Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"A Fatal Winter"

Winner of the Agatha Award for Death of a Cozy Writer, which initially won the Malice Domestic grant, G. M. Malliet attended Oxford University and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, the setting for her St. Just mysteries.

She applied the Page 69 Test to A Fatal Winter, the second book in the Max Tudor Series, and found the following:
Page sixty-nine of A Fatal Winter happens to serve two purposes:

My protagonist Max Tudor, village vicar and heartthrob, has taken “neo-Pagan” Awena Owen out to dinner, in part to pay her back for all the meals she’s cooked for him, and in part because he very much enjoys her company. While the Max Tudor mysteries are not romantic-suspense stories, Max’s growing attraction to Awena is a part of the plot, and this gave me an opportunity to have the two characters interact, and to discover for themselves how much they have in common.

Max has just returned from a train journey to London in which he meets the ever-so-patrician Lady Baynard of Chedrow Castle. Awena happens to know a bit about her and her quarrelsome family, and over dinner she tells Max a bit of the family’s history. She also reinforces Max’s initial impressions of the woman, which impressions later turn out to be important to the plot.

At the end of this chapter, Max and Awena are spotted by Miss Pitchford, retired schoolmistress and professional busybody. It is only a matter of minutes before news of this cozy, private dinner goes out over the grapevine. Life in Nether Monkslip is like that: Max and Awena remain blissfully unaware that every milestone of their relationship is being assessed and catalogued.
Learn more about the book and author at G. M. Malliet's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue