Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars92
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 30 August 1999
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Agatha Raisin, the sleuth in this story, is an enjoyably cranky middle-aged British lady. She has retired from the high pressure of London business (public relations) to settle in the quiet Cotswolds, only to get caught up in a murder and mystery. Being a rather cranky, middle-aged female myself, I found Agatha charming in her cantankerousness. The writing is amusing without being cloying, and I actually chuckled aloud several times. This was my first foray into murder with Agatha Raisin, and I'll definitely seek out another adventure with her.
0Comment|27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 December 1997
Agatha is at her most endearing and infurating best. I snap up all the Agatha series books as soon as they come off press because I know I'm in for a wonderful read. Anyone who like to take their murders with a dose of good humor will love Ms. Beaton's Agatha series. (Although this title is listed as part of the Hamish Macbeth series, the Agatha Raisin character has never even met Constable Macbeth. Suggestion to the esteemed author: Send Agatha to Hamish's beloved Lochdubh on vacation, knock off some offensive character and have Hamish and Agatha work together to solve the mystery. Your readers will be in for the ride of their lives!!)
0Comment|23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I found Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley to be a much less successful book than the earlier three books in the series. The mystery can barely qualify as one. Agatha is an unpleasant terror for much of the book (which makes for less than happy reading). The new characters are unsympathetic. The victim is particularly so.

So should you read the book? Yes, you're stuck. The book contains a lot of development in the Agatha Raisin-James Lacey relationship that will leave you high and dry if you skip Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley. Sorry.

During Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet, Agatha agreed to work in PR again in London in exchange for surreptitious help with her ruined garden. As this book opens, Agatha is finishing up her six-month stint in London at Pedmans, the firm that bought out her PR old firm. It's been an unpleasant experience and her final dinner leaves a bad taste for everyone but the client.

In Dembley (part of Gloucestershire), the cause-devoted, militant Jessica Tartinck is organizing the Dembley Walkers (a ramblers society) into another planned confrontation with a landowner who has blocked the public way while armed with a shotgun. Jessica savors the chance to make a splash. The others aren't so enthusiastic. After that meeting, her written challenge to Sir Charles Fraith is returned with an invitation to tea if the ramblers will avoid one of his fields that has been planted. Jessica's friend Deborah Camden is sent to check out the path. Jessica decides to ask permission first and captures the attention of Sir Charles who asks for her telephone number. Thoroughly charmed, Deborah recommends that they go along with Sir Charles and the other ramblers agree . . . except for Jessica who decides to challenge him on her own.

Meanwhile, Agatha returns to Carsely and finds that her handsome next-door neighbor, middle-aged bachelor James Lacey, has also been leading walks. She immediately joins the group and irritates him again by trying to organize things.

Soon thereafter, Jessica is found murdered in Sir Charles' field and a witness places Sir Charles in the vicinity. Concerned for her new friend, Deborah calls on her friendship with Mrs. Mason, head of the Carsely Ladies Society, seeks to engage Agatha to find the killer. Before long, Agatha and James are operating undercover, posing as a married couple, to penetrate the Dembley Walkers.

In the process, Agatha finds it frustrating to be pretending what she so desperately wants . . . to be Mrs. James Lacey. James, in turn, finds the whole matter even more annoying for different reasons.

Before the book ends, Agatha finds herself in a race to stop a murder.

Those who like romantic mysteries with an emphasis on "romantic" may find this book to be a four-star effort.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 March 2012
I thought the Potted Gardener story in the book before this was pretty good, but I struggled with this episode in the Agatha Raisin series, mainly because I found Agatha's character somewhat inconsistent. I just don't accept that a lady who can be as abrasive and aggressive as she is in her London PR incarnation can suddenly become so overawed by people like Sir Charles, Mrs Tassy & Gustav. Come on, someone who has achieved her level of success and wealth would be well able to make verbal mincemeat out of such people. It's also hard for me to accept that she would be so discombobulated by James Lacey that she finds herself shedding tears when she feels she has messed up any chance of a romantic liaison. For a character so prickly with her secretaries and the journalists she deals with in her capacity as a PR expert, she's remarkably childlike in her ideas about love and what she's prepared to accept in rather cavalier behaviour from her neighbour. Yes, we all have our vulnerabilities, but our basic characters don't change that much just because we have feelings for someone. I don't like the way Agatha is cowed by people she regards as her social superiors, & this behaviour shows whenever a Sir This or Lady That pops up in any of the stories. A sharp tongue like hers would remain sharp; just as it has provided armour for her in her career, so it would provide the same protection in all aspects of her life.
Also found this murder plot unconvincing & dull, & hope there's more of a return to form in the next book.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 17 September 2011
You have Hercule Poriot, Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp thanks to Agatha Christie now thanks to M.C.Beaton we have Agatha Raisin, James Lacey and DC Bill Wong all in their own way providing us with more cosy crime solving.

The walkers of Dembley is the fourth novel in the series of Agatha Raisin books. Over in Dembley a group of ramblers have started gaining militant momentum through the power of Jessica who insists that they should ramble through fields and country estates because it is their right of way. When Jessica insists on going through the land of Sir Charles Fraith, another of the group goes out to meet him and see the `lay of the land' if that cliché can be allowed. Sir Charles turns their immediate descent on is property by being civil and asking them to stick to the path but would they like to stay for tea? Jessica does not agree and when the rest of the group back away, she insists on going on her own and takes a path of fate that ends her life by person or persons unknown dispatched via a spade in a field of oil seed rape.

Enter the police but also Agatha Raisin as she asked by a local neighbour, Mrs Mason in Carsley to help with the investigation as her niece is rather taken with one of the potential suspects, Sir Charles himself. Agatha along with her neighbour James who seems to continual to blow hot and cold in their friendship let alone relationship investigates. Posing as a couple they to start to walk with the Walkers of Dembley, even Bill Wong the Detective is happy for them to play apart, he fears they are in no danger but then another body is found and he also was part of the Walkers. Agatha uses her intuition to come to a conclusion and they set off to protect who they think the next victim might be.

Causing damage, mayhem and destruction along the way they save a life and apprehend the murderer but it brings them both closer together and then things take a very different turn for Agatha? Will she soften and be less direct, forthright and outspoken or does the detective we love to hate remain the same underneath? Only reading the next book will tell us that!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
In this, the fourth book in of the Agatha Raisin cozy British mystery series, the irrepressible Agatha has just returned to her bucolic Cotswold village of Carsely, from her six month stint as a public relations agent in London. Hoping that absence has made the heart grow fonder, she is disappointed to find that her secret heartthrob and neighbor, the very attractive retired colonel, James Lacey, is not pining away for her.

When Jessica Tartinck, who runs a hiking club called the Dembley Walkers that treks across the properties of others without so much as a by your leave, turn up murdered in a local field, Agatha Raisin perks up. Once again she is able to join forces with James Lacey, and together this amateur crime fighting duo will try to solve the murder. Perhaps, it just takes murder to warm the cockles of his heart towards Agatha.

This book is notable for its introduction of the recurring character, Sir Charles Fraith. As always, the book is filled with droll humor and the central characters and their relationships continue to evolve. As with all cozy mysteries, the murder in almost secondary, as it is simply the glue that binds. This is a fun and highly addictive series, entertaining and peppered with a host of quirky characters. Well-plotted, the dialogue is credible, and the pace is brisk. Fans of the cozy mystery genre will love this series.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 November 2012
I have been reading the series in order, so this was my fourth foray into Agatha's world. I won't go through the plot as other reviewers have done that more than adequately. I just wanted to add another review at the lower end of the scale to warn Agatha fans that they're likely to be disappointed by this one.

I love the series for its madcap adventures and unlikely events, but this one takes it just too far. There's virtually no plot development at all and dialogue is painful at times. I could forgive poor writing in the earlier books because it was such good fun and entertainment, but there is none of that here. It's dull as ditchwater and unlikely in the extreme. The 'whodunnit' is unbelievable and the ending with James is just ludicrous. Real life people do not change their minds and go from 0 to 60 like this. It's as if the author couldn't be bothered with the 1-59 part, which is unfortunate because the book could certainly do with being a bit longer to justify the price tag as it's a very short read as it is.

I was left thoroughly glad I'd borrowed this one from the kindle lending library instead of wasting good money on it. The next one looks interesting so I'll give Agatha one more try but if it's as bad as this one then I won't be finishing the series.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 May 2011
The village of Dembley has a group of militant ramblers who are determined to keep open some forgotten rights of way - by force if necessary. Jessica is the most militant of the ramblers and it is no real surprise to anyone when she is found battered to death on land belonging to Sir Charles Fraith.

Sir Charles is immediately prime suspect. Deborah, one of the ramblers, is related to Mrs Mason the Chairwoman of the Carsely Ladies' Society of which Agatha Raisin is a member. As a result Agatha is asked to investigate.

Agatha and her next door neighbour James Lacey decide to masquerade as a married couple and join the ramblers on order to investigate the murder. There are some very funny moments in this book which made me laugh out loud and the conclusion is priceless.

Agatha and James, through their usual mixture of rushing in where angels fear to tread and their own knowledge of human nature get somewhere near solving the murder. The police - in the person of Bill Wong - are not a million miles behind them and might just have got their first - something which Agatha hotly denies.

This is an enjoyable read with some interesting characters and motivations. This is the first appearance of Sir Charles who features in most of the subsequent stories in this series.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 April 2006
The walkers referred to in the title are a rather eclectic and somewhat pathetic bunch who traipse around with a chip on their shoulders just spoiling for a fight with area landowners. They seldom have any trouble finding conflict especially with their pushy, outspoken and obnoxious leader Jessica Tartinc leading the charge. As this book begins Jessica has gone too far even for her followers and she heads off to confront a local aristocrat on her own. When her body is found on said aristocrat's land the suspect list includes not only the gentry but also the walkers themselves. Because one of the walkers is the niece of Mrs. Mason, the President of the Carsely Ladies Society, and has therefore heard of Agatha and her amateur sleuthing Agatha's assistance is requested. Needless to say, this gives a big boost to Agatha's ego but by the end of the book she finds out that maybe the reference that she received wasn't nearly as complimentary as she had thought.

Much to Agatha's delight, the strategy decided upon requires her and her neighbor James Lacey to move into a flat in Dembley and pose as husband and wife in order to infiltrate the group of walkers. Agatha, who has been chasing Lacey since the first book of the series is soon dejected however because her pretend marriage just doesn't work out at all like she had planned. Unknown to her however she is much more attractive to James when she isn't trying to get her claws into him and he becomes more and more fond of her as the book progresses. This part of the plot in fact leads to a bombshell of sorts at the end of this book, which will leave the reader very anxious to get their hands on the next entry in the series.

Despite the bombshell however this is probably the least enjoyable of the first four books in this series. The mystery itself plays a much larger part in this story than in the previous books, which would at first glance appear to be a good thing. Unfortunately the mystery is not suspenseful or for that matter interesting enough to carry the plot on it's own and all of the little side plots that involve the other characters in the book fall very flat. The problem may well be that for the most part the old comfortable characters in Carsely are basically absent from this book leaving only the new characters introduced for this book and quite frankly most of these new characters are fairly wretched creatures. It is really hard to get involved in a story when most every person involved makes your skin crawl. The whole notion of a cozy mystery is sort left by the wayside when there is absolutely nothing cozy about the story or it's characters.

I am a great fan of this series and if you intend to read any of the books following this one then this is a must read because of the interaction between Agatha and James. Just don't be at all surprised if after reading this book you find that instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy, like your supposed to feel after reading a cozy mystery, you just feel numb.
0Comment|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I have been looking forward to this book as it comes immediately before Agatha attempts to marry James Lacey and of course we know she does not get married.
This is a good old fashioned who dun it and I enjoyed the plot and the characters very much indeed. There are plenty of red herrings and we learn a bit more about Agatha in this story. I have said before that you can read the books in any order but it does make sense to read this one before "and the murderous marriage".
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.