cover image The Haunted Season: A Max Tudor Novel

The Haunted Season: A Max Tudor Novel

G.M. Malliet. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-02144-1

Max Tudor worries whether he has somehow become a magnet for murder as violent death once again strikes Nether Monkslip, the English village where Max is adapting to life as a husband and parent, in Agatha Award–winner Malliet’s subpar fifth cozy featuring the former MI5 agent turned priest (after 2014’s Demon Summer). When the local lord of the manor goes for his evening horseback ride, someone stretches a length of wire across his lordship’s path, with fatal results. Inspector Cotton, Max’s friend on the force, asks him to assist with the investigation, which begins with the dead man’s family: his two grown children, his bride, and his mother, known within the family as Crazy Caroline. Some readers may find that the many names that sound as though they come straight from Wodehouse—Fugglestone Parva, the Rev. Destiny Chatsworth—distract from the mystery. The cold calculation behind the murder and the resolution of a minor subplot will strike others as contrived and implausible. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Oct.)