The Blood of an Englishman

Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman…”Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of “Babes in the Woods,” Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn’t re-appear at final curtain.

Surely this isn’t the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.

The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha’s 25th adventure, and you’d think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha’s flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in M. C. Beaton’s New York Times bestselling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again “manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery” (Bookreporter.com).

My opinion: You probably already know that I am a massive fan of the Agatha Raisin series, and now read all 25 in the series.

In this latest installment Agatha hasn’t changed one bit. She is still man mad, and getting herself involved in another murder in her local area. This one starts off with a terrible murder during an amateur dramatics production in the local theatre. Agatha gets drafted in to help get to the bottom of who the murderer is, and as always, mayhem and adventure ensue.

I really enjoyed this latest book and thought it was more like some of the earlier books in the series. All of the Agatha Raisin books are formulaic, but that is something I like about them. They truly are cosy and you know what you are going to get from them. Even though Agatha is such an unlikable character, I can’t help but like her. This is a fun story with a good amount of twists and turns and I’m already looking forward to find out what trouble Agatha gets herself into next.

Recommended for fans of the series.

My rating: Four stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Agatha Raisin: Something Borrowed, Someone Dead

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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

Hiss and Hers

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The bossy, vain and irresistible Agatha is back in her 23rd adventure!

Agatha has fallen in love – again. This time it’s the local gardener, George Marston, she has her eye on. But competition for his attention abounds. With her shameless determination Agatha will do anything to get her man, including footing the bill for a charity ball in town just for the chance to dance with him.

But when George is a no-show Agatha goes looking for him – and finds he has been murdered, having been bitten by a poisonous snake and buried in a compost heap. Agatha and the rest of her crew plunge into an investigation and discover that George had quite a complicated love life.

If Agatha now can’t have George, at least she can have the satisfaction of confronting the women who did,and finding a murderer in the process!

My opinion: I am a big fan of Agatha Raisin and find the formulaic books about her adventures comforting and relaxing. This is the 23rd book in the series.

Once again Agatha has got her sights set on the latest eligible bachelor to move to Carsely. Unfortunately George doesn’t seem to reciprocate her attention, but a little thing like that won’t stop a woman like Agatha! Only when George is murdered does Agatha find out the truth about the man she held in such high regard!

This latest adventure was enjoyable and we met a lot of familiar faces again in the book. I did find it a little annoying that the same old setting of a scorching summer with hosepipe bans was used again, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

Another good addition to the series, but I hope the next one takes place in a different setting so that we can get a bit more variety.

My rating: Three stars