- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1420 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250092787
- Publisher: Constable (11 April 2017)
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MEE6Z0H
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 38 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #394,313 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Devil's Breath (Max Tudor Book 6) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 304 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Praise for the Max Tudor Series
"The Father Max Tudor books are just excellent. G.M. Malliet has crafted the English village of our dreams, with interesting small shops, a variety of inhabitants, and the local priest . . . who happens to be a former MI5 agent and also very handsome. Who wouldn't want to live in Nether Monkshood? Here's the fly in the ointment: people always die there, in the most unexpected and unpleasant ways. Though Max's personal life is a source of contention (Awena, his beloved, is a pagan), Max's ability to unravel a mystery is superb."--Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"It's great to see the return of Malliet's wit in a high-seas whodunit that deftly skewers the Hollywood high life."--Kirkus Reviews on Devil's Breath
"Charming... enjoyable... This is a cozy little addition to a cozy little series, a cozy little niche in the world of cozy corner mysteries." --Library Journal on Devil's Breath
"With a cast of showy characters aboard, the who and why possibilities are ripe for entertainment... Malliet knows how to set a scene, and here she has lots of fun with the movie-world cast." --Booklist on Devil's Breath
"Devil's Breath, like all of Malliet's novels, has clever plotting, entertaining characters, stylish settings, and a deliciously unorthodox view of the human condition. Plus its laced with wickedly wry humor. You won't want to miss this series." --Open Letters Monthly
"An excellent series... The book is titled 'The Haunted Season' for a reason..." --Mercury News
"A classic and ingenious whodunit laced with clues for the alert reader, A Fatal Winter out-Christies Christie. Pray you don't miss it." --Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Wittier than Louise Penny, lighter than Tana French, smarter than Deborah Crombie, G.M. Malliet has made a name for herself with her cozy-but-cutting English mysteries. A Demon Summer makes the case that she may be the best mystery author writing in English at the moment (along with French). She's certainly the most entertaining, with her delightful but surprisingly deep series about sleuthing vicar Max Tudor." --Cleveland Plain Dealer on A Demon Summer
"With clever plotting that draws on classic elements of the British village mystery, characters conceived with care, an evocative setting and frequent doses of humor to leaven the inevitable sadness, Malliet continues her elegant and entertaining series, one that discerning fans of the genre will find stimulating, rewarding -- and a ton of fun." --Richmond Times-Dispatch on A Demon Summer
"I'm a fan of G.M. Malliet, and A Demon Summer is more of a return to the roots of the series. Father Max Tudor, former MI5 operative turned Anglican priest, must visit Monkbury Abbey at the order of his bishop. A peer has been poisoned, though not fatally, by a fruitcake prepared by the Handmaids of St. Lucy, a contemplative order. Just when Max is concluding the poisoning was accidental, one of the visitors to the Abbey is done to death. Once again, Max must find the killer . . . this time so he can home to his handfasting to the pregnant Awena." --Charlaine Harris on A Demon Summer
"Entertaining . . . the ending with a traditional gathering of the subjects will please Golden Age fans."--Publishers Weekly on Demon Summer
"The fourth fun entry in this charming English cozy series is delightful in tone. Think Agatha Christie meets Ian Fleming." --Library Journal on A Demon Summer
"Contemporary cozies don't get much better than Agatha-winner Malliet's third Max Tudor mystery."--Publishers Weekly (starred) on Pagan Spring
"Well crafted and entertaining, this is a superb winter read." --Crimespree on Fatal Winter
"A traditional English mystery involving a small village, a dysfunctional family and an attractive vicar can't help but appeal to mystery lovers everywhere." --Fresh Fiction on Fatal Winter
"Agatha Christie fans will relish Malliet's delicious second Max Tudor novel....Clever deduction and a logical fair-play solution are enhanced by the author's wry humor." --Publishers Weekly, starred review on Fatal Winter
"Malliet doesn't miss a step in her stellar second case for her handsome vicar....This series shines for its wit, well-drawn characters, pitch-perfect dialog, and intricately structured puzzle." --Library Journal, starred review on Fatal Winter
"[A] gift-wrapped package for cozy lovers and Agatha Christie devotees... thoroughly entertaining." --Booklist on Fatal Winter
"There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth... Malliet delivers all of that." --Marilyn Stasio on Wicked Autumn, New York Times
"G.M. Malliet's Sly humor rivals Jane Austen's." --The Boston Globe on Wicked Autumn
"A winning entry in the quiet English village mystery genre." --Mystery Scene on Wicked Autumn
"Takes the traditional English cozy mystery and plants it firmly into the twenty-first century." --New York Journal of Books on Wicked Autumn
"Provid[es] the sort of comfort a quintessential cozy can offer." --Kirkus on Wicked Autumn
"Malliet has mastered the delights of the cozy mystery so completely that she seems to be channeling Agatha Christie." --Booklist, starred review on Wicked Autumn
"A superb new series... a true homage to Agatha Christie...Malliet, like Louise Penny, brings a contemporary freshness to the traditional mystery." --Library Journal, starred review on Wicked Autumn
"This appealing first in a new cozy series from Agatha-winner Malliet introduces Max Tudor....Readers will look forward to seeing more of the Rev. Tudor." --Publishers Weekly on Wicked Autumn
"A superb novel! Filled with humor and insight, G. M. Malliet creates a fabulous setting in Nether Monkslip and a great series hero in Father Max Tudor. Rarely have I read descriptions that have left me gasping, in both their hilarity and their painful truth. A wonderful read." --Louise Penny on Wicked Autumn
"Intelligent, charming writing make this a standout and a return to the traditional English village mystery." --Charlaine Harris, author of the True Blood series, on Wicked Autumn
"Exquisitely well written, a tongue-in-cheek village mystery to be savored." --Julia Spencer-Fleming on Wicked Autumn
"G. M. Malliet has brought the village cozy into the 21st century." --Charles Todd on Wicked Autumn
"One of the most delightful English village mysteries I've read since Agatha Christie stopped writing about Saint Mary Mead. G.M. Malliet's sly allusions to both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot will make Christie fans chuckle, but Nether Monkslip is no village that time forgot--not with its new age citizenry and a vicar who's a dishy ex-MI5. Highly recommended."--Margaret Maron, Edgar, Anthony, Agatha winner, and author of Christmas Mourning
"A contemporary and deliciously wicked homage to Agatha Christie's village mysteries, with an equally delicious hero who is infinitely sexier than Miss Marple. Once readers meet handsome, intelligent, witty MI5 spy-turned-Anglican priest Max Tudor, they'll be searching their maps for the village of Nether Monkslip!"--Deborah Crombie, New York Time sbestselling author of Necessary as Blood
"Hugely funny, exquisitely well written, Wicked Autumn is a tongue-in-cheek village mystery to be savored. G.M. Malliet's arch tone and wry humor make her a writer to be treasured."--Julia Spencer-Fleming, bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
"Miss Marple would approve."--Daily Mail (UK) on The Haunted Season
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Top international reviews
Then one of the film stars on the yacht is found dead and a police investigation is launched to investigate the murder. It seems it can only have been committed by someone on board the yacht but did anyone really hate Margot Browne enough to have killed her? Or was she killed to keep someone else's secret?
This is an intriguing mystery and I certainly didn't work out what was going on. My main criticism of the book is that it was full of Americanisms even though it is set in England. I have no problem with such things if the book is set in the US or when American characters are speaking but in this books the creep into the speech of the English characters and the descriptions. I do wish that authors and publishers would realise that the Coroner in England does not carry out the post mortem.
I did find this very jarring in this particular book and it spoiled my enjoyment of it. I did enjoy reading about Max Tudor as he is a likeable character. This is book six in the series and if you're looking for something a bit different in crime and mystery fiction then this book and this series is worth reading.
In the book's wrap-up, the author promises another installment is on the way. Here's hoping the plot will play out closer to home for Max and offer more compelling action and layered characters, or at least more entertaining ones.
DCI Cotton is a well dressed, nice idiot. He can't even manage a basic investigation. He's ambitious and yet we expect him to be completely fine with the hero, Max, swanning in and solving everything. This latest entry doesn't seem to have the author's voice. The first few chapters are just "off." And there are many repetitive sections that pad out the narrative. We are expected to believe that a chef can't tell the difference between cocaine and powdered sugar when making a frosting. We spend a lot of time with set pieces of each character being interviewed. Overall, just disappointing with a silly ending.
1. The yacht cruise is burdened with stereotypical characters, large egos, a heavy drinker, and drugs and ends in the UK with investigation of the jettisoned Yank actress' death. This premise invokes aspects of a Catalina tragedy now transplanted to an English village -- without any tea cozy charm. The deceased actress (of a certain age) is somewhat declared dead before her time in the storyline. (Growing older, indeed, is not for sissies.)
2. The book is a chore to read. I slogged through and was not immersed in the storyline. Among other things, this book is as charmless as the protagonists. The book is fraught with stereotypes, generalizations about Actors and others in the entertainment industry. The exposition is painful and the gratuitous 'insights' at some point push (at least this) patient reader to not care about resolution and just want the book to end. Page 194 serves as an example of some of the book's deficiencies: "Former" MI5 operative, Vicar Max Tudor (who is so handsome that the 'fact' is mentioned multiple times throughout the book -- with the stares and thoughts of many seeing the undercover operative mentioned) thinks the following when contemplating the murder victim, actress Margot Browne:
"Max had paused, looked up from the computer. Pinocchio had been promised stardom. So, presumably, had Margot at some point in her career. At many points, in fact. That was indeed the actor's life. It might be close to being a gambler's addiction. The next film, the next play, was going to be the award-winner, the one that would make the actor live in memory. Was that the connection, the source of the nagging earworm that would not let him go? Margot's constant trying for the brass ring, the hope of success which grew fainter with the passage of time? Would she sacrifice to achieve her goal? Everything and everyone?"
3. Note that this novel drags on for 287 pages of problematic writing, causing painful reading. (Was the author paid by the word?) Extraneous information is shoved in, claims of research conducted for this book likely deemed not to be 'wasted.' Disjointed, illogical, insertions problematically written include:
a. P. 196 "Passing an ancient church next to the Monkslip-super-Mare Yacht Club, he came upon a sign advertising the "Royal National Lifeboat Institution," the charity established to save lives at sea. The sign claimed the RNLI rescued an average of twenty-two people a day -- an astonishing statistic when Max thought about it... [We assume the character was thinking of it or we would not have this thought (as his thought) shared with the reader.]
b. P. 197 "Max thought the RNLI might have saved Margot if she'd been given half a chance, but of course she'd been dead before she hit the water. He stopped to wonder why her death by drowning had not been left to chance -- it was nearly a sure thing, with the yacht's (sic) being that far from shore -- but of course there could be not the slightest risk taken by a murderer leaving a live witness."
c. P. 197 "The weather seemed unable to make up its mind to do anything other than glower erratically. At the moment the horizon was stacked high with sooty cotton-ball clouds, and the harbor was alive with a bobbing fleet of fishing boats."
d. No slouch our well-seasoned gifted MI5 Vicar:
P. 197: "He gathered that in every sort of weather this was a working harbor, with people depending on the sea for their livelihoods, as they had always done."
e. And O the writing!
P 198 "He stood and watched as another group of local fishermen unloaded a large haul of crabs. He knew the lobsters had come back, too, for the woman at the hotel's front desk had happily told him so. The entire reason for the staff's existence seemed to be to ensure that Max's stay with them was a happy one; in case a lobster dinner were (sic) what he most wanted in life, that could be organized."
AND SO IT GOES...A dedication of sorts, Acknowledgments, Author's Note, Cast of Characters, A quotation, Separate Chapter pages, with Parts designated and Chapter names, and pages 3-287 of a very bad book.
Bottom Line: Readers expending time and money on this book may well consider themselves the victims of this author's brand and the publisher who produced this novel as a "Max Tudor" series entry. THE DEVIL'S BREATH IS A DEVIL OF A BAD READ.
I loved the St. Just series and still check the author’s page hopeful that she’s going to add another book. I’ve enjoyed her Max Tudor books, as well - except for these last two.
I KNOW I take too long explaining things, but Malliet is a best selling author. Her last two books have just worn me out. She takes forever introducing characters and setting up the crime at the beginning of her book and by the end of her book, draws everything out to the point of exhaustion. Can’t tell if this is a writing style she’s developed or she’s running out of things to say and is just trying to fill pages. Maybe she’d do better writing a novella?
Sorry to be such a downer. I really like her books, but not only could I not finish this one - I couldn’t even get past the third chapter. I probably won’t purchase anything else by Malliet unless I read reviews indicating that she’s come back into her own. Which is too bad, as I’ve bought every book she’s written up to and including Devil’s Breath..