cover image Pagan Spring: A Max Tudor Novel

Pagan Spring: A Max Tudor Novel

G.M. Malliet. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-02140-3

Contemporary cozies don’t get much better than Agatha-winner Malliet’s third Max Tudor mystery (after 2012’s A Fatal Winter). A former MI5 agent turned Anglican vicar, Tudor has made a new beginning in the English village of Nether Monkslip, where he’s been fortunate enough to find the love of his life, Awena Owen, though her religious views quite differ from his own. Tudor once again slips into sleuthing mode after a mysterious death following a dinner honoring playwright and actor Thaddeus Bottle, who recently retired with his wife to Nether Monkslip, his boyhood home. Familiar elements include a polarizing figure whom many wish ill, the planting of red herrings, and a well-clued solution, but Malliet isn’t content simply to update the golden age template. Between her unusual lead, his love interest, and the other village residents, she’s created well-thought-out characters who are much more than stereotypes, and has added plenty of wry humor to boot. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Oct.)