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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars perfect to curl up with on the sofa on a rainy sunday
The Agatha Raisin books are warm, witty and entertaining books about the abrasive yet lovable 50-something Agatha who has moved from London to a little cottage in the Cotswolds and got herself involved in solving a series of murder mysteries - and in my opinion this is the best so far. An almost-pastiche of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries, Agatha is rude yet...
Published on 23 April 2006 by Roman Clodia

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed.... but expected more?
Agatha Raisin and the potted Gardener was the first book I have read in this series. I enjoy cosy mysteries and thought I would really enjoy this book, I was slightly let down. Although I enjoyed getting to know Agatha and her friends, I have to say the actual murder story was very weak. Although Agatha's gardening escapades and searching for clues are entertaining, I...
Published on 21 April 2008 by Priscilla


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars perfect to curl up with on the sofa on a rainy sunday, 23 April 2006
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The Agatha Raisin books are warm, witty and entertaining books about the abrasive yet lovable 50-something Agatha who has moved from London to a little cottage in the Cotswolds and got herself involved in solving a series of murder mysteries - and in my opinion this is the best so far. An almost-pastiche of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries, Agatha is rude yet refreshing and chases her handsome neighbour James Lacey in a way that would leave the lady-like Miss Marple distraught! The characters of not just Agatha and James but all the minor bit-players from the village are well-drawn and if a bit cliched then that just adds to the cosy, comfortable atmosphere.

This isn't a work of great literary pretensions but is a wonderful, eccentric page-turner that is perfect to read in one sitting when the weather's bad.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light, entertaining read, 21 Dec 2006
By 
J. P. Whittaker "Jay" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was the first M C Beaton novel I read. A short 180 pages or so, I read it in a couple of hours and found it very enjoyable. Agatha Raisin, the middle-aged detective heroine, is an intriguing character - very human and believable, with her on-off schoolgirl crush on her neighbour, her fears for how she is seen in the small Cotswold village where she has moved from London, and her forays into diets and quick-fix improvements to her garden.

The plot is acceptable, but not one for afficianados of complex, logical mysteries - this is not for those looking for the intricacies of a P D James, or the trickery of an Agatha Christie. But the plot seems more a necessary backdrop for the picture of English village life, and the novel has all the charm and beauty of afternoon tea in a Cotswold village - rather like a beautiful watercolour that happens to have a dead body upended in a flower pot in one corner. Charming, very easily readable; I will be reading more of this series, but for me it isn't up there with the giants of the genre.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha and James Sitting in a Tree..., 15 Nov 2005
By 
Dennis Phillips "The Book Friar" (Bulls Gap, Tennessee USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this third entry of the Agatha Raisin series, Agatha returns to Carsely after what turned out to be a lonely world tour only to find that her nest door neighbor and heartthrob James Lacey has his eyes on someone new. Not that he ever had his eyes on Agatha mind you. It seems that a pretty young blonde has moved to town and not only has she captured James' attention but she also seems to be the new darling of the little village. Worse yet, Mary Fortune, this new arrival in Carsely is like James an avid gardener, a situation that causes Agatha to take up gardening for herself. Agatha fails to notice however that as soon as she returns home the people of the village begin to lose interest in Mary and turn their attentions back to their old friend Agatha. Mary does notice this however and begins to turn nasty, especially when many in the village begin to blame her for a series of attacks on local gardens.
Some how or another Mary and Agatha end up being great friends even as James begins to distance himself from the pretty blonde newcomer. Then one night when Mary fails to show up at the local pub James and Agatha make a grisly discovery when they go to check on the missing Ms. Fortune. Ironic name isn't it? The author has made no attempt at all to lead the reader away from her intended victim and so it is no surprise that Mary is murdered but the "potted" position of her body is at the very least a novel idea.
Agatha by this point considers herself quite the sleuth and immediately sets out in search of clues. As in the last book James assists in the snooping and the two once again begin to grow close. Slowly but surely the pair of amateur detectives find out that Mary had been extremely nasty to several people and that there were numerous citizens with apparent motives for murder. In the end the solution comes about more by Agatha's intuition than from clues and it was a solution that caught me completely off guard. Right up until Agatha figured out who the guilty party was I was looking in a completely different direction, a direction that would have spelled the end for one of the major characters in the series.
As in the previous books, Agatha's adventures make for a delightful read. The mess she gets herself into as she tries her hand at gardening makes for a hilarious secondary plot and the people of Carsely are just delightful. Amazingly though the mystery itself remains at the center of the story and drives the action, right down to the mixed up labels on Agatha's fake garden. It seems that the harder Agatha tries to fit in the more she gets embarrassed and the more she gets embarrassed the more the people of Carsely love her. Every town needs an eccentric or two after all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed.... but expected more?, 21 April 2008
By 
Priscilla (England, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
Agatha Raisin and the potted Gardener was the first book I have read in this series. I enjoy cosy mysteries and thought I would really enjoy this book, I was slightly let down. Although I enjoyed getting to know Agatha and her friends, I have to say the actual murder story was very weak. Although Agatha's gardening escapades and searching for clues are entertaining, I feel I really missed out on what I actually read the book for............. the murder mystery!
When the murderer is revealed the reason behind it is very, very weak, you get no history, no explanation. There is no real reason for murder! I cant go into why as I would give it away, but the murderer could have been anybody! If everyone killed someone for the reason this murderer had there would be no one left in the world. So was the murder crazed or out for revenge? No not really they had a reason it was just so poor I can not believe a book was themed around it.

The murder was such a sub plot. That is why I am rating it so low, although the book was interesting for all that was in it, I feel the murder story should be a large part and it just wasn't in this book..........

Priscilla x
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cozy country village with a kick, 18 July 2001
If you long to sit by a log fire,in a cozy cottage in the english countryside,with the rain pattering on the window panes. Tea and crumpets and a nice juicey murder this ones for you.
Our intrepid Agatha Raisin is back in Carsely. When she arrives she is met with the fact that her beloved neighbour who she has a tremendous crush on is taken with another woman, Agatha is none to pleased at this, and finds herself wishing for another murder, to solve so that she can involve James.
In the meantime she needs to compete for James attention, so she joins the Garden Society, knowing nothing about gardening she hatches a plan, that goes incredibly wrong, and before you know it the cozy village of Carsely has evil destruction and murder.... for Agatha and maybe James to solve..
Once you pick up this book, and a cup of tea, you will be there till supper time.
Happy reading !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIGGING UP DIRT..., 8 Oct 2010
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This series of British cozy mysteries is a sure fire winner. The central character, Agatha Raisin, is brought to life under the author's deft pen. The aggressive, irrepressible, and menopausal Agatha, with a penchant for cigarettes and cocktails, as well as a strong desire for romance, is the modern day version of Dame Christie's Jane Marple. Set in the bucolic Cotswold village of Carsely, one would think that nothing ever happens there.

In this third book in the series, Agatha is still pining away for her neighbor, retired colonel, James Lacey, for whom she has romantic longings to which he is proving quite resistant. Instead, he seems to be interested in Carsely's newest incomer, divorcee Mary Fortune, who is not only beautiful but also has a green thumb. As luck would have it, James Lacey has a penchant for gardening. Of course, this leaves Agatha green with envy, determined to fight fire with fire and beat Mary at her own game.

When the gardens of Carsely come under attack by person or persons unknown, however, and a shocking murder follows, Agatha and James once again join forces to discover just who or what is causing all the brouhaha in Carsely. Their investigation into these goings on, as well as Agatha's efforts to get James to respond to her romantic longings, will keep the reader turning the pages.

As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the recurring characters and their relationships with each other. It is merely the framework around which the characters and village life evolve, giving the reader a good sense of place, as well as an interest in the characters, while leaving the reader wanting more. This is a fun and highly enjoyable series to read, humorous and entertaining, with a host of interesting characters. The dialogue is believable, and the plot moves forward at a brisk pace. It is a highly addictive series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great light read, 8 Jan 2010
Thoroughly enjoyed this book...just a nice pick me up book , not too much thinking involved with a touch of Marple, Middie Murders, Poirot etc - not exactly but its got that feel. Will continue to read the collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shop around the corner, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Paperback)
First heard about this book on you've got mail. Decided to read it to see what it's about and found it perfectly charming. Would recommend it to young teenage girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm an Agatha fan!, 11 May 2011
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This is the third novel in the Agatha Raisin series. I enjoy these books, not just for the whodunnit element, but also for the cosy description on village life (if you can call murders "cosy" that is!) I've got fond of the grumpy Agatha and so have the villagers. I do wish that the novels were a bit longer though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BETTER PLOT, 23 July 2010
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Paperback)
Carsely in turmoil. Who is sabotaging their gardens? Who poisoned old Bernard Spott's goldfish? Most important of all, who planted glamorous newcomer Mary Fortune upside down in an enormous flowerpot? Time for Agatha and neighbour James Lacey to do some more amateur sleuthing!

This third novel is more effective than its predecessors, the author keeping a firmer grip on the reins. It is not so much a detective story as the comic misadventures of a flawed central character striving to improve - Agatha mindful that methods used for success in London's cut-throat world of business are inappropriate in a sleepy Cotswolds village. (It is fun, though, when she does erupt in all her former glory - as in the pretentious new restaurant with its inflated prices, as in the office when treated with less than respect.)

An entertaining read, as ever enhanced by comparatively normal DS Bill Wong, who regards Agatha as a source of innocent merriment.

At the end of it all - better gardens, better book.
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Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton (Paperback - 22 Feb 2010)
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