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Friday, 31 October 2014

‘A Fatal Winter’ by G M Malliet

Published by Constable Robinson Crime,
7 November 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-0624-7

A fascinating story relating to mysterious events at Chedrow Castle which Max Tudor finds himself investigating. He is now the vicar of Nether Monkslip, a small village in England but previously he was an MI 5 agent. The eccentric inhabitants of the castle are worth study - the names alone show their quality - Lord Footrustle has a daughter Jocasta and an adopted great niece Lamorna with a solicitor Mr. Wintermute. When Lord Footrustle is murdered in his bed then Max feels he must aid the police investigation by staying at the castle among the Lord's potentially murderous relatives.

The characters are a dreadful collection of the selfish grasping sort of relatives most of us would hope to avoid and a few loyal retainers. One rather nice distinction is that the 14 year old twins are always called the Twyns. The unravelling of the deaths at Chedrow Castle is complicated but Max successfully achieves the solution and manages to reveal it in a Poirotesque finale with all the potential suspects present.

I enjoyed this very much since it is a clever mystery and involves memorable characters at the Castle and back in the village.
Reviewer: Jennifer Palmer

G M Malliet did post-graduate work at Oxford University after earning a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, the setting for her earlier series, the St. Just mysteries. Raised in a military family, she spent her childhood in Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Hawaii and has lived in places ranging from Japan to Europe, but she most enjoyed living in the U.K. She and her husband live across the river from Washington, D.C., in the colonial "village" of Old Town, Alexandria.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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