Tuesday, May 24, 2016
G.M. Malliet, A FATAL WINTER
I have to admit, I don't usually go for cozies ... but I enjoyed this one, the second in a series featuring a former-MI5-agent-turned-Anglican-priest in the small town of the charmingly named Nether Monkslip! And if he is virtually flawless--a total hottie who's brilliant and charming and does dishes, for God's sake--well, perhaps all the better. In this book, the dysfunctional Footrustle family gathers at Chedrow Castle for Christmas, and the lord and his twin sister both die in the same day, although not in the same way. Naturally, suspicion falls on one of the visitors. Max heads to the castle to assist the police and solve the crime. To be honest, it felt to me as though Max pulled the solution out of thin air at the end; perhaps this was because clues such as the barcode on the apple were withheld from the reader. But I enjoyed this book, largely for (of all things) the humorous asides and the references to everything from Harry Potter to Madame Defarge to Sense and Sensibility. I kept scribbling little smile faces in the margin, next to phrases: "The large portrait of a man whose mustaches deserved a painting all to themselves ..."; "Oscar has been called the Voldemort of Fleet Street"; and the plain-speaking servant: "It was as if she thought we were all living in some daft production of Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey."