Friday 27 October 2023

The Haunted Season

Finished October 18
The Haunted Season by G.M. Malliet

This cosy murder is set in the English village of Nether Monkslip, where Father Max Tudor is still adjusting to his role in the community and his new role as the father of a young child. Max has a previous life as a spy, and he worries that that life may have followed him to his new one. 
The village is looking forward to the annual duck races, which raises money for worthy causes, including the church, and has asked the local gentry, Lord Baaden-Boomethistle for the use of their grounds for the event, which is reluctantly given.
When the Lord is found dead in a grisly and obviously planned murder, the search begins for the killer, with Max both the man who makes the discovery of the body, and a consultant to the police. 
Max's new curate, Destiny Chatsworth, plays an important role as well, overhearing a conversation in London that references the village, and remembering a personality from her university days. 
The characters and setting are very twee here, with the character names almost overdone. There are also several characters that are stereotypical on the surface, but surprising as one gets to know more about them, such as the avid volunteer Eugenia Smith-Ganderfort, the housekeeper Mrs. Hooser, the retired schoolteacher Miss Agnes Pitchford, and the Lord and Lady of the Manor, along with their adult children. 
This is the fifth book in the series, but the first that I've read and I found the character list at the beginning helpful to place the numerous people. 
There is definitely a touch of wit in this mystery, along with the cosy atmosphere of village life. 

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