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The Piddlebury Poisoner
on 6 October 2013
It is that time of year again when we have a new 'Aggie' novel to devour, and so today I had my feet up on a nice quiet Sunday and relaxed to what I hoped would be an enjoyable read. Unfortunately I was very surprised with this book. Like many other people who love this series, I am looking for a bit of a mystery and some humour, and it has to be admitted that on the whole you do get that with this book. Agatha Raisin finds herself investigating a case in the quaint hamlet of Piddlebury, in the Cotswold. You do have strange characters, some romance and humour, just like what you would expect in a Raisin story, but this doesn't really deliver such an enjoyable read.
The actual novel seems to drift between two and four stars, that is why I have given it three. There are parts of this where you feel M C Beaton is on top form, only to be let down by what follows. In some ways I felt that this had been co-written, or if by one hand, then someone who was getting a bit bored. There is one part of a romantic nature (I won't say between whom, as I do not want to spoil this for those who haven't read the book), which is really just filler, there is no need to go into the actual events, just show the outcome, which Mrs Bloxby had already predicted. Parts of this story also seem to be cobbled together from other cases, and at times you feel a sensation of deja vu.
This is readable enough, and you do get some entertainment here, but it does jar in places, and you soon realise that this isn't up to the standards of other stories in the series, indeed in at least a couple of places you wonder if this is suddenly going to turn into some supernatural thriller. If like me you are an 'Aggie' fan, then you will probably want to read this, but if you are new to Agatha Raisin, do yourself a favour, and get one of the earlier books to read instead. So remember, this is an okay read, it just isn't a good read, and not really on the sort of level we expect an Agatha Raisin novel to be.