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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Agatha Raisin is asked to publicise a village fete by her friend Mrs Bloxby. Before long she has taken on the task with her usual enthusiasm and the village of Comfrey Magna is inundated with reporters when a well known star is persuaded to open proceedings. Everything is going well until someone jumps to their death from the church tower. Agatha feels responsible and sets out to investigate ably assisted by staff from her detective agency. As ever this is a fast paced and intriguing mystery with a far from perfect heroine who is all the more endearing for her very human faults. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in less than 24 hours. If you want an intriguing mystery without an overload of violence this could be one to try.
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on 30 May 2009
No matter how many of these books I read each one is different. I change between feeling sorry for/cross with/cross on behalf of and exultant for Agatha. I could shoot James, shake Sir Charles, kick Roy and take Mrs Bloxby home. Another book to be read,enjoyed, put away and read agin.
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A Spoonful of Poison is very much a formula book where Agatha does all of the things that she does when she's out of control. Naturally, that gets her into trouble . . . and thus there's potential for humor. But the book doesn't work as well as in the past because it's all too predictable and Agatha doesn't grow as a character. If anything, she regresses in selfish ways. As a result, she's usually at her least appealing in this book.

Unless you feel like you need to read every word that M.C. Beaton ever writes about Agatha Raisin, this is one book that you could skip.

Interestingly, if you haven't read an Agatha Raisin book before, you'll probably like this book better than if you have read them all. It will probably be a four-star book for you filled with enough cozy humor to be broadly appealing. The stories, jokes, and punch lines will seem fresher.

So what's it all about?

Agatha finds one of the organizers of a church fete, George Selby, to be physically attractive. Naturally, she volunteers to do the publicity so she can spend time with him. But he doesn't seem all that interested. That doesn't slow down our Agatha.

At the fete, something terrible happens and Agatha feels compelled to use her private investigation agency to get to the bottom of things. In the process, she finds that there are some skeletons in the local closets. In sorting out those skeletons, she managers to annoy Toni, her protégé . . . leading to complications that Agatha hasn't anticipated.

The book goes through quite a few mysterious events and almost seems like a series of connected short stories rather than one novel. As a result, there's plenty of value for those who like to see lots of Agatha in different postures.

Will she end up with a man . . . or a broken heart?
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on 20 November 2009
I have read all the books in the Agatha Raisin series but found this one very disappointing. It appears as if it was written in a rush and not at all in the style of the previous books. The characters from the previous books are all in there but just appear briefly, and probably unnecessarily in part. If you didn't read this one, you would not be missing anything.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 January 2013
A good twist on the village fête theme, and jam making ladies. Entertaining. But I was surprised of an error .. Several references to "the Russian opera Lady Macbeth of Minsk by Prokofiev" ... Ahem ... It's actually Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Shostakovich .. I am astonished the editor never checked. OK it's not a serious novel, but I don't think the mistake is deliberate. Writing by numbers? Maybe. Never mind, I enjoyed the story though.
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on 11 May 2014
This is the one with the church fete and the poisonings and another man for Aggie to chase. That aspect of it is the usual Agatha Raisin read.

However, when researching a marriage you don't go and look in a "wedding certificate book". And turning up at a record office and filling out a few forms to receive an instant answer - not the way it is described in this book. Please Ms Beaton do your research or at least ask someone who knows how these things work in real life. This sort of thing annoys the amateur genealogists in your readership believe me!

Oh, and James is engaged.
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on 3 September 2015
Love Agatha Raisin but found this very like The Quiche of Death. Village fete just in another village. Doppy vicar with ravashing wife. At least Agatha seem's to have found another man to drool over with flashing Green eyes but as usual to good to be true. Jealousy is rife but she solves the crime. Keep thinking I won't read any more Agatha Raisin but I do
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on 1 February 2009
Not as good as earlier books. The key characters were under represented mainly Roy. The character and humour of Agatha did not work so well.The author needs to make more of an effort next time or she will start losing regular readers.
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on 14 February 2016
I love reading all the Agatha Raisin books, the covers are very eye catching, I like the hardback covers as I keep them and also have the audio versions as well as I can work and listen to the stories over and over.
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on 24 September 2014
I don't know what it is about the Agatha Raisin books but I have been addicted since reading the first two. As I am now nearly at the end of the series I don't know what I will do when there are no more to new books to read.
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Agatha and seeing her change, become less abrasive and soften in character. Her ridiculous escapades and fraught relationships are very entertaining and I feel I know her and her closest friends very well.
I will certainly miss reading about her and her friends and colleagues and may well have to go back to the beginning and start again !!
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