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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body - More sharp tongued detective work from Penelope Keith and MC Beaton
This review is for the unabridged audiobook narrated by Penelope Keith.

When local busy body John Sunday is found unexpectedly dead, Agatha Raisin sets out to winnow away the multitude of suspects and to find the murderer. In this tongue in cheek take on the world of amateur sleuths such as Miss Marple, MC Beaton provides us with a decent well written plot,...
Published on 3 Aug. 2011 by Victor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elf and safety
Agatha Raisin and the Bust Body is a prime example of that very British kind of cosy murder mystery that mixes corpses with middle class aspiration, something that author M.C. Beaton certainly isn't unaware of, keeping just enough of her tongue in her cheek to avoid descending into total tweeness. This entry in her popular series is a perfect bit of middle class wish...
Published on 25 Oct. 2011 by Trevor Willsmer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body - More sharp tongued detective work from Penelope Keith and MC Beaton, 3 Aug. 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is for the unabridged audiobook narrated by Penelope Keith.

When local busy body John Sunday is found unexpectedly dead, Agatha Raisin sets out to winnow away the multitude of suspects and to find the murderer. In this tongue in cheek take on the world of amateur sleuths such as Miss Marple, MC Beaton provides us with a decent well written plot, with some nice twists and turns, and believable characters. The joy of the story is the sense of humour, and Agatha's constant stream of acerbicness. It's an entertaining story.

Having played MC Beaton's detective creation in a radio series, Penelope Keith seems a natural choice for narrating this audiobook version of her 21st adventure. The vocal characterisation is great, especially for Agatha herself. She is an actress of versatility and able to imbue the different characters with a unique voice. The six hours just sail by.

The set contains 6 discs, in a case about the size of a double jewel case. In all a great way to pass 6 hours in the car.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elf and safety, 25 Oct. 2011
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Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Agatha Raisin and the Bust Body is a prime example of that very British kind of cosy murder mystery that mixes corpses with middle class aspiration, something that author M.C. Beaton certainly isn't unaware of, keeping just enough of her tongue in her cheek to avoid descending into total tweeness. This entry in her popular series is a perfect bit of middle class wish fulfilment as the village's pedantic health and safety officer gets offed, but not before cancelling Christmas and leaving pretty much everyone with a motive for delivering the coup de grace. Most of the expected plot developments follow, including the omnipresent death of the chief suspect, but it's all handled deftly and wittily without getting bogged down in too many preliminaries. Beaton's small world isn't always a convincing one, owing more to the conventions of the amateur sleuth genre, and some of the plot developments strain credulity a bit, but Penelope Keith's reading of the unabridged CD audiobook captures the recognisable grumpiness of the modern day Miss Marple without making her too unlikeable and does a colourful job with the supporting characters too. It's not likely to make many new converts, but it's an amiable enough affair for its target readership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Squeezing the raisin..., 15 Dec. 2010
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This audiobook was my first meeting with Agatha Raisin and so I'm at a disadvantage compared to her existing fans and followers who already know of her feistiness and foibles. That's even more of a disadvantage when characterisation isn't a strong point of MC Beaton's somewhat pedestrian prose, usually you're given little more than the character's hair and eye colour, and although Penelope Keith tries valiantly to differentiate the players it all became a bit indistinct and un-involving to me. It's not that there's anything bad about the book or Penelope Keith's reading, it all just seems a bit unambitious and middlebrow.

Despite Penelope Keith's significant skills as a narrator it feels less like a novel and more like a TV drama is being read out to you and that you're missing a lot of the characterisation and drama that would otherwise be supplied by live actors and locations. Maybe it will work for Agatha Raisin's existing fans, but it all seemed a bit dry to me - maybe Agatha was more fun back when she was still a grape? (sorry, couldn't resist!) I might wait for the TV series or investigate the BBC Radio dramas, also featuring Penelope Keith, which might work better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body, 7 Oct. 2010
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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John Sunday is causing havoc in and around Carsely - the Cotswold village where Agatha Raisin lives. He is a Health and Safety officer and is upsetting everyone by banning things such as the Christmas Tree on top of the church steeple and the wooden shelves in the village shop.

Then during a meeting in a nearby vicarage to organise a protest against Sunday's activities the man himself is found dead in the garden. The problem for the police and for Agatha is that there are too many suspects. Just about all the villagers have means motive and opportunity to commit the crime.

This is the sort of case Agatha loves - where she can go ferreting around to find all the secrets that everyone wants to hide - and there are plenty of secrets to discover especially when another murder is committed and the whole thing acquires an international flavour.

I really enjoyed this fast paced story and the character development of the series characters. Agatha is also taking on new detectives for her expanding detective agency. This is a great addition to the series and will be read and enjoyed by all Agatha Raisin's many fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real mystery..., 2 Nov. 2013
By 
C. FULLER (Brixham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body (Paperback)
As a regular Agatha Raisin reader this one is an instant favourite. The book was originally published in 2010 and I have only just discovered it. The stories surrounding the detective agency are well written and there are many characters and what seems to be an ever changing canvass. It was topical that Health & Safety should be an undercurrent and great to have the crazy rules as a back drop to a murder. The new trainee investigator Simon Black is the perfect partner for Toni Gilmour but Agatha has already imposed conditions fearing she will lose them both. The chase to catch the culprits and their wives was exciting. Will ever find her man? only MC Beaton will know the answer? Forget all about James Lacey and Sir Charles Fraith is a real fly by night. I hope not just yet as there must be more investigations and antics still to write about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Penelope Keith is the key, 18 Dec. 2010
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ziggy_fan (England) - See all my reviews
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I do enjoy the Agatha Raisin audiobooks. The tongue cheek nature of the series is an important element too. This particular set is also a good addition to the series, and packaged nicely too. The plot for "busy body" is one of the best and most intricate ones, and I enjoyed listening to it immensely. I have to say though that the main reason I have been hooked into these audiobooks is Penelope Keith's superb reading and characterisations. She is brilliant and brings an added geniality to the stories.

Highly recommended also because this is an unabridged version, which I prefer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good, if undemanding, story well performed by Penelope Keith to make a gentle listen with a few good surprises., 26 Feb. 2011
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G. Wake "gregwake" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having heard one the BBC's full-cast dramatisations of an Agatha Raisin stories I was concerned this unabridged reading by Penelope Keith (who plays Agatha in the BBC version) just wouldn't be as good, but I need not have worried as Penelope Keith is a brilliant reader who makes a good job of all the voices and not just that of Agatha. I'm not sure what the various 'local' people will think of the accents used but they are good enough to not interfere with the telling of the tale.

If you've ever been bothered by a jobsworth, determined to make everyone else's lives as empty as their own, the first murder in this audiobook will be source of satisfaction and enjoyment. The story is in no way predictable, M C Beaton has provided us with layers of complexity and a number of surprising turns and twists that caught me off guard several times while listening. Just as you think a solution is at hand something else happens and it's brilliant.

The publisher, Audio Go Ltd, present this audio book in style of box I am seeing more often of late; this is not the folding jewel case with each CD on a hinged door but a slightly fat case where the CDs sit atop one another on a single spindle.The advantage to this is there are no fragile hinges to break or to try and fold from the wrong side; the disadvantages are the CD case is taller than a regular jewel case and thus does not fit (on its side) in my car's CD box or my household CD rack. That aside I like this box, it's not perfect but is a lot less complicated than the old style jewel cases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the "raisin" I tought, but fair enough., 11 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body (Paperback)
I must admit that I liked the Lochdubh-affair with Hamish Macbeth and all the villagers much better. The Raisin-books I will also classify as entertainment, and no one takes dear M.C.Beaton to be a Hemmingway here, (Gott sei dank!) but we all go to M.C.B for her stuff! She is a god one to describe places, the weather, the colors and last but far from least: the people! Everything looks real! Her characters are living people and she manages to give us that nice feeling of homecoming. This is her forte! Thank you lady for all that you have given to me!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gossip Under the Mistletoe, 20 April 2012
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The Agatha Raisin books have been going for some time now and M C Beaton is a prolific writer, churning out what feels like 4 books a year. I use the word churn because having read a few of the Raisin novels I started to feel like I was trapped in the same book. `Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body' is no exception to this rule and in fact follows the well-trodden path the series has created for itself. This time Agatha must uncover the culprit who offed the local health and safety nightmare. Throw in a bit of a Christmas theme and you have a slight difference to the earlier books.

The story is very samey as always, basically Agatha gossiping with locals until the murderer is revealed. What makes `Busy Body' better than most is that I had the unabridged audio version to listen too. Narrated by the wonderful Penelope Keith, the actress is able to guide you through what is a pretty generic fixture in the Agatha Raisin collective. On a car trip, listening to Keith is enough for you to overlook some of the lacking in the story. However, a narrator can only do so much and the average nature of the story does come through - making the large CD set drag on a little too much. A poor workman blames his tools, but in this case Keith is right to do so. She lifts a very mediocre novel into something pleasing to listen in the car, but no more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Politically Incorrect Escapism, 12 May 2012
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body (Paperback)
What can one say about Agatha Raisin? She continues to try and avoid village life and the murders that occur on a frequent basis, but something draws her right into the melee of it all. And in her 21st adventure she is still as rude and cheerless as ever and I just love her!

The dislike for the local Health and Safety officer, Mr John Sunday by the villagers has led to Christmas being ruined for many, as the tree cannot festoon the top of the church tower. Whilst discussing the way forward at a local meeting, a scream is heard and it appears that Mr Sunday has ruined, another event - by being murdered.

Agatha a reluctant attendee at the meeting suddenly wants to become involved in the catching the perpetrator but with a man so hated where do you start looking. Something as trivial as that will not bother Agatha. When the prime suspect enlists Agatha's help in solving the crime, the story picks up pace, and twists along the Cotswold lanes until the perpetrator is discovered.

Well known characters form the series make appearances in this book, and as always picking it up is like revisiting a long lost friend. Long may they continue.
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Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body
Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body by M.C. Beaton (Paperback - 21 April 2011)
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