One of the mystery series that I have looked forward to reading is the Max Tudor Mystery series by G.M.Malliet. The Haunted Season is the fifth book in the Max Tudor Mystery series. It is always interesting to see how she ties in seemingly unrelated story threads at the end.
Max Tudor is a handsome former spy who has become the vicar in the English village of Nether Monkslip. He has made the hearts of the single women in the village beat faster and many of them have tried to attract his attention including one who seems to be more determined than any of the others have been even though Max is now married to a woman with whom he is besotted and has a child.
Max has found a measure of peace in Nether Monkslip and with his new family. But as in the first four books, murder comes to disturb his peace and DCI Cotton once again requires his assistance in talking with the local folk and sorting out the clues.
The local nobility is currently in residence at Totleigh Hall, the manor house of the village. They are usually absent most of the year because of taxes it is rumored, but this year they have been in residence much longer than usual. However, something sinister is afoot there and Max inevitably finds the decapitated body of the lord of the manor, causing Max to wonder if he is a catalyst for murder. Secrets abound among the inhabitants of the manor and several people seem to have a motive for murder.
Some of those threads that are tied in at the end are: in London Max’s new curate overhears a conversation between two women that mentions a murder in Nether Monkslip; a church volunteer seems too devoted to the church and the vicar; a writer of self-help books has moved to the village; an image of Christ that, despite efforts to wash it off or paint over it, keeps reappearing on the wall in the church attracting visitors who look at the image in the hopes of being healed; the shirt that Max wore the day that his MI5 partner was murdered that has a drop of blood on it and is stored in his closet.
All of these threads come together at the end, not all tied to the murder, but definitely, impacting Max’s life. There is literally an explosive ending that nearly costs Max what he holds most dear including his ability to forgive.
His final action will keep readers wondering what he is thinking and eagerly awaiting the next installment to find out what it means to Max and his new family. I know that I want to read it as soon as it is available.