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A Demon Summer (Max Tudor #4)
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A Demon Summer (Max Tudor #4)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  985 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
*Nominated for the 2014 Agatha Award*

Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, and Pagan Spring, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome former-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor.

In A Demon Summer, someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Helen I find the americanisms annoying and mildly distracting, but I enjoy this series despite them, possibly because it depicts clergy in tune with the…moreI find the americanisms annoying and mildly distracting, but I enjoy this series despite them, possibly because it depicts clergy in tune with the modern world, like those I know.
Incidentally, I'm Australian.(less)
Kat The only reason that you might need to know about a Tudor for this book is in relation to the dissolution of the monasteries and convents under Henry…moreThe only reason that you might need to know about a Tudor for this book is in relation to the dissolution of the monasteries and convents under Henry VIII. I suspect you'd be able to understand the plot of the book without it though. As Lorraine points out, the book's detective just happens to have Tudor as a last name. (less)

Community Reviews

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Ivonne Rovira
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed all of G.M. Malliet’s novels featuring the handsome, perspicacious, and kind Anglican priest Max Tudor; however, while I enjoy the two that were set in Tudor’s own village of Nether Monkslip, Father Max really comes into his own when he’s away from his home turf, as in Demon Summer and A Fatal Winter.

Tudor, a former MI-5 agent turned country vicar, answers an urgent summons from his bishop, who sends him to snoop out the doings at Monkbury Abbey, a convent of the Anglo-Catholic nuns of
Lisa Ahlstedt
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
The story was OK, concerning the death of a man in a convent that takes in occasional lodgers, but the denoument went on forever. All of the principle characters were brought together in one room (in the greatest cozy mystery tradition) but then then Max Tudor, the detective investigating the murder, proceeds to go on and on (and on!) for ages, pointing the finger of guilt at first one character and then another before finally revealing the truth. Of course, by this time, the reader has dozed of ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first three Max Tudor novels, but found this one to be rough going. This one removes Max from the village entirely, placing him in an abbey, where a murder has been committed. In part because we don't get the characters of the village, and in part because the mystery is resolved by a deus ex machina letter, rather than by Max actually figuring it out based on clues available to the reader, this book isn't nearly as clever or charming as the first three. I'll give her another try if s ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audio
This superb series has covered all the seasons with this fourth book. It's an awesomely humorous and mysterious book that combines Agatha Christie, Louise Penny and Dan Brown----and Malliet mentions all three authors' works within this book so cleverly too.

Former MI-5 operative Max Tutor, is called upon by his Bishop to travel to Monksbury Abby to check on some unusual financial issues with the records from the Handmaids of St Lucy nunnery. Max also finds himself investigating a suspicious frui
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the first Max Tudor mystery I have read, and while I will probably go back and read one more just to see if I am any more intrigued, so far, the most I can do is sort of shrug and say,"bleh." The whole idea of an Anglican priest with a past as a spy is, well, far-fetched, but at the same time fun, and his love affair with a neo-pagan, is the same way: totally far fetched but sort of attention getting. The setting in a medieval-leaning abbey? Okay. But good grief the dragged out nature of ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Lord Lislelivet claims he was poisoned by a fruit cake he received when he stayed at Monksbury Abbey, Max Tudor's Bishop asks him to investigate. The nuns at the abbey make fruit cakes for sale to guests and visitors among other things and provide accommodation for people on retreats.

Surprised that the Bishop has actually asked him to use his sleuthing abilities and worried that he is leaving fiancée, Awena on her own so close to the birth of their child, Max goes to stay at the Abbey for
Debra Hennessey
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not what I expected after reading the other Max Tudor books. I love cozies but this one was so cozy it was like a sleeping pill. Over long, over complicated, no fun.
I enjoy the clever and eccentric characters in G. M. Malliet's Max Tudor mysteries and even learning the backstories of each and every one of the nuns at the abbey where the murder has taken place. The "reveal" of the murderer, on the other hand, - the "who" and "why" - dragged on for far too long. I did enjoy the book's upbeat and hopeful ending.
One thing I have noticed about this series, though . . . the murder victims are downright evil and completely without redeeming qualities; while the mu
Sherry Mackay
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an odd mix of American and English. For instance the teenage girl uses the word 'naff' - I really don't think an American girl would use it. The spelling seems to be a mix of both, strangely. The whole thing is a bit flabby; you just want the author to get on with it. Not much happens, and there is lots of telling not showing. It's hard to understand the relationship between father max and his lover. We are told they are madly in love but we don't see much of it. Nevertheless he has made ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hoopla-audio, 2017
2.5 stars. I read this series more for the Max Tudor and Awena romance angle than for the mystery. Since Max was apart from Awena in this book, I found it less enjoyable. The mystery just went on for forever and in the end I really didn't care who did it.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok

“Murky” might be the best way to sum this up. It’s very unclear what the initial mystery is, who the characters are, when and why people are hanging around, why it’s so important Father Max be on the case, or what, exactly, the case is.

Obviously characters can be shifty and shady and not forthcoming – it is a mystery story, after all – but for the narration to have so much circumlocution just left me tilting my head in confusion over what on earth was going on and constantly wondering if I woul
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the third Father Max Tudor mystery. We met him in "Wicket Autumn", got to know him better in "A Fatal Winter," and watched him fall in love and solve another mystery in "A Pagan Spring." Now it is a hot summer - much hotter than most of Britain has been accustomed to. Max is anxiously looking forward to his marriage to Awena, who is, ironically, a practicing pagan. She has insisted on a "handfasting" as opposed to a church wedding. She is also VERY pregnant. Max is also anxious about imp ...more
Debbie Maskus
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it
As Louise Penny does in The Beautiful Mystery, G M Malliet sets the story in a religious stronghold. Malliet sets her story in a nunnery, while Penny set her story in a monastery. Both stories outline the simple life within the walls, and the difficulties that must be avoided. The livelihood of the group demands loss on individuality. Assigned positions remain for life or when the sister can no longer serve. These women live without telephones and televisions, and maintain periods of utter silen ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who enjoy British mysteries with a touch of Hercule Poiret.
Enthralling!! I felt as though I was back in England looking through an old abbey and visualing all these character and at least one relic. Boy, do I miss England ! This 'Max Tuder' mystery was much more involved than the others, but I liked it very much. Ending with the handfasting ceremony was quite touching. I learned about this ceremony when Harold II of England took Edith Swan-neck as his fandfasted wife until he officially became Harold II. While this mystery took place at Monksbury Abbey ...more
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Grade - 90% = A-


I was unable to get #3 in this series (Spring), so I had to skit it and read this one first.

Another good Father Max(en) Tudor murder mystery set near the Cornish town of Nether Monkslip.

Max is sent by his bishop to investigate the goings on at a local Abbey (population - 42 nuns - with names such as Dame Fruitcake and Dame Pet).

There are two problems: 1, a guest has gotten sick from a fruitcake containing poison berries that was left for him as a gift, an
Susan Wallace
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive, audio
Another enjoyable book in this series, I did get a kick out of all the mentions of Leonard Cohen now I want to re listen to his book.
Kevin LaGree
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
The fourth in this series. I found it tired, contrived, and formulaic; the weakest of the four. Is the final chapter a hint that the series has ended?
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a more interesting book than some of its predecessors in the series. However, it had very strong overtones of Louise Penny - including frequent repetition of the phrase "how the light gets in" from the Cohen poem, and also the title of one of Penny's novels. It's not clear what this has to do with anything other than to invoke (or pay homage) to Penny's work. Max Tudor, the former MI5 agent turned priest, is sent by his bishop to Monksbury Abbey. Lord Lislelivet claims to have been pois ...more
Louise Culmer
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
A long and very slow moving mystery set in a nunnery. The detective is Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent now an Anglican vicar (though addressed, confusingly as Father Max - since when have C of E vicars been called 'Father'?). he is sent by his bishop to investigate dodgy goings on at the nunnery, someone has been poisoned with fruitcake made by the nuns. then eventually someone dies. Max Tudor ambles through the story having long conversations with a variety of different suspects. It takes a long ...more
Katherine Hunter
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
This is the fourth in the Max Tudor mystery series. Max, a former MI5 agent, now a country vicar, is sent by his bishop to investigate the happenings at the Handmaids of St. Lucy's convent. One of their fruitcakes poisoned the 15th Earl of Lislelivet, and although it couldn't have happened to a more deserving fellow, it really isn't tickety-boo with the powers-that-be so Max scurries on over to check things out. I found the reveal to be overly long and the use of some of the jargon odd. I've nev ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with this. The typos and clumsy sentence structures had me tearing my hair out in places but the real problem was that, once I had finished the the book I still had no real idea what had gone on.
The 'mystery' was just that - nothing really important at first and I had no idea why an exMI5 officer would be asked to investigate any crime. He was a former spy, not a detective. Yes, he may have worked for the Secret Services, but that didn't mean he could solve crimes. And although I lo
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Would have rated it 4 stars, but at the exposition, "Poirot-style", Max just pulled too much info out of nowhere, nothing hinted at during the story. Still enjoyed it, though; easing off the locals in the village will keep them fresher when the action is closer to home. Also, I'm glad to see the bishop on board, finally.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This continues to be an excellent series, this time set in a convent, with a quite complex plot and interesting characters, both religious and secular.
What I love about this series is the open view of spirituality expressed by characters who are clergy, even the bishop. These clergy are more in tune with many of the real life clergy I know, rather than the caricatures often presented in fiction.
Cyn Mcdonald
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Nowhere near as good as the others in the series. A very Poirotesque reveal at the end, with a convoluted network of relationships that can't possibly be known to the reader. I felt like picketing this book with a sign reading "UNFAIR". Which is a shame, because the writing is reasonably good.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugg! What a slog. I thought listening to the audiobook would improve the series, but it was 10 hours of boredom followed by an hour of ridiculous resolution. We'll see what the book group thinks on Monday...I'm expecting an utter bloodbath of a discussion.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A mystery with engaging, real characters and setting. The resolution was unnecessarily convoluted, though. Also, and this doesn't affect the rating, my edition was full of typos.
Took forever to get going, then took forever to wrap up. It just took forever. Meh.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary, meh
Another 3.5. It was a solid 4 until the epilogue though. Also, does this author get paid by the word? Cause there seems to be a lot of repetitiveness
Rachel Brain
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best Max Tudor so far in the series. My only gripe was that the proof reading could have been better!
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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)
  • Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor #1)
  • A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor #2)
  • Pagan Spring (Max Tudor #3)
  • The Haunted Season (Max Tudor #5)
  • Devil's Breath (Max Tudor #6)
  • In Prior's Wood (Max Tudor #7)

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“Oh please tell me we're not doing the Poirot thing again — the suspects in the library with the candlestick or whatever'.

Max looked at him [DCI Cotton]. 'Fruitcake in this case. And what would you prefer? A car chase? It’s the most efficient way to flush out a killer, as Dame Agatha Christie well knew.”
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