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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2012
I read the first offering "The Quiche of Death", (couldn't forgive the awful play on words!) and hoped Agatha's erratic and juvenile behaviour would improve with subsequent offerings. Alas this was not to be. Initially she came across as immature and silly. But as the second, third and fourth books progressed, I thought she just became tiresome. The stories themselves were OK, but definitely not riveting. I did find one or two flaws in "continuity" in The Potted Gardener. Can you have a sallow complexion and very, very white legs, as one character is described? And when Agatha has to leave the village for a while, she leaves her cats with her handsome neighbour, but on her return (at the start of The Walkers of Dembley), we're told that her cleaning lady had been caring for them. Maybe a trivial point, but it shows lack of attention to detail, which some readers (like myself, obviously) will pick up on. On the whole though, they were a reasonably enjoyable read, but I do not find myself enthused with curiosity to know what happens to Agatha and any subsequent developments in either her love life, or her sorties into crime detection.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2012
I bought this starter collection when it was on offer.I forced myself to read a different book in between each of the 4 stories so i could make it last longer. Have to say I rushed the other books so I could get back to Agatha and her exploits. The books are easy reading with simple to follow characters. I would like to download the others but as they are really quite short books,coming on for nearly 2 deacades old and there is a group of 10 paperbacks (books 11-20)available on the internet for £9.99 I think the Kindle price is too much, especially if you are new to them and would like to read them all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2012
This is a good, easy and rather fun read. Excellent for light reading while on long journeys - I read one book on my recent train journey to Wales. A really good addition to my Kindle. I have to say, I have developed rather a fondness for Agatha Raisin, silly as she is!
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on 4 March 2013
Agatha Raisin is an unlovely middle-aged woman, inclined to bursts of temper, with a waspish manner and a feisty temperament. She has retired from a prosperous life as a PR in her own business and settled in the Cotswolds. She keeps coming across murders, and solving them with the occasional help of her neighbour, James, whom she fancies like mad and who left her at the altar after discovering she was married. Not, then, the sort of dream woman that other women envy - apart from her wealth.

There are a few believable characters in the noverls - the vicar's wife, (who is cleverly and well portrayed), Bill the policeman, Roy, the camp ex-employee, and James, who clearly has the good sense not to let his feelings loose in the incapable hands of Agatha. She smokes, by the way, and wears far too much gloopy make-up.

I find I dislike her intensely, which mars my enjoyment of the books, of course.

The plots are clever, the Cotswolds portrayed with love, and the writing literate, so that's fine, though the endless descriptions of Agatha's internal dilemmas and aberrant behaviour in social situations grate on me. Rarely, they are very, very funny - and I have laughed out loud sometimes. More often, though, the to- and fro-ing, not only of Agatha's and James' actual travels, but also their passions and deliberations, are not only annoying, confusing, and repetitious - but boring. Unrequited love is dreadfully dreary in real life and in fiction. If it is designed to make the reader care about the outcome, it does not succeed.

The relationships between Agatha and James, and the local police, are - frankly - total nonsense, but then, I doubt Ms Beaton intends us to take any of these novels as realistic.

So why I am going to finish the series? Well, like many middle-aged, middle-class, middle-brow women, I love English detective stories, and there simply aren't enough good ones to keep my Kindle full and my bedtime reading sorted. These are not good novels in their own right, unlike PD James', Peter Robinson's, Marc Billingham, and even Peter James'.

Perhaps I should stop moaning and write one myself!.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
Who would've thought a 24 year old would be so much enjoy reading about a middle aged woman who moves to the country to have a more relaxing life, yet finds herself involved in slightly unbelivable situation? Well so it was! Agatha's character is so endearing, the book so readable, and the surprise you share with Agatha as her retirement becomes so strangely exciting makes this a great book to read to relax. It's not complicated, it's not emotional, it's not hard-hitting, but it's charming and involves you from the beginning, so it is hard to put down.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2012
purchased this book when on offer as it had been on my wish list.one of the reasons for buying was the comparison to miss marple.having read every book written by agatha christie i can assure you this character bears no resemblance in any way shape or form to the afore said miss marple .agatha raison is neither likable or believable.dont waste your money as i did .
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on 14 July 2012
The first four books in the Agatha Raisin series introduce you to Agatha, our heroine, who has just retired from her Public Relations business in London and has moved to the Cotswolds.

Her manner and attitude prevent her from becoming welcome in the village and she goes to strange lengths to try to fit in; this includes buying a quiche from a high-end store in London and passing it off as her own in the local baking competition. Her quiche doesn't win the competition (mainly as the competition was "fixed") but the judge dies after eating a slice of it. Agatha decides that the best way to prove her innocence is to find the real killer; when she succeeds, this makes her a few friends in the village.

The next 3 books all have equally improbable story lines, but focus on Agatha and how she is slowly changing to become a much nicer person. As she changes, she makes more friends and finds herself much happier.

The books could best be categorised as "cosy mysteries" and are a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
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on 1 March 2013
I first encountered Agatha through the radio series broadcast on radio 4 extra, starring Penelope Keith in the title role. I found this good , but felt that this was an extension of her character in "To the manor born ". I expect that this portrayal landed her the role and I felt sufficiently interested to purchase the kindle edition containing four works, representing good value.
I generally only read non fiction being interested in a particular historical event which can be heavy going, my fiction purchases are confined to crime thrillers so as this style is somewhat lighter I have found it most enjoyable. I can understand some criticisms highlighted by other reviewers but personally I thought that Agatha`s vulnerability, behind the confident exterior, plays out well and was something which did not come across in the radio portrayal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2013
Owh... M.C.Beaton... I'm so in live with your Agatha Raisin. I read this 4 books in no time! Should do more of this bundle - 3/4/5 books in one go! That really helps the addictio to Agatha Raisin. Sometime I feel like I can really see her when I read the book. She is some woman!
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on 30 December 2012
I only started reading the Agatha Raisin books recently when I downloaded one of the books onto my Kindle. Now I am hooked on this middle aged retired business woman who has moved to the 'idlyllic' Cotswolds for the peace of village life. However she is not used to a peaceful existance and finds life rather boring, despite almost throwing herself at the first eligible man who crosses her path. It is therefore extremely lucky that more people are murdered in the village than are born, thereby giving her a new reason to exist - as a crime investigator!

It is written in a witty and easy reading style, ideal for picking up and putting down, so just right for me. Best read in order as the charactors in the village develop with each subsequent story.
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