Max Tudor has left MI5 for a quieter life in the countryside of Nether Monkslip. Now the vicar in the small town, Max is living the restful, routine life he’s dreamed of until this year’s Harvest Fayre goes terribly wrong. Max is one of two people to discover the body of Wanda Batton-Smythe, Head of the Women’s Institute of Nether Monkslip, dead of an apparent allergic reaction. DCI Cotton, assigned to the case, is happy to have Max’s help in investigating, since both men suspect foul play. The leading question in Wanda’s mysterious death is who isn’t a suspect, for the pushy and forceful community leader could’ve counted most townspeople as enemies. As expected, Malliet (Death and the Lit Chick, 2009, etc.) assembles a quirky cast of characters for Max to interview, including passive local knitter Lily Iverson, Wanda’s shell of a husband Major Batton-Smythe and local New Age guru Awena Owen, Max’s close friend. As the personalities drive the action, Max slowly unravels the events that led to Wanda’s untimely demise.
Another meandering whodunit where the virtuous are rewarded and the wicked punished, providing the sort of comfort a quintessential cozy can offer.