Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death Paperback – 25 Mar 2010
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"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.
'M. C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem.' (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Women might like it but it is no good for men. Totally unbelievable.Published 29 days ago by GORDON V SMITH
I first noticed Agatha Raisin whilst watching a trailer of her on Sky 1, and after thinking that it looked really rather intriguing took the massive gamble of buying The Agatha... Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Craig
Finding that the books about Agatha Raisin were written by the author of Hamish MacBeth I knew I would have to try one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lizanne Lloyd
Enjoy all M C Beaton so I bought the whole series of Hamisj Macbeth and Agatha Raison.
Good enjoyable reading
I have given 4 stars as I enjoyed it on the whole. I was pleased that there was an X_Ray facility and page numbers as well as location points for my kindle. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer