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Pagan Spring

(Max Tudor #3)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,882 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda. But when one of the dinner guests is found dead ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  1,882 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Dec 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I will start by admitting that I like English village mysteries. Give me a picturesque little village, some eccentric but kind-hearted villagers, a murder fueled by petty local rivalries and hatreds, and I'm as happy as a clam. So when G M Malliet's Max Tudor series started to come out, I bought them right away. But after this, my third attempt at enjoying this series, I will give up. The books have all the trappings that I like, including a romance between a vicar and a New Age Wiccan, a local ...more
Jenn Estepp
3 1/2? I like this series, but I want to like this series more. Or maybe just I like it more in theory than in reality? I don't know. Looking back at my response to the first two, I find that my response to this one sort of echoes my response to those. It's very literate and well-written. It's solid and I think a lot about the world Malliet has created is appealing. The mystery is okay and, even though the pacing sometimes felt uneven, I read through it very quickly.

However, I also find it
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the third Max Tudor mystery, and I believe it is Malliet's best yet. Reading this is like reading an Agatha Christie. I love the slight tongue-in-cheek as the characters are introduced. The writing group, Writers' Squared is absolutely spot on. (And that apostrophe is VERY important.) Max is invited to dinner. The love of his life, Awena, New Age free spirit and owner of an herb/crystals/natural cooking business, is away doing a cooking class.

Of course everyone knows that Max and Awena
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'd have to disagree with most reviewers here and say that I think this series is getting worse as it progresses, not better. Max, Awena, and the rest of the residents of Nether Monkslip are as charming as ever, but the mystery here barely made any sense, and the solve largely came from a whole bunch of information thrown in at the end. The clues sprinkled throughout prior to that couldn't be pieced together in any realistic way by the reader. Meh.
Dawn Michelle
MUCH better than the second one. Whew!!!
Much of this book was sad - while no one deserves to be murdered, it is tough when the reasons behind the murder make you both seethe and cry; the reveal for this one was tough. It did make for a very good book. And what happens at the end is completely unexpected! Good read.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: england, did-not-like
The first book in this series was excellent, exactly what one expects from a British cozy. And because the other series was so outstanding I had high expectations of this series. Unfortunately, the author peaked too soon because it went down hill from there, fast.
This is one of the few books that I've ever read that I just couldn't finish. I had to MAKE myself finish it. For one thing, there is more romance than mystery. It was all about his longing for her and hers for him after only a day
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In G.M. Malliet’s third novel in the series, handsome and perspicacious Anglican priest Max Tudor investigates the death of Thaddeus Bottle, a bullying has-been character actor murdered in his bed. At the top of the list of suspects are Bottle’s beleaguered trophy wife, Melinda; her lover, local architect Farley Walker; several of Thaddeus Bottle’s previous sexual conquests, and some of the members of the village of Nether Monkslip’s writers’ circle.

As in the two previous novels — the
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Another murder in Nether Monkslip which Father Max Tudor tries to solve.

I got to admit, this one bored me most of the time.
I started with the second book in the series, a Fatal Winter, which I liked very much. So I bought the first one, Wicked Autumn, to be rather disappointed but I argued that the third one, Pagan Spring, would probably be as good as the second one in the series. Nope. It was even less enticing than the first one. The author prattles on and on about things we already know
Trudy Pomerantz
May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Well, the characters are not as wooden as in the previous books - or such caricatures. But, having the priest verbally chastise someone for dressing immodestly in church -as if a male minister would ever really be able to make a comment on what a teen is wearing in real life- while having sex outside marriage is past ridiculous. Like God cares more about how someone is dressed for worship but doesn't care about sex outside of marriage? Really?

I don't think I'll bother reading the next book when
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
PAGAN SPRING returns us to the small English village of Nether Monkslip where Max Tutor is an ex MI5 agent turned Anglican priest. His love life with the controversial spiritualist, Awena Owins, continues to blossom. Max also steps into a new possible murder. Thaddeus Bottle has moved back to a hugely renovated mansion in his family's home village. But humble he is not. Everything is about him and his desires. He desire is to be the center of everything, and his recent dinner party brings some ...more
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
G.M. Malliet is the champion of the contemporary cozy mystery---perfectly balancing Golden Age detective charm with present-day sensibilities. Following the superior 'A Fatal Winter (2013), this recent entry skillfully provides a satisfying resolution and intriguing backstory as to the culprit's motivation for dispatching the loathsome victim, while further developing the burgeoning relationship between the former MI5 operative-turned village Anglican cleric-turned amateur sleuth, and his ...more
Kathleen Ernst
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
G.M. Malliet has created a marvelous series that pays homage to Agatha Christie, but is also fresh and new. Sometimes funny, always charming, this modern series is set in a small English village with a former spy now serving as vicar--and sometimes sleuth. In a crowded genre, Malliet's voice is original and unique.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it

We start off with Max Tudor attending an extremely awkward dinner party where various village members, old and new, have some strained conversation along with the excellent food and drink. There is clearly some old history there, along with one of the new neighbors being a pretentions bore that leaves even the kindly vicar longing to punch him in the face.

It’s no surprise which one of them turns up dead the next morning, and Max is on the case to determine who murdered one of “his” villagers,
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I want to like this series more than I do. 2.5 rounded up.
Susan Stonesifer
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice to visit Father Max again, although I don’t know that I would want to move to Nether Monkslip with its rash of murders!
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
G.M. Malliet's mysteries always take me back to the old-fashioned traditional mysteries set in small English villages. Pagan Spring, with the cast of characters listed in the front of the book, its slow pace, and the gradual reveal of the mystery through in-depth character studies and conversation, is a perfect homage to those old mysteries.

Max Tudor, the MI5 agent turned Anglican priest, is very happy with life in Nether Monkslip in the southwest of England. He's in love with Awena Owen who
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
The vicar is the hero and the heartthrob in Pagan Spring (St. Martin's Press, purchased e-book), the third in G.M. Malliet's witty series featuring Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent whose sleuthing skills were tested in Wicked Autumn and A Fatal Winter. Max has had little problem fitting into the village life of postcard-pretty Nether Monkslip, although he's disappointed the ladies by taking up with Alwena Owen, a New Age herbalist. But several newcomers trouble the community's apparent serenity, ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Murder seems to be following Church of England Vicar Max Tudor around. He attends a dinner party in Nether Monkslip and later that night one of the guests is found dead. Who could have been responsible? There are plenty of suspects and DCI Cotton needs Max's help to unravel the mystery.

Max has found happiness in his private life but fears he may have to choose between his vocation and his life if his Bishop fails to understand about Awena's religious beliefs.

This once again is a book which takes
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this series and I plan to continue reading, BUT...and it's a big but... this protagonist... I just don't know what to think. Is Malliet writing from her own experience as an Anglican? Is the Church of England's practice and beliefs really so vastly different from the Christian faith in America? This is the religious leader of this community and he's sleeping around!! What the what?! Bad enough that he's considering marriage to a woman who is an unbeliever (to the extreme), but he's ...more
Rita	 Marie
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another delightful visit to my favorite English village -- Nether Monkslip. Romance between our hero, cleric Max Tudor, and Awena Owen, who prefers a more 'open' approach to spiritual values, is proceeding nicely. But obnoxious Thaddeus Bottle has been murdered and absolutely everyone has a motive. Who wouldn't want to kill this jerk? Much work for Max, but he is up to the challenge.

Other villagers, including the 'Writers Square,' attempt to solve the mystery as well, resulting in much
Debbie Maskus
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I am thoroughly enjoying the audiobooks in the Max Tudor series---I do miss the character list at the beginning of each book and the guide to Nether Monkslip. This centers on spring, on rebirth, on love, but also mingles the horror stories of WWII. The characters jump out of the book and enter the reader's world. I adore the descriptions of the various settings and especially the talk of food. The book contains many surprises, which I will not disclose. A horrible, conceited actor dies and ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed time spent with Father Max once again. Three stars means I like the book: easy to read, an English cozy mystery. Did I know the culprit right away? Yes. Did that matter? Not really. Something - ill-defined in this instance - keeps my rating at a comfortable three stars rather than four.

Recommend: I like the series but suggest starting with the first in series Wicked Autumn.
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I love this series, but this latest one didn't work very well, in my opinion. It felt like two half-books that were folded together -- the "pagan spring" near the town, all the familiar characters of Nether Monkslip -- and then rather out of nowhere, the story of betrayal in WWII in occupied France...didn't blend together well enough for me. I hope there are more books, and that the next one is better constructed.
Susan Pola Staples
I'm reading the book out of sequence, as the copy is a library one and the second book still hasn't come it. But what my senses tell me, Maxen and Awena became a couple sometime in the second book, A FATAL WINTER.

This book begins in March shortly after the Spring Solstice and Easter is on the horizon. Maxen is struggling with his Sunday sermon, a passage in St. Paul. Awena is teaching a series of classes/lectures on 'cooking and curing with herbs' at the WI Denman College in Oxfordshire..
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one afternoon. It is a cozy, English mystery and as it was snowing and cold, it was the perfect book to snuggle up on the couch with. I like the main characters (they have appeared in two other books by this author) and the plot was good. I didn't figure out "who done it" but it all made sense in the end. And the author leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger! I can't wait for the next one.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favourite 'cozy mystery' series, featuring former spy turned cleric Max Tudor. When a self-absorbed, aging actor is found dead in his new home in Nether Monkslip, Max deduces that his death is not a natural one; the little English town is once more the scene of a nasty murder. This is the third novel in this series; I am anxious to read the next.
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Quite a long setup, but I like the motives for the murder, the back story. I still feel that a lot of the book could have been cut with a bit of editing - like Max's long musings on Awena, which bored me out of my wits.
Selah Pike
2.5 stars. This series has never been more than OK for me, and this book was a step down. There were bothersome inconsistencies, little in the way of character development, and Father Max just plain made me mad once (see reading activity). I'll not be bothering with the rest of the series.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Good cozy mystery in a continuing series starring Father Max Tudor.
Heidi Burkhart
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am a big mystery fan and especially enjoy the details that Malliet includes in her books. Her characters feel genuine and the story is always captivating.
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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,

Other books in the series

Max Tudor (7 books)
  • Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor #1)
  • A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor #2)
  • 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)