Title: Pagan Spring (Max Tudor #3)
Author: G. M. Malliet
Read by: Michael Page
Audio published: Nov 13, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Pagan Spring was my last book for 2013 and it was a nice way to end my reading year. This is the third in the series and I’ve been listening to them in order – one of the few series I’m caught up on.
Pagan Spring is a small English village mystery, which is a set-up I tend to enjoy. Quirky characters, secrets, gossip. Max is the vicar, but he’s also former MI5, which makes him a perfect sleuth. It’s a cozy mystery with clues gained from talking and observing. The murdered man is Thaddeus Bottle, who is not well-liked. He’s full of himself, has a tendency to steal and has had more than one affair.
The narrator, Michael Page, does a good job, not outstanding, but he blends into the story, which is what I want a reader to do. Some small parts, e-mails, were read by a woman, I thought, but I can’t see her name anywhere. The different voice for the e-mails provides a break and gives them a bit of extra significance that turns out to be fitting.
The clues to the mystery are there, but I felt like Max made a couple of jumps that weren’t quite reasonable. Of course, maybe that’s just thanks to his instincts. I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but the solution was rather touching and was a reminder that the past still affects the present.
I have a couple minor complaints. One is the romance between Max and Awena. I like them both, but it just doesn’t seem realistic. And I’m especially disappointed by the ending. I like mysteries, I enjoy romances, but I don’t want the romance to take over or complicate the mystery. I like it light and fun, not needing to be mulled over and discussed. I also don’t like Max’s remembering over and over the end of his MI5 career. It just gets old. Yes, I know it brought him to where he is, but do we need reminded over and over?
I enjoyed the story and the characters. It’s a nice mystery, not outstanding, but worth the time.