, isolated setting, house full of hopeful anxious relatives/suspects, holiday gathering and sudden death. But the local police detective has an ace up his sleeve - Enter the vicar, Max Tudor, a former MI5 operative who has "the heart of a vicar and the soul of a detective."

Everyone has a motive and no one has a solid alibi. Strong character development propels the story and the a
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Well written and very enjoyable.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An unexpected delight, this book was won in a Goodreads giveaway. Max Tudor is a former MI5 agent, with a tragic secret in his past involving his late best friend and fellow agent. Now, an Anglican priest, he is called to investigate two deaths at Chedrow Castle. It's a traditional English mystery with all the favourite elements, old country house, rich elderly owner, gathering all the rival feuding relatives for a family get together and a real old fashion Christmas, to decide how to change his ...more
Jenn Estepp
More literate than your average, run-of-the-mill cozy, although I don't think it's always successful. Meaning, it's super wordy and could really have been edited down by at least fifty pages, perhaps more. At times, the murder(s) at hand seemed to be entirely forgotten, while we dwelt endlessly on what a pensive dreamboat Father Max is. The romance that he becomes involved in - and the other bits that tried to meld events in town with the mystery at the castle - felt a bit awkward and forced to ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was the second Max Tudor (retired MI agent turned Anglican priest in a small village) mystery, after Wicked Autumn. The premise is familiar- a very rich man invites family for visit over holidays and a murder occurs. Max is invited to help policy find the killer. It's a bit convoluted, the characters are interesting, and it was quite enjoyable. Malliet is not one of my favorite mystery writers (that list includes a variety of types of writing: Laurie King, MC Beaton, Evelyn Smith, Elizabeth ...more
Nathalie S
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite enjoyed this second adventure of dishy Father Max Tudor ex-MI5 hottie. Author G.M. Malliet, as well as crafting an intriguing mystery, has a humorous way to describing such things as the local villagers' dancing, among other things. "Frank in particular exhibited a unique style of dancing, arms and legs flailing, like someone trying to saddle a recalcitrant pony, while Elka Garth looked like she might be trying to start up a power Frank, who for the past few minutes had rese ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Definitely not my favorite in the series. I much prefer the village setting of Nether Monkship. Max, former MI5 agent and now an Anglican priest, is called to Chedrow Castle by DI Cotton. Two bodies have been found and there are questions about the causes of their deaths. The long lost and greedy relatives of Lord Footrustle and Lady Baynard (twins) have been invited to the castle for the Christmas festivities, but not for death. This was more like a locked room mystery. Locked castle in this ca ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My attention was thoroughly in tune with this modern day throwback to the Golden Age of British mysteries. This is the 2nd in a series featuring former MI-5 agent and now man of the cloth Father Max Tudor. It's not a stuffy Father Brown-type of poised in an armchair contemplating adventure; it has more blood running through its vein of pages ... both literally and figuratively. It has all the trappings of those cozy investigations (suspects held by police at a castle manor home at a wintery sea ...more
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G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just and Max Tudor mysteries as well as the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE. She lives on the East Coast of the US but all of her books are set in the UK, her home away from home for part of every year.

She received an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and did further graduate work at Oxford University. Upon her return to the US,
More about G.M. Malliet

Other books in the series

Max Tudor (7 books)
  • Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor #1)
  • 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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