Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Agatha Falls Back on Her Worst Habits
on 26 October 2008
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?