Gloria French was a jolly widow with dyed blonde hair, a raucous laugh and rosy cheeks. When she first moved from London to the charming Cotswolds hills, she was heartily welcomed. She seemed a do-gooder par excellence, raising funds for the church and caring for the elderly. But she had a nasty habit of borrowing things and not giving them back, just small things, a teapot here, a set of silverware there. So it’s quite the shock when she is found dead, murdered by a poisoned bottle of elderberry wine. Afraid the murder will be a blight on the small town, Parish councillor, Jerry Tarrant, hires private detective Agatha Raisin to track down the murderer.
But the village is secretive and the residents resent Agatha’s investigation. Of course that doesn’t stop the ever-persistent Agatha from investigating and sticking her nose where no one wants it—especially as the suspect list grows. And, as if it isn’t enough that Agatha’s ex has reentered the picture, the murderer is now targeting Agatha!
My opinion: Some of you might know that I’m a big Agatha Raisin fan. I like a good murder mystery, but only if it’s lacking in gore, involved the middle aged and is preferably set somewhere picturesque and unassuming. Unsurprisingly, I am a big fan of Midsomer Murders!
In the latest installment of Agatha’s adventures, she once again takes up the job of trying to investigate a suspicious death in a small village. This time of Gloria French, a seeming popular widow who turns out to be something of a kleptomaniac.
I enjoyed this story and although all of the Agatha Raisin books are a tad predictable and somewhat formulaic, they are good fun and I’m sure I will continue to enjoy them.
My rating: Four stars