New York Times best-selling author M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin is back and finds that she must prove her own innocence when a local therapist turns up dead. When therapist Jill Davent moved to the village of Carsely, Agatha Raisin was not a fan. Not only was this therapist romancing Agatha's ex-husband, she dug up details of Agatha's not-too-glamorous origins. Jill also counsels a woman, Gwen Simple, that Agatha firmly believes assisted her son in some grisly murders, although there is no proof. Not one to keep her feelings to herself, Agatha tells anyone who will listen that Jill is a charlatan and better off dead. Agatha can only sigh with relief when the therapist takes an office in Mircester.
When Agatha learns that Jill had hired a private detective to investigate her background, she barges into Jill's office and gives her a piece of her mind, yelling, "I could kill you!" So when Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days later, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. But Agatha, along with her team of private detectives, is determined to prove her innocence and find the real culprit. This time Agatha must use her skills to save her own skin. With Dishing the Dirt, M. C. Beaton proves that "once you meet Agatha Raisin, you'll keep coming back" (New York Journal of Books).
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The only thing missing is Penelope Keith
What I like best about all the of the books is the setting and the character interaction.
I must say it seemed to leave me hanging a bit. I was surprised, but then again, not.
I find her voice annoying and reminiscent of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. Whenever she spoke it evoked an image of those little people rather than the character she was supposed to be portraying. I much prefer Penelope Keith as Agatha and other characters as well.
In my experience, books made into movies do not resemble the book in any way. I have tried to think of an actress that I see as Agatha, but none comes to mind. The first book in the series, "The Quiche of Death", was made into a movie and the actress who was cast as Agatha in no way resembled her character, nor did any of the others.
I would like to see the characters in the series making a more forward movement in future books. They seem to be stagnating and not growing or developing in any real way. Agatha has become quite predictable. There is a fine line between cozy and boring.
The plots have also become a bit dull and could use some more modern twists. The same old narrative concerning Agatha's ex-husband, chin hair and man trouble is becoming brain numbing.
Over all I enjoy the characters and the setting and continue reading the series because of them, but I would like to see the old rhetoric made fresh and please bring back Penelope Keith as narrator. If Alison Larkin narrates the next one I will have to read the book rather than listen to it.
- C.B. Swartz "C.B. Swartz Freelance Writer"