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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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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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First published in 1998, this is the seventh in M.C Beaton's long running series of detective stories to feature the acerbic modern day Miss Marple Agatha Raisin.

Agatha's life is in turmoil following her disastrous attempt at marrying James Lacey. At the same time she becomes aware of controversy in a local village surrounding a proposed commercialisation of the local spring water. After being offered a job as PR rep for the water company she takes a stroll down to the spring and discovers the body of a local councillor in it. Under the guise of trying to sort things out so as to avoid bad publicity for the firm that she is now representing, she is soon sticking her nose in.

This is a delightful read, propelled along by the central character of Agatha Raisin as she deals with life as well as death. Most of the book sees her trying to investigate the various nasty people who make up the local Parish Council, and the bitter and petty facets of their characters. While not investigating she is either dealing with the emotional fall out from her break up with James, which takes some unexpected turns.

The mystery itself takes a back seat to the tale of Agatha's trials and tribulations for most of the book, and the murderer is quite easy to guess from early on, but nonetheless this is a good read, filled with entertaining incident and a fair dollop of humour. 4 stars for the book.
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First published in 1998, this is the seventh in M.C Beaton's long running series of detective stories to feature the acerbic modern day Miss Marple Agatha Raisin.

Agatha's life is in turmoil following her disastrous attempt at marrying James Lacey. At the same time she becomes aware of controversy in a local village surrounding a proposed commercialisation of the local spring water. After being offered a job as PR rep for the water company she takes a stroll down to the spring and discovers the body of a local councillor in it. Under the guise of trying to sort things out so as to avoid bad publicity for the firm that she is now representing, she is soon sticking her nose in.

This is a delightful read, propelled along by the central character of Agatha Raisin as she deals with life as well as death. Most of the book sees her trying to investigate the various nasty people who make up the local Parish Council, and the bitter and petty facets of their characters. While not investigating she is either dealing with the emotional fall out from her break up with James, which takes some unexpected turns.

The mystery itself takes a back seat to the tale of Agatha's trials and tribulations for most of the book, and the murderer is quite easy to guess from early on, but nonetheless this is a good read, filled with entertaining incident and a fair dollop of humour. 4 stars for the book.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
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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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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VINE VOICEon 30 July 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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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 be so feared in her London PR days. Less appealing is the continuing saga with James. It has become a bore. Also hard to take is her again springing into bed with a much younger man - hardly a way to win James back.

The seventh novel contains unexpected pleasures. One is supplied by, of all people, her slinky former employee Roy. (NOT that silly punt business which came out of nowhere - blatant spacefilling if ever there was.) His tirade about frustrations experienced in supermarkets is spot on, likely to strike a chord with many readers. A major delight concerns a favourite character - here most dramatically to save the day in a climax more satisfying than usual.

Agatha remains refreshingly politically incorrect, but certain aspects of her conduct may provoke amongst several readers reservations that diminish enjoyment.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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on 23 June 1998
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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