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on 24 August 2017
Agatha Raisin. The perfect books to read between heavier tales, funny, human & quite delightful.
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on 1 May 2017
Perfect, just love M.C.Beaton and her character Agatha Raisin.
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on 7 May 2017
Got for a present , owner very happy with it , enjoying story will buy another book in the series
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on 7 January 2013
another great story from a great writer, the series and the characters are brilliant cannot get enough of them. a brilliant read
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The suspense in Kissing Christmas Goodbye is mostly focused on whether Agatha Raisin will be able to pull off a splendid Christmas party with James Lacey at her side: That's one of her dreams as the book opens. Having grown up as the daughter of two alcoholics in the Birmingham slums, Agatha has always craved a classic Christmas dinner. Her previous attempt hit a major snag when she burned her turkey and had to be bailed out by a last-minute caterer, but everyone had fun.

The detective agency is doing well because Agatha has overcome her scruples about taking on divorce cases, even if everyone on the staff finds them distasteful. But without the fantasy of a man to fall in love with, Agatha finds herself bored by it all. With her Christmas fantasy, she finds a substitute for romantic fantasies.

Life becomes more interesting when Agatha decides to check out an invitation from Phyllis Tamworthy, an elderly woman who claims that her family is about to kill her. Agatha takes on the assignment of preventing the murder and ends up having one of the worst country weekends imaginable. Mrs. Tamworthy is right about one thing: Someone is out to get her. The detecting trail leads Agatha to learn a great deal about this unpleasant woman and her undesirable family.

For me, the best part of the book came in the introduction of a new character, Toni Gilmour, a 17-year-old woman who seems to be a young Agatha Raisin in the making. Toni is hired to do the pet detecting that Harry Beam used to do before he headed off to Cambridge for his university studies. Toni is soon promoted into the front ranks as a detective due to her remarkable insights and good luck. But it's Agatha's reaction to Toni that makes this a good story: Agatha turns maternal, something we haven't seen before. I hope we will see and hear a lot more of Toni in future books in the series.

The story is fun and I would have graded the book higher except that this is a most transparent mystery in terms of who did what to whom. How could I grade a book above average if the mystery is child's play?

But I know this book will bring many smiles to your face.

Merry Christmas!
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on 23 December 2009
M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye is a wonderful title for a book though a teeny tiny bit misleading as really Christmas happens right at the end. However when it does show up it sets you in the Christmas mood as Agatha tried to organise the whole village to have dinner in her cottage, it involves a lot of expense builders and hired chef's and is very funny. However by this point a murder or two have already been solved so no actual festive murder, if there is such a thing, has taken place which is what I was expecting. I still enjoyed it immensely.

Agatha receives a letter from a Mrs Tamworthy who states "I think a member of my family is trying to kill me. Isn't the weather warm for October?" Initially thinking she is crackers and having far too much work to do she ignores the note. However after dubiously hiring a new detective in the form of seventeen year old Toni Gilmour time is freed up and indeed a murder does take place. Agatha soon hits dead ends whereas Toni seems to have amazing luck solving cases so she drags her into it all with her leading to some interesting an not seen before adventures for Agatha some quite, quite dark.

Toni is a great character with a very interesting and topically current back story and who also brings out some very different sides of Agatha's personality both good and bad. Hopefully I will read more about her in the future. I was briefly wondering if a spin off series might be planned but I can't see it happening just yet. I thoroughly enjoyed this despite my worry the detective agency might be too much. It does mean we get less of the wonderful characters from the village, but we also get to meet a whole host of new ones in two other settings. Another delightful Agatha read and just about right for Christmas time.
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on 25 July 2013
This 18th Agatha Raisin murder mystery begins with Agatha being obsessed by having the perfect Christmas and the return of her ex-husband James Lacey. Planning begins in earnest for a Christmas to remember - that is until Agatha's detective agency is asked to take on the case of an elderly widow who is frightened that someone wants to murder her. In true Agatha style, murder and mayhem quickly follow her.

A new young detective,Toni, hired by Agatha breathes fresh air into this book and for a change Sir Charles takes a bit of a back seat in the investigation.

Will Agatha solve the murders by herself of will she find herself cast into the shadows when Toni starts her own sleuthing. This is a clever book with plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing until the very end.

Much better than the previous book - partly because James Lacey was not involved in the investigation so back to M C Beaton's usual (very high) standard.

The only thing is don't be fooled this is not a proper Christmas read!
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on 25 October 2009
The first few Agatha books were really interesting, proper 'page turners'. By the time I'd reached 'Kissing Christmas Goodbye' the pages were not so easy to turn. However, with a sense of loyalty and a determinaton to see things through to the end, I shall continue to read all the Agatha Raisin books, hoping that she will find a 'happy ending' for herself.
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on 17 March 2017
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on 6 May 2011
I have been reading the Agatha Raisin books in order, over several years - one every 3 months or so, when I want a soothing read that is amusing and light. Bedtime cosy reading is something that anyone who has read my reviews before knows that I read concurrently with more exciting or demanding books that I tackle during the daytime hours. Thus, I sleep better.

When I read the Agatha Raisin books, I positively 'itch' to edit them, to smooth out the rough edges, to find a subtler phrase than the author can be bothered search for. I have become more and more convinced over the years that these books are 'first drafts' and that nobody is allowed to edit them to make them better. It is a shame, the plots are there, a bit shaky at times, but all the ingredients jostle for place, all they lack is the patience (or maybe the time, since M. C. Beaton is so prolific)to improve them.

Never mind, I have got used to series now, and I have to say that this book has quite a convoluted plot, maybe a few too many murders (is she vying with the TV series, Midsomer Murders?)but all the mad ingredients are still there. Agatha, her trusty sidekick, Sir Charles, a new young woman, Toni - I do hope Toni will stay, have a feeling she would be too much competition for our redoubtable detective.

I enjoyed Kissing Christmas Goodbye - Agatha Raisin is my guilty pleasure and one that I keep secret from my friends and family. She is a bit like me, outspoken, puts her foot in things, yet has a heart of gold. And speaking of gold, where does she get all her money! It has always been explained away that she was a high-flyer in the City, a lovely fairy story. A great cosy and recommended if you can bear the rather slapdash approach.
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