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Too many inconsistencies.
on 24 March 2012
I find the Agatha Raisin series very hit and miss, and have to say that this story was very disappointing. A fault I find with the books is in the depiction of Agatha's character; I just don't accept that a strong, successful, self-made woman, who is the scourge of her PR rivals and the journalists and clients she deals with would become a blubbering, cowed wreck when faced with challenges in other aspects of her life. One minute she is presented to us as feisty and abrasive, the next she is intimidated by people she would previously have eaten for lunch. I can't believe this lady would be reduced to a shaking wreck when confronted by someone like Mary Owen or,indeed, any of the pantomime villains in the piece. As to her constant crying about James Lacey, again, I find her weakness in this matter not quite credible. I found her chasing off after him to north Cyprus a bit of a stretch in the last book, and am somewhat perplexed that even though he behaved badly and treated her cavalierly, she is still carrying a torch for him and frequently on the verge of tears when dealing with yet another example of his coldness.This woman didn't achieve the reputation she had as a bad-tempered, not to be crossed professional by bursting into tears every five minutes. Perhaps if the author made Lacey a more believable object of obsession and padded out his character somewhat the reader would be more willing to accept Agatha's on-going desire to be with him. As it is, he simply goes off in a huff and states (yet again) that he won't forgive her latest outburst. It's become boring and repetitive.
As to the plot, I thought it was far-fetched even for a 'cosy'. I know that we willingly suspend disbelief when reading such books, but this was unconvincing. Plus the characters were so unpleasant the reader is likely to wish them all murdered.
I have a few more to read in the series, and I hope that they are a return to the form the author shows in some of the other Agatha books.