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Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death Paperback – 25 Mar 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: C & R Crime; paperback / softback edition (25 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849011346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849011341
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 2.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"She's ratty and rude...a far cry from Chritie's detectives but she's our new village sleuth." -- Good Book Guide --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'M. C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem.' (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 1 Sept. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a entertaining and very funny "whodunnit". The characters are very well drawn for a crime novel. The "detective", Agatha Raisin, is someone you can both like and dislike at the same time, and the other characters cover a good range from the normal to the farcical. There are some very funny, moments, and some observant swipes at small-town life. The "whodunnit" element of the story is almost incidental: it serves to carry the story forward and introduce us to the characters, but at times it verges on getting in the way of the good fun!
If you like hard-boiled, mean streets, police-procedurals, you'll hate this. If you just want a good, easy, comfortable read, you'll love it.
This is the first book in the Agatha Raisin series.
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Format: Paperback
Agatha Raisin is an awful woman but I promise that by the time you finish this book you will love her, warts and all.

A self-made woman who sells her business and retires early to her dream-cottage in the Cotswolds (furnished by an expensive interior decortator, naturally).

Agatha suddenly finds herself in a completely alien environment.

In a effort to make her mark on the village and announce her arrival, she plots to win the village Quiche baking contest. Her plan is simple - she will enter, as her own work, a quiche bought from a top-class delicatessan in London. Unfortunatly for Agatha, the judge dies after eating it and her deception is uncovered. Worse she finds herself being held responsible for his death.

And this is when you start finding your self falling for her.

From the moment the plot is hatched the reader can't fail to know the outcome, but rather than feeling righteous indignation on the part of the other contestants you can only feel sympathetic embarrasment for the situation you know Agatha is going to find herself in.

Convinced that she can redeem herself in the eyes of those around her Agatha sets off to solve a crime the police insist hasn't happened.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first Agatha Raisin book I've read and it happens to be the first in the series. So what did I think of it? Well, it is what I'd describe as 'a cottage cosy' - a traditional whodunnit, set in a country village, in this instance, a village in the Cotswolds. Cue arrival of Mrs Agatha Raisin, newly retired from her high powered job in public relations. Immediately she falls foul of the villagers by cheaing in a baking contest. Her attempt to win friends and influence people certainly backfires with one person ending up dead after eating Agatha's 'home-made' quiche! When the police fail to find the culprit, Agatha sets out to solve the crime.
I didn't find Agatha a particuarly likeable person - but then, I don't think she is meant to be. She is an annoying busybody, the sort of person you'd not want as your next door neighbour. Indeed, she is given to turns of phrase such as "The Cow! I'll be damned" (and we're not talking about a bovine on four legs.) The villagers are a motley crew - either upper crust with double-barrelled names (of course!) or those who would, in the past, have been seated well below the sale. The village policeman, a likeable lad, is Chinese. This is perhaps the most likely part of this story. However, having pointed out all these (for me) shortcomings, i.e. less than brilliant writing and/or plotting and unbelievable characters (including the leading role, Mrs Raisin herself) I thoroughly enjoyed this book and on the strength of it, have bought the next in the series!
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Format: Paperback
Agatha Raisin couldn't be more different from the author's other well-known leading character - Hamish McBeth - if she tried.
Descending on a Cotswold village in seach of some kind of idealised retirement, after selling off her London PR agency for a substantial sum, Agatha quite quickly finds that the scenario she has dreamed up is just that - a dream - and village life is far more prosaic and easy going than anything she had prepared herself for.
Right up to the moment when she unwittingly becomes the instrument of a murderer's malicious plans.
As previous reviewers have mentioned, quite a lot of the book is spent familiarising us with Agatha, her past history, the village and so on. Given that the series now runs to more than a dozen books, is looks like the author could have spent a little less time on the background details, and a little more on the plot. Still, this book is completely representative of the series, and if you like this one you'll almost certainly like the rest.
To be frank, this isn't great literature, in fact it isn't really even comparable with Agatha Christie's stories. The village setting is there, and a bunch of village "characters", but Agatha has little of the insight into how other people tick than does Miss Marple, and her successes usually owe a lot more to brute force than skilful sleuthing. Though Agatha (Raisin, that is) does have her moments.
I get the feeling that these books are more about providing an easy, entertaining read than trying to join the band of detective fiction "immortals". And as such they work very well, indeed better than most of the current crop of "cozys", in my opinion.
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