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Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor #1)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,526 Ratings  ·  672 Reviews
A delightful new cosy crime series starring Max Tudor. In 'Wicked Autumn', G M Malliet serves up an irresistible English village - deliciously skewered - a flawed but engaging protagonist and a brilliantly modern version of the traditional locked room mystery.

Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 18th 2013 by Constable & Robinson (first published 2011)
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Richard Derus
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
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, new-to-me, 2013
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
A fun and entertaining read in the rural 'cosy' crime mould, a bit like Christie meets Midsomer Murders but with just the one corpse. Even less realistic than the crime is the notion that a modern English village might boast a manned railway station, two pubs and a whole array of small shops. At first the idea that Nether Monkslip could support a butcher, baker and candlemaker seemed laughable. That said, the candlemaker is actually believeable; it is small shops selling essentials that no longe ...more
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
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.25 Adequate English cozy mystery

+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.

-The crime is uber cliche and pretty
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
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary Ronan Drew
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
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Joan Curtis
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
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
La Tonya  Jordan
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gwyneth Stewart
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carolyn Hill
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this on the new books shelf at the library, though it's not that new, which says something about the local library. Ah well. The endorsement by Louise Penny was enough for me to give it a try. This is a cozy mystery set in the perfect English village of Nether Monkslip (gotta love that name). To my surprise, I found the author is an American, albeit one educated in England who spent a good deal of time there. The humor was appropriately dry, with a slight undertone of snarkiness, ...more
Max Tudor, traumatized by the death of his partner and his own injuries, both spiritual and physical, realized almost too late the importance of the human spirit and the ties that bind us all together under God. When he did, however, he left his harrowing life as an MI-5 agent to become the vicar in the small village of Nether Monkslip, where he has lived for the past two years, reveling in the peace and tranquility he has found there. Despite the little foibles of village life, including nosy n ...more

I am going to start writing these "In a Nutshell" synopsis for books I've read. I have very often, after some time and so many books, forgotten plot points and/or endings of books I've read. Then, when wanting to discuss the book with a someone I've struggled to find anyone on the internet willing to spill the beans to refresh my memory. Perhaps I am not the only one and these will come in handy for others as well. These few major plot po
Nov 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this one, unfortunately, because I really wanted to like it. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Hamish Macbeth series, full of eccentric minor characters and abundant in small-town charm. This really felt too forced, though, and it took way too long to set everything up. Granted, this is intended to be the first in a series, but I wanted to put the book down and not finish it on several occasions. But I also really wanted to know who did it. And the second ha ...more
As a fan of G.M. Malliet, I was surprised that this newest novel didn't resonate as well with me as previous ones. I am blaming it on the tardy appearance of connection of the main character, Max Tudor, with the other characters of the village Nether Monkslip. Not until after the 200-page mark of this 297 page book did Max have any really personal conversation or connection to another village resident, this being with Awena Owen, owner of Goddessspell, the village's New Age shop. With Max being ...more
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

Humorous and compassionate, G. M. Malliet's Wicked Autumn is a real treat for lovers of British mystery. Set in the small, quiet English village of Nether Monkslip, the novel features Max Tudor, an ex-MI5 agent turned Anglican vicar, as the amateur sleuth. Max shares the stage with as collection of villagers as delightfully offbeat as you will find outside Margery Allingham's Campion series.

Malliet is scrupulously fair in presenting the reader
Larry Piper
Well, once again, I feel bad. I really should have liked this book. We've got a former spy who turned into an Anglican priest. I have a fondness for Anglican clergy. We've got an eccentric, small British village. I love old-time small British village life. We've got quirky characters galore. I love quirky characters. My spouse liked the book and recommended it. My spouse used to be my greatest source of reading material, and she's done a rather good job lo all these many years. But...I didn't re ...more
3 STARS | THE UPSIDE: The first quarter of this novel captured me right away, with the introduction of the inhabitants of Nether Monkslip, a village reminiscent of the Midsomer villages of Caroline Graham. My hardback edition included a charming map on the endpapers, a bonus I always welcome. I knew I'd be in for a great read. And sure enough, the humor in the writing, laugh-out-loud similes, and the character's reactions to the overbearing Wanda Batton-Smythe, president of the Women's Institute ...more
Wicked Autumn was my first cozy novel after taking a break from the dystopian genre. I really liked the concept and plot of Wicked Autumn. However I felt the writing was at times bogged down with too much detail (on a Dickinsonian level). It was not a "page turner." I think the dystopian genre rather spoiled me on that front. Max Tudor is an intriguing protagonist. I got the impression that we learned just enough of Max's back story to be relavant to Wicked Autumn. There is more to say about his ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book.

First of all, I have read everything Agatha Christie ever wrote, so I'm coming from a fan position.

The setting is a St Mary Mead type village, only slightly updated to come up to a current age. The people are the same type of people Miss Marple encountered, with the same types of problems. The story is an Agatha Christie type plot.

What is different is the writing, which is much more current and more sarcastic. I loved it. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"As he start
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate Baxter
This is the first book in G. M. Malliet's new Max Tudor mystery series. We are introduced firstly to the members of the Women's Institute of Nether Monkslip, a bucolic English country village. For the sake of their charitable fundraising mission, they place their differences of personality behind them and plow forward readying themselves for the Harvest Fayre.

Everything is proceeding as it should until former MI5 Operative, now Anglican vicar, Max Tudor, along with Guy Nicholls discover the dead
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasant surprise, and ended a long string of duds from the library.

Max Tudor is a former MI5 agent who has become an Anglican vicar. He's taken over a church in an English backwater dominated by the bossy Wanda.

Somebody takes advantage of the bossy W.'s severe allergy to peanuts to kill her. Tudor helps the investigation along — in fact, he pretty much solves it.

Max ruminates a lot — there's a fair bit of interior monologue. It works.

There's also some angst, more on the Eric Ambler
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G.M. Malliet’s first St. Just mystery won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a best book of the year. It was nominated for several awards, including the Anthony, the Macavity, and a Left Coast Crime award for best police procedural. She has since been nominated for nearly every major crime-writing award, including the Anthony (audiobook and short story) ...more
More about G.M. Malliet...

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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“For it was a truth universally acknowledged that a single vicar must be in want of a wife.” 5 likes
“Every seed that produces this miraculous bounty has the code that will heal all ills - and a sprout travels from the darkness towards the light, just as we all must do. We simply aren't evolved enough yet to understand how it all fits together.” 2 likes
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