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4.5 out of 5 stars136
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A dramatic start. Agatha's wedding to James is wrecked by the sudden appearance of drunkard husband Jimmy, he not seen for thirty years. In front of all, Agatha threatens to kill him - later to be arrested when he is found dead.

In this fifth book the usual ingredients are shaken up a bit: Agatha's cottage sold; nice DS Bill Wong infatuated with ambitious DC Maddie Hurd; Agatha and James drifting apart and frequently sparring. Simply to clear their own names, they uneasily join forces to try solve the murder - only for several they question to be dead within hours. Not for the first time, undertakers are going to be busy....

An enjoyable, involving first half. Sadly the novel then begins to rely on creaking contrivances (oh dear, the two resorting to another totally unconvincing break-in!) and increasingly ludicrous aspects - not least a heavily disguised Agatha slumming it with London's down-and-outs. On the plus side are further glimpses of Agatha's vulnerability. Behind that tough facade is someone desperately lonely, longing for true love, the chance to settle down and to be happy.

Entertaining enough, but perhaps not as greatly as many would wish.
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on 8 July 2004
Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage is the fifth book in the series written by M C Beaton.
Continuing from Beaton's previous novel Agatha is about to marry her neighbour James Lacey but at the last moment Agatha's secret is discovered - she is already married! Many deaths follow, and Agatha and James, once again, become amateur sleuths much to the annoyance of the local police force.
Once again Beaton gives us many insights into the lives of Carsley's inhabitants. I for one cannot wait to read the next instalment.
For those readers new to Agatha Raisin, when the books were recommended it was suggested to start with the first book Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death and read the series in order. I would offer the same recommendation.
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on 29 December 2009
I've read quite a few of the Agatha Raisin books and rate this one as average. The story was fairly entertaining but I thought it was too obvious who the killer was from about halfway through the book. It was interesting to see and find out more about Agatha's husband Jimmy though. That was probably the best thing about this book, the worst being that the relationship between Agatha and James Lacey takes center stage. I don't get what the attraction is (for either), and also don't find it plausible that they would ever get to the wedding stage. Overall though, it was a decent read.
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on 21 May 2013
A reasonable romp with our Aggy. I like to read these books between more 'serious' stuff as they raise a smile and distract one from the turmoils of life under this government. Not my favourite so far but worth a read. Looking forward to the next adventure, she is becoming a friend.
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on 4 June 1999
This was my first Agatha Raisin book, and I loved it. I work at a library, and now I've read nearly all of them. You'll love the village and the recurring characters.
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2011
Agatha has tried to convince the outside world that she can make wonderful Quiche (she cannot), she can have a show garden to rival something at Chelsea (she cannot) and that she can get married to her handsome next door neighbour James Lacey (she cannot).

Back in the fifth book of the series, Agatha has convinced herself and everyone else that she is no longer married, her husband is dead and that like everything else previously since we have known Agatha she can just carry on bull dozing through life to get what she wants. In this particular book - marriage to James. However her husband Jimmy Raisin, is far from dead in fact he is alive and stops the wedding ceremony dead. In fact so dead that some hours later Jimmy is found dead in a ditch and Agatha becomes the number one suspect.

With threats of Bigamy over her head, as well as trying to win back James affection, having sold her house to a miserable sour faced lady who does not want to participate in village life (remind you of anyone) Agatha has a lot to do in this book and it seems to be all going wrong. Somehow James wants to maintain the detecting marriage and they go and visit some witnesses, one by one something happens to these witnesses. Will they manage to piece the truth together not just to save their own lives but those they have spoken to.

Well known characters are back Bill Wong the detective has more of a storyline and also there is a love interest for him. Mrs Bloxby, the vicars wife is always around to help out Agatha and make her realise that she is actually a nice person and has to give herself a chance before she can give anyone else a chance. Even Roy Silver from her past in the PR world is still prominent and uses his position for Agatha's sake.

Some days you just need to read an Agatha Raisin to know everything is alright in the world! And so it is and now on to book 6!
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on 18 May 1999
Read anything by MC Beaton or Marion Chesney you can get your hands on. She's got great character development in every slim volume that she publishes. What a gem!
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on 1 April 2013
Agatha Raison is in excellent form in this book. It is a very amusing and engrossing read. I would thoroughly reccommend it.
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on 21 May 2016
Well up to the usual standard in this excellent cosy crime series. There is nothing clever in the way Agatha solves murders, and her habit of jumping into bed for casual sex in between smoking without thought for others doesn't make her a likeable character. And yet and yet......they are very readable escapist cosy crime. Nothing mentally challenging, nothing to stop the flow of your reading to check back on earlier pages for facts - just straightforward 'pleasant' murder mysteries (not suggesting there is anything pleasant about murder, but as we all know these are not real murders, nor likely to give anyone ideas of how to commit murders, they can be read as easy-going stories).
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on 13 February 2013
Poor old Agatha (Aggie as Sir Charles calls her) She's seems to be doomed
to a loveless life. It's a good job the story progresses asd well as it did, or we
would all be very disappointed for her.
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