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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mineral Water Can Be Deadly
The village of Ancombe is in an uproar. A mineral water company has requested the right to bottle part of its spring every day. Part of the town thinks this is just what their economy needs, but the other part doesn't want the increase of people this would bring. Agatha Raisin agrees to come out of retirement to handle the public relations for the company. But then a body...
Published on 11 Mar. 2003 by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars THE DIVIDING OF THE WATER
A Company seeks to market water from a neighbouring village's natural spring. Agatha is employed to smooth the way. Not easy! Some of the parish council are violently opposed. Militant environmentalists also plan to cause trouble. Needless to say, there will be a death or two....

It is interesting to see Agatha exhibiting those skills which caused her to...
Published on 26 July 2010 by Mr. D. L. Rees


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mineral Water Can Be Deadly, 11 Mar. 2003
By 
Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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The village of Ancombe is in an uproar. A mineral water company has requested the right to bottle part of its spring every day. Part of the town thinks this is just what their economy needs, but the other part doesn't want the increase of people this would bring. Agatha Raisin agrees to come out of retirement to handle the public relations for the company. But then a body is found. What side of the issue was the victim on? Will this help or hurt Agatha's new job? And can she find the killer before the launch of the label is ruined?
This book was my introduction to Agatha and her friends. While she is a gruff woman with some vices I don't like, I found myself liking the character. The sub-plots in her personal life seemed a bit immature, but I found them funny and the insecurity they brought out made me like the character. My only real complaint was the plot. While it did eventually pick up speed, much of the first half seemed slow to me, with not much advancement in the story. But once things got moving, I was hooked and completely surprised by the ending.
This won't be my last case with Ms. Raisin. I look forward to catching up on the back-story of this lovable crank and seeing where she goes from here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOTTLED WATER IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU..., 9 Feb. 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (Paperback)
In this seventh book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as she sometimes just doesn't quite get it that a London outsider such as herself may never be a perfect fit for quiet village life.

In this book, Agatha volunteers to handle the publicity for bottled water from a village spring, a venture that proves to be somewhat controversial, as some of the villagers are totally against this new enterprise, fearing that it could change their peaceful way of life. Tempers run high, and Agnes finds herself with a potential public relations disaster, when a body turns up in those same spring waters.

Agatha is engaging as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Of course, the on-again, off-again love of her life and neighbor, James Lacey, goes his separate way in his investigatory efforts, as they are off-again, Agatha, as always looking for love in all the wrong places, ends up with a brief romantic fling that she quickly regrets. Moreover, her investigatory efforts land her in a bit of a pickle, and her best friend, Mrs. Bloxy, steps up to home plate and comes to the rescue, when Agatha finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place.

As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death, 28 Feb. 2011
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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In the nearby village of Ancombe there is a spring which runs through a garden and then into a drinking fountain. When a company wants to bottle and sell the water the parish council members are divided about whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Agatha Raisin is asked to do the PR for the company as she lives locally. When a member of the parish council is found dead in the spring things threaten to go pear shaped.

Naturally Agatha feels the need to get involved in the investigation into the murder and wonders whether this will be an opportunity for her to get on better terms again with her neighbour James Lacey. This is an amusing mystery with Agatha bumbling around in her usual fashion and uncovering things which may be relevant without realising their significance.

All the favourite series characters are here - Bill Wong whose love life is continually sabotaged by his parents; former colleague and friend, Roy Silver; the imperturbable and compassionate vicar's wife, Mrs Bloxby and the other villagers of Carsely. I found this entertaining and relaxing listening and Penelope Keith really does bring this audio book to life. It is her voice I hear when I read the books having listened to several of the audio books. The sound quality is excellent and this is light and easy listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Outing For Agatha, 21 Jan. 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Mrs Raisin is back once again, trying to solve yet another murder. When a couple of businessmen want to start selling spring water from the village of Ancombe there are mixed responses. Some can see that this could help employment and bring more people to the Cotswold village; others see it as destroying village life and not enviromentally sound. And then our Agatha comes along and finds the chairman of the parish council dead.

Once again Agatha is on the case, but with her dodgy relationship with James Lacey will the two be able to solve the murder? Of course things are never simple where Agatha is concerned, she takes a job to help promote the water and is soon sleeping with one of the owners, and of course she is warned off both from him and by others to stop sticking her nose in, and then there is another murder.

As usual Agatha approaches this case as she always does, like a bull in a china shop. James Lacey tries to go undercover to find out who is paying the demonstrators to cause trouble. Once again could Agatha's life be placed in danger? And will she ever get back to a strong relationship with James?

I must admit that I find this series of books quite addictive. These are the kind of books that you can relax with, with your feet up and forget your worries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful listening experience., 30 July 2013
By 
Mondoro (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Initially I didn't quite `get' Agatha Raisin' - the books seemed to be churned out to a set formula, Agatha runs a detective agency in a beautiful part of the country where some dastardly but not too horrible things happens which Agatha puts right, so slender plots certainly not taxing to the reader! However for some reason Agatha Raisin grows on one. She is irritating, she drinks more than she should, her love life is ridiculous and her powers of detection are not really very good but somehow the more of these books one reads the more endearing she becomes! Perhaps we all need an element of light hearted silliness to flavour our reading?! This is the second audio reading by Penelope Keith of the Agatha Raisin series I have listened to. Of course Penelope Keith has a beautiful voice and she could probably make listening to someone's shopping list appealing but what lifts these recordings to a delightful experience is that Keith is also extremely good at `different' voices. Any information about the plot of this story would make reading/listening to it redundant so I merely wish to say Keith's reading is so good it makes the slightest most unlikely story absolutely charming and really come to life - I loved this production and highly recommend it. fjs
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have read the paper back..., 25 Aug. 2013
By 
C. FULLER (Brixham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Now is the chance to hear Penelope Keith read this sometimes gruesome story. I do not think it matters what order you listen to these stories. This is an early one but they are all fairly self contained. Penelope Keith is Agatha Raisin and even when you read M C Beaton's stories you can see Penelope Keith in your head.
Good in this story to have Roy Silver & Agatha back in the cut and thrust of the PR world. AudioGo now have a huge catalogue of Agatha raisin books read by Penelope Keith. Pricewise very good value.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in this series yet, 23 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
The Cotswold Village council is acrimoniously split as to allowing a company to bottle water from the town's historically famous spring. Acrimonious turns out to be not a sharp enough description as the corpse of the uncommitted council president is found inside the spring. Agatha Raisin, who has been hired by the Anacombe Water Company to provide public relations for the firm, decides to investigate. Her former fiancé, James Lacey also begins to inquire as to what happened to the president.
James and Agatha are irate with one another and refuse to help each other on their independent investigations. Although James has hurt her deeply, Agatha misses James, but she is seeing a much younger man. At the same time, her investigation seems to be going nowhere as everyone has an alibi. When a second murder occurs, Agatha realizes that she needs to uncover the identity of a killer, who will do anything to win the argument over the spring.
In the seventh Agatha raisin mystery, M.C. Beaton continues to keep her characters and their village fresh, especially as they struggle with the influx of major outside capitalism on a historical item. The story line is intriguing as the investigation by amateur sleuth extraodinaire Agatha is adroitly developed. This collection continues to be one of the best English cozy series on the market.

Harriet Klausner
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 27 Aug. 2006
M C Beaton has done it again. Pure genius. The continuing on/off romance between Agatha and James Lacey is intriguing. I am dying (no pun intended) to find out if they eventually get together. I started reading the Agatha Raisin books by accident but am absolutely hooked. I love fact that Agatha is so disliked yet liked by so many people. She's infectious!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A decent lightweight mystery, with excellent narration..., 23 Sept. 2013
By 
Christopher Meadows (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the seventh Agatha Raisin book.

Technically, it's a decent effort. The reader is clearly audible, and there is no easily discernible distortion or artifacting on the audio. The reader is Penelope Keith (famed as Margo on The Good Life), who clearly gets into the spirit of the thing. Her Agatha Raisin is waspish, forceful, distinctive, and impossible to ignore. Her reading of the other characters doesn't suffer for this - it seems like he was having fun with the reading. Each character is given a distinct tone and voice, and they're easy to keep apart - always a problem when one reader is handling as many characters as this.

The narrative itself is a bit of an odd one. The retired Agatha Raisin is dragged back into the spotlight as a PR representative for a water company which wants to bottle the water from a spring in her village - and at the same time, there's a rather unpleasant murder. Agatha immediately leaps into action to investigate. I was reminded, perhaps unavoidably, of Miss Marple - characters here also seem perfectly willing to reply to the questions of an amateur detective, and fold under a little light interrogation. There's also a long running romance sub-plot with Agatha's beau, James Lacey, which I think gets a bit too much time, and seems a bit immature for the character - but it does provide a nice counterpoint to the central mystery. As above, that mystery is fairly lightweight - it's more Marple than Midsomer. But it rattles along happily enough, and there are enough misdirects to keep the listener guessing, at least for a while.

Overall, a technically solid production, with a passable, light, central mystery - with an extra star added for the quality of Penelope Keith's narration, which makes the whole thing come alive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous entertainment for the daily commute, long journeys, or those whose eyesight is not so good, 19 Sept. 2013
By 
JoMaynard (UK) - See all my reviews
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Agatha Raisin is the grumpy, vulnerable amateur sleuth in this series of books by MC Beaton. She is a retired PR expert, who in this book is lured back to represent a new water company.
She lives in a cosy Cotswold village. Although in this book you find not all the villages are quite as friendly as hers. The neighbouring village of Ancombe, which is the location of the spring from which the water company plans to draw its water, seems to be full of very unfriendly characters. When a member of the Parish Council is found dead in the spring, Agatha sets out to investigate.

Lots of the familiar characters from the earlier books reappear: Roy Silver, James, Mrs Bloxby and Bill Wong reappear.

It is a fun series. A modern twist on the likes of Miss Marple, and very nice to have an ageing, middle aged heroine.

This Audio version is read by Penelope Keith. Well what more can I say, her voice provides the perfect reassuring backdrop for the main narration. Then when she reads the voices you actually forget that it is just one actress speaking. For example, having read the books I had forgotten that only Bill Wong's father is Chinese, but listening to this tape it was very easy to distinguish his slightly "chinese" accent from his son and wife's "cotswold" ones.

I listened to this over a number of days of my "Mum's Taxi" service. It would be just as good on a long journey or the daily commute, there are lots of convenient stopping points. Alternatively it would be a great present for an older relative or someone recovering from illness.
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Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death
Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death by M.C. Beaton (Paperback - 26 Feb. 2010)
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