Someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one - particularly his wife - finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey.
The powerful Lord complains loudly to the local bishop, who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, to investigate. Just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well. Can Max Tudor solve the case and restore order in time to attend his own nuptials?
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Too sloppy to be convincing
I have listened to all the Max Tudor series, and while it began promisingly, this book is a disappointment. Obviously these are stories set in the classic legendary village in Nevernevershire; but there are some basic conventions that need to be respected to allow the 'suspension of disbelieve' that makes fiction enjoyable. Unfortunately in this book the rampant Americanisms are really distracting: no aged English nun is going to use the word 'scads', and most English people will remember the Famous Five rather than the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. The character of Max Tudor too has become thinner and flatter and far less interesting, despite the attempts to introduce excitement by the improbable device of an Anglican priest concealing from his bishop the fact that he is going to have a pagan wedding with the local white witch.
Stock characters, sloppy writing, a plot so improbable as to be uninteresting----I was quite sad, this book marked a definite step down.
I will go back to some of the classic mysteries that are being recorded---I've enjoyed listening to books by some of the early authors whom I didn't know.
No; but while he reads with good pace, he has trouble with women's voices, which always sound whiney.
I probably won't bother with any more Max Tudor books.
And by the way, this format for reviewing books is really awful. It means there is often no opportunity to say what one would really like to say about a particular book!
- Kl Love
Cozy in the extreme!
- Debbie Slater