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Summary

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 in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip. Connections to long-ago crimes, some sparked by the paintings of a famous local artist, help Max unravel the clues - but can he restore peace to Nether Monkslip and still manage to finish his sermon?

©2013 G.M. Malliet (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic reviews

"Contemporary cozies don't get much better than Agatha-winner Malliet's third Max Tudor mystery." ( Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great characters

ive recently ventured to go for modern writers of the crime mystery scene. and this one is fantastic , id like to meet a vicar like Max Tudor, makes me think of moving to village life :)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Byron
  • 29-10-13

Great book for Agatha Christie fans!

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 upstanding townspeople to his home so they can properly admire the "celebrity" amongst them. But perhaps everyone is not quit so enamored as he might have hoped, as he's dead by the next morning.

Malliet fills her book with wonderful dry English humor, exquisite small town cliches, lovely clues, and characters that definitely entertain the senses. In this particular book, she also deal thoughtfully with some very serious subject matter from World War 2. Must read for cozy fans who want everything a cozy promises plus some excellent commentary on serious matters. Her best one yet!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathi
  • 14-12-13

Wish there were more "seasons" in the year!

I really enjoy the Max Tudor mysteries, and this one did not disappoint in any way. The characters are well developed, and the mystery is fun to try to solve as the story progresses. This series has so far utilized Autumn and Winter--and presumably the next one will be summer. I wonder where GM Malliet will go after that? I pray there will be more Max Tudor books for a long time to come (note to author--you could go for the months, the days, the zodiac signs, --anything--just keep on writing :-) The narration is excellent! A great read!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • sslarigo
  • 07-02-16

I really wanted to like this series, but . . .

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I really wanted to like this series. It has some great characters and some interesting twists and turns, but after having read the first 3 books I am going to give up. Father Max has the potential to be a strong lead, but honestly, if the author didn't keep reminding me of his background and how much the villagers (especially the women) were impressed with him I would think of him as a shallow, mostly ineffective character. He just never seems to me to warrant the complements that the other characters continue to give him. He doesn't seem to have great sleuthing skills and his internal monologue is almost whining. When he "solves" the case it seems to be in a vacuum -- he has lots of wrong guesses and then gets quiet and suddenly springs out the solution. Frustrating and disappointing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sylvia
  • 18-01-15

A very complex story that is totally addictive!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pagan Spring?

Gabby's telling of her history was shocking and spell-binding (and happens in the last hour of the book).

What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Michael Page's narration is melodious. He keeps the voices of the characters separate, so it is clear who is saying what. This is very important in a complex murder mystery. He is able to characterize each one so that it is not just a different voice, but it sounds like that character "ought to" sound based on personality, back story, etc.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

You bet! In fact, the past few days, I listened to the first, second, and now this, the third book in the series. Addictive!

Any additional comments?

I enjoy this narrator so much, and the rhythm of the stories, that if I've found I did not fully hear or take in some of the story, I will run it back to hear it again. I do this frequently. Quite enjoyable with these stories and narrator.
Also, the relationship between Max and Awena takes a shocking turn! I will not spoil it for you. But I CANNOT WAIT till my next month's credits so I can listen to the fourth book! (Sadly, I MUST wait...)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-03-16

too much perfection

too much talk about his perfect mate and not enough mystery. sick of perfect people who are beautiful and have small feet and are successful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 04-01-16

Complex plot, interesting characters

Definitely a cozy but more serious and deep than most cozies. I like the series - I am getting to know some of the village regulars.

I could listen to Michael Page all night!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Book Maven
  • 30-07-15

This series gets better and better

The characters and their stories are richer with each new book. I hope the series will continue for a long time. I enjoy my brief forays into Nether Monkslip and look forward to Father Max and his friends and parishioners very soon. This is not a preachy religious series by far but a world of real people and their problems and joys all told and narrated brilliantly by a good author and a sensitive, knowing narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raymond
  • 07-04-14

Very disappointing

What disappointed you about Pagan Spring?

I had read a good review of this novel. I am disappointed that the story was predictable, the characters were wooden types, the language was arch and there were numerous mistakes in the plotting.

What could G. M. Malliet have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was over-reaching. He tried to do too many unusual voices instead of just reading.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elisabeth
  • 29-03-18

OK

Any additional comments?

Not the best in the series so far, but it contains lots of humor. It was easy to figure out who the killer was though there is a rather elaborate info dump/mea culpa at the end. Max's ability to deduce the killer's identity really comes out of left field with no legitimate explanation. Max is practically mooning because Awena is out of town; this is not an attractive trait. The next book needs better plotting. Fingers crossed.

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  • Vita Markman
  • 03-02-18

Another Max Tudor book with an unusual twist

This book in the max Tudor series, while still keeps very consistent with the characters and does a terrific job of portraying life in quiet village has a storyline a bit more convoluted and to my taste less logical than the previous books . still definitely worth a listen . narration is fantastic.