Title: The Haunted Season
Publish Date: Oct 29, 2015
Book Blurb: Something sinister is stirring at Totleigh Hall, the imposing manor house dominating the village of Nether Monkslip.
Usually, the lord and lady of the manor are absent for most of the year, but this year they have been in residence for some weeks now, and the villagers are hoping for a return to the good old days, when the lord of the manor sprinkled benefits across the village like fairy dust, building roads and repairing bridges and donating money to the upkeep of St Edwold's, while hosting splendid dinners at the Hall to which the vicar and the village doctor were invited by right and tradition.
Max Tudor's own invitation comes as a welcome novelty; it will be his first time meeting the famous family that once held sway in the area. The fact that they were famous for their eccentricities only adds to their appeal for the Anglican priest. But before he has time to starch his clerical collar and organize a babysitter, a sudden and suspicious death intervenes, and the handsome vicar's talent for sorting through clues to solve a murder is once again called into play...
Review: I am totally guilty in saying I judged this book by its cover, which looks like it should be a Burton film starring Johnny Depp as Max Tudor.
I more often than not jump into series at a midway point, because my library seldom has them all. This cover grabbed my attention and so did the blurb. When it came to reading the book, I have to say that this is one of those series, you probably should start at the beginning, because I found myself feeling clueless at times.
The story was very slowly paced. The murder didn't take place until you were a third of the way into the book. It gave you enough time to get to know the key players, but it also seemed like things were taking too long, much like the solving of crime.
Max is a former MI 5 agent who is now a vicar. That alone drew me to the story, because it just didn't seem a likely scenario.
We meet the residents of Totleigh Hall, none of which were really likable, so when Lord Baaden-Boomethistle ends up murdered in a most gruesome manner, its easy to find places to point fingers. Both of his children, Peregrine and Rosamund have cause to dislike him and so does his 2nd wife Bree. (And seriously, where did these names come from?)
Max finds the body and DCI Cotton enlists him to help talk to possible suspects. A lot is uncovered in his interviews, giving the reader plenty of people that could have done it.
Then there are the day to day activities of his parish and many of the parishioners have their eye on the vicar, even though he is married with a young child.
The ending seemed hurried and the way other things were brought into play left me rather confused.
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did.
Rating: 2 flowers