The Witches’ Tree (Agatha Raisin #28) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: October 3, 2017

Format: E-Book/OverDrive

Cotswolds inhabitants are used to inclement weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They strain to see the road ahead—and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster, has been murdered—and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime.

Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books). But Sumpton Harcourt is a small and private village, she finds—a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation—and even her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn’t make her feel any better…

Review –

Another quirky murder mystery involving  the aging, unmarried, chubby, woman with small bear like eyes, Agatha Raisin. I have felt sorry for Agatha in past books but this one takes the cake. In between looking for clues to solve numerous murders she always has her eye out for a new man and a new romance.  Sir Charles Fraith, her old friend, comes in and out of her life and  uses her for sex when he fancies and Agatha, looking for a man’s comfort allows herself to be used. 

The murders seems to be secondary to Agatha’s plight for a new man and that’s sad. She does solve the crimes, with help and still ends up unhappy at the end.

The author needs to do something in the next book to turn Agatha around and into the confident woman she once was or I’m afraid her following is going to drastically dwindle.

I’m a huge fan so I will continue to read the next when it comes out but fingers crossed that the author sees the light!

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The Blood Of An Englishman (Agatha Raisin Mystery #25) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description

September 16, 2014

“Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman…”

Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of “Babes in the Woods,” Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn’t re-appear at final curtain. Agatha’s agency finds baker’s wife, gorgeous Gwen, was beaten and has affairs, no grieving widow. Case is solved with old pals – Sir Charles, James Lacey, cop Bill Wong.
Surely this isn’t the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show–and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha’s 25th adventure, and you’d think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no–yet Agatha’s flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in M. C. Beaton’s New York Times bestselling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again “manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery” (Bookreporter.com).

Review –

Agatha Raisin is one of my favorite book characters and in this book she seems to have herself more pulled together(and it’s about time). Even though she’s still man-crazy she didn’t go overboard and make a fool of herself like she usually does.

The plot was good and had some twists.

A very good read and I’ll be looking forward to the next one.

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Something Borrowed, Someone Dead (Agatha Raisin #24) by M.C. Beaton

Product Description:

Published: September 17, 2013

 

Gloria French was a jolly widow with dyed blonde hair, a raucous laugh and rosy cheeks. When she first moved from London to the charming Cotswolds hills, she was heartily welcomed.  She seemed a do-gooder par excellence, raising funds for the church and caring for the elderly.  But she had a nasty habit of borrowing things and not giving them back, just small things, a teapot here, a set of silverware there.  So it’s quite the shock when she is found dead, murdered by a poisoned bottle of elderberry wine.  Afraid the murder will be a blight on the small town, Parish councillor, Jerry Tarrant, hires private detective Agatha Raisin to track down the murderer.

But the village is secretive and the residents resent Agatha’s investigation. Of course that doesn’t stop the ever-persistent Agatha from investigating and sticking her nose where no one wants it—especially as the suspect list grows. And, as if it isn’t enough that Agatha’s ex has reentered the picture, the murderer is now targeting Agatha!

 

Review –

Another fast paced, humor filled book by M.C. Beaton starring Agatha Raisin, the savvy private detective.  A very pleasant  and fast read.

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Christmas Crumble(Agatha Raisin Series) by M.C. Beaton

15795185Book Description:

Pulbication Date : August 28, 2012

Christmas tale that’s holly, jolly—and deadly, by golly…

At home alone for the holidays, Agatha Raisin decides to host a dinner party for the elder residents in her Cotswold village of Winter Parva. Agatha’s never been much of a homemaker, but she’s dead-set on making this the perfect holiday for the “crumblies,” as she affectionately calls them. She’s decorated a tree while fending off her cats Hodge and Boswell, and even made a (lumpy) Christmas pudding in between swigs of rum. But when Agatha dumps the pudding on the head of the local self-proclaimed lothario—an eighty-five year old with a beer belly and fingers like sausages—his death by dessert proves more than a trifle as mysteries mount higher than the season’s snowfall. So much for trying to do good by her neighbors. Now Agatha needs no less than a Christmas miracle to get herself out of this one…

 

Review –

Nothing like an Agatha Raisin Mystery to put a smile on my face but I always end up feeling so bad for poor Agatha because she is alone and lonely whether she would admit to it or not.  I wish the author would write a book where in Agatha has a happy outcome.  Until that day comes I will continue to read this series.  Puts a smile on my face every time.

 

Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

Book Description

Release Date: September 18, 2012 | Series: Agatha Raisin Mystery (Book 23)
If only the bossy, beloved Agatha Raisin were as lucky at finding the right man as she is at catching killers in M. C. Beaton’s New York Times bestselling mystery series
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of everyone’s favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever—armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there’s some biting of a whole other sort going on. Agatha has fallen head over heels in love—again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man—including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn’t even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.

Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can’t have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime. With Hiss & Hers, once again, “M. C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery” (The New York Times Book Review) in the irresistible adventures of the irrepressible Agatha.

 

Review –

Excellent, as always, but just once  I would enjoy seeing Agatha find true happiness is only for a little while. She’s a successful woman with her own business but she is always feeling inadequate and lonely.  Wouldn’t it be nice if in one installment she found a truly good man (someone new) that loved her for her quirks and all.  Are you listening, M.C. Beaton?

 


As The Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton

Book Description

Series: Agatha Raisin Mysteries | Publication Date: October 11, 2011

Winter Parva is a “picturesque” (touristy) Cotswold village with gift shops, a medieval market hall, and thatched cottages. After a disappointing Christmas season, the parish council has decided to hold a special event in January, complete with old-fashioned costumes, morris dancing, and a pig roast on the village green. 

 

Always one for a good roasting, Agatha Raisin organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. The rotary spit turning over a bed of blazing charcoals is sure to please on this foggy and blistery evening. But as the fog lifts slightly, the sharp-eyed Agatha notices something peculiar about the pig: a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it and the name Amy.

 

“Stop!” she screams suddenly. “Pigs don’t have tattoos.”

 

The “pig,” in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the locals, including Agatha herself. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police, everything changes when the Gary’s ex-wife, Amy, hires Agatha’s detective agency to investigate—and another murder ensues. With that provocation, how could any sleuth as vain and competitive (and secretly insecure) as Agatha do anything other than solve the case herself?

Review –

I love the Agatha Raisin  series so much that this time I thought I’d treat myself to an audio version.  MISTAKE!  I don’t know for sure what caused me to NOT LIKE the audio version but I think it was the narrator, whose accent was strong and I just couldn’t picture the voice being that of Agatha.  So, I learned a valuable lesson and will never again listen to a book with characters that I have a long and happy relationship with.  Great story, though, as always.

 

 
 

Busy Body by M. C. Beaton

 

 

Product Description

Agatha Raisin has always been ambivalent about holiday cheer, but her cozy little village of Carsely has long prided itself on its Christmas festivities. But this year Mr. John Sunday, a selfimportant officer with the Health and Safety Board, has ruled that the traditional tree on top of the church is a public menace; that lampposts are unsafe for hanging illuminations; that May Dimwoody’s homemade toys are dangerous for children… Things have reached such a desperate pass that the Carsely Ladies’ Society joins forces with the ladies in the neighboring village of Odley Cruesis to try to put a stop to Mr. Sunday’s meddling–only to find that someone has literally put a stop to him with a kitchen knife.
 
 
Review –
 
I love a good “cozy mystery”* and M C Beaton is one of the best authors of this genre.  Agatha Raisin is a wonderful character and I have read all the books in the series and look forward to the next one.
If you’ve never tried this series give it a try, but start at the beginning with #1 and you won’t be disappointed.
 
*Cozy mysteries are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously.