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In Prior's Wood: A Max Tudor Mystery    by G. M. Malliet order for
In Prior's Wood
by G. M. Malliet
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

G. M. Malliet's In Prior's Wood is the seventh book in a series starring cleric Max Tudor, who used to work for MI5! Now, while not investigating murders, he's vicar of St. Edwold's Church in Nether Monkslip. Max is very happily married to Awena, who owns a New Age shop, Goddessspell in the village, and they have a small son, Owen.

At the center of the mystery is Lord Duxter, Wooton Press publicist and philanthropist, who has established Wooton Priory as a writers' retreat. Duxter and his wife Marina socialize with cyber security expert Colin Frost and his plain wife Jane, who's also employed by Duxter to sort books and albums found in the attic.

Preparing for the Beltane celebration, Awena mentions to Max that a local girl, Viola, went missing from Prior's Wood during previous Beltane festivities - though everyone assumed that she ran off after spending the night in the woods with her lover. Max wonders if she was murdered.

Life goes quietly on until a couple is found in Prior's Wood, in what seems to be a suicide pact - Colin Frost and Lady Duxter! Of course, Max and Awena are pulled into the investigation, which twists and turns all over the map. Though this was the first I've read in the series, it was easy to follow, and I enjoyed spending time with Max, and especially with Awena.

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