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This series, and especially this book, is a good listen for any time you just want something on that you don't have to think or care too much about. Agatha Raisin is a prickly, unpleasant antiheroine, but that's part of the draw of the series. She's unique, and uniquely endearing. Her very British village is picturesque, her part-time London career exciting, her middle-aged waistline realistically thickening, her love life realistically mostly non-existent, her pub meals realistically overcooked and tasteless. Penelope Keith is an able, lively and entertaining narrator who makes very few voicing mistakes.
Now for the bad news: M.C. Beaton, after taking care to ensure that the first volume (Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, which I highly recommend) was carefully written, detailed, suspenseful and top-notch, seems to have subsequently either lost steam or become so impatient to earn money quickly that she began dashing these sequels off like hotcakes off the griddle. This one is plotted so carelessly that mild-mannered, cautious characters (not just Agatha herself) say impetuous things that their characters would never say, do impulsive things that their characters would never do, and even commit murder in more or less the same way they did in the previous book (Potted Gardener). Not only that, but plot holes abound. Toward the end, for example, when James Lacey (Agatha's new partner in private detection) announces, "So, it was [Character X]!" I actually rewound the recording twice just to see how on earth I had missed his seeing the body of Character Y on the floor, the only sight he could have seen that would have led him to that conclusion. He never had seen it. The author had forgotten to make him see it.
I'm not sure I'll be spending a credit on volume 5.
Grade: C. Bechdel test: Pass.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Well, we've been patiently waiting and it finally happened! What happened?
You're going to have to read the book. I love these characters now, just love them and I feel fully invested in their future. This is just a great series. The narrator is fantastic. She really brings this book to life. I'm moving on to the next book.