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4.4 out of 5 stars
Agatha Raisin and the Perfect Paragon
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2006
This is a really enjoyable read which is hard to put down.

If you have read other books in the series you will probably enjoy it as much as I did, but if you've never ready an Aggy Raisin book there is still enough information included to get you up to speed on who everyone is.

This is way up on my list of favourites within the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Like others who have read M C Beaton's stories of Agatha Raisin I too have become hooked on the character and plots so much so that I am listening to all of the dramatised versions put out by AudioGo at the same time as reading the books. I have enjoyed this one just as much as the others and I have to admit to not reading them in any particular order. I like the stories because there are plenty of well drawn characters and the plots move with pace and there is always going to be more than one investigation underway at a time. Agatha can be annoying but then I have met and worked with many like her and they always have a heart of gold underneath all the bluster. This story was well developed and there were plenty of twists and turns and I liked the way Agatha kept upstaging Inspector Wilkes. The new recruit Harry seems to have fitted in well and it is the introduction of new characters and the believable departure of others that makes the plots work. But now James Lacey has knocked at the door...what next. I cannot wait to start reading another story of Agatha Raisin and her investigations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another fantastic adventure, full of fun, sarcasm, hilarity and clumsiness that sums up Agatha Raisin and her crime solving ways!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Each book is now becoming more of a badly edited draft synopsis for a screenplay, rather than a novel.

Lazy writing, continuity and editing.
Author either fed up with this series or writing purely for tv franchise.

Such a shame, this began as an interesting and amusing read, but now is so shallow. Author has lost my respect ..... Book price hasn't reduced in relation to the writing ......
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Although this is the 16th mystery in the Agatha Raisin series, you could enjoy this book as a stand-alone if you don't want to go back. Of those earlier books, I do especially recommend the first one, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death.

Agatha Raisin had a rough start to her detective agency in The Deadly Dance. She learned she didn't really know all that much about detecting, that getting and keeping good help are hard, and that the police don't like amateur detectives who set up agencies any more than they like amateur detectives.

As The Perfect Paragon opens, the detective business is operating more smmothly . . . if only there were more business to operate. The money is in divorces, but Agatha has tried to avoid those cases due to having been recently divorced. But when business is slow, she agrees to check on Robert Smedley's wife, Mabel, who has shown an unusual (for her) tendency to act independently of her husband. Who is she buying those new clothes for? At the same time, Agatha has the usual run of missing teenagers and dogs where she normally makes good progress.

Agatha's agency soon makes a hash of the Smedley assignment, and after that she's off the case for other reasons. When a missing teenager turns out to be a murder victim, the obvious suspects seem to be unlikely killers, and Agatha is at a loss to figure out what happened . . . until Mrs. Bloxby gives her a hint as to motive. Before the story is over, crimes are spilling out in all directions.

Agatha adds a new staff member who brings some pizzazz to Agatha's investigations, and Agatha gets occasional help from her old detective partner, Sir Charles Fraith. Being as insensitive as ever to others, she virtually destroys her relationship with Bill Wong in the process of trying to find the killer and accept Bill's hospitality.

The story has a few weaknesses that are unfortunate: The investigation is turned into more of a circus than is really needed to make a good story, agency people make more dumb mistakes than seem likely, and there are a few too many coincidences in how the key facts are turned up.

The actual mystery is better developed and hidden than in many earlier books. And Agatha mostly avoids being her most annoying self.

I think these detective-agency cases will be the saving of this series, even though M. C. Beaton couldn't resist having Agatha fall for yet another handsome man.

Consider all the circumstances if you want to get at the truth!
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on 21 June 2013
"Agatha Raisin and the perfect paragon" is the 16th book in this murder mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin.
I think that this novel is one of the best Agatha Raisin books so far. The new characters in the previous book made another appearance in this book which was an excellent move by M C Beaton as they have certainly breathed new life into this series of books. The loveable Mrs Bloxby and old favourites Sir Charles and Bill Wong also bring this book to life

Again, like in the previous book, the murder investigation is a result of cases that she has taken on in her new role as private investigator with her own detective agency. Can Agatha find out the identity of the murderer in this tale of love, jealousy and revenge before the guilty escape

The book ends with a spectacular cliff hanger ..... I will be reading the next book in the series VERY soon!
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on 2 March 2015
I have to admit that I am hooked on the Agatha Raisin stories and I have read many of these books. However, if you are a stickler for correctly formed sentences and use of punctuation, it may drive you round the bend. The repetition of phrases makes me think that the author never reads through her work before sending it to the publisher, some sentences are grammatically incorrect and the punctuation is 'interesting'. One would expect such a prolific writer to have got the hang of it by now. Nonetheless, the storylines are good and the characters well-drawn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another good read - this is the 6th book I have read in the series which are all easy to get into and follow a similar theme - ideal holiday reading.
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on 18 August 2015
Listened to 9 talking books with Penelope Keith reading before buying the next ones to read for myself. Now I can see her as the Agatha character as I read and not the short blonde version of the Sky production! This story brings in too many new characters with too many sub plots in very short bursts for my liking. Having said that, the actual murders have me guessing, especially if they are linked. It hasn't put me off reading on in the series either.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2008
Unfortunetly what was once a good series of stories has dipped with the publication of the last two stories - coincidencing with a change of emphasis in the plotline.

Out as gone the bitchy amatuer Agatha and the well developed characters to be replaced with an Agatha who now cares about peoples feelings. For regular readers of the books, they will know that Agatha is not one for mellowing.

The characters which now surround her are at best poorly developed and are just too good to be true. Any obstacle is now easily overcome, any guess now becomes a fact and with it, the interest has vanished.

There is a chance to turn around the padded out plots with book 17 but I doubt we will see it happen. Much the pity, for there is a great character here which is being poorly utilised.
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