After years of bullying and cajoling others as a high-flying public relations boss, Agatha Raisin’s early retirement to the picture-postcard village of Carsley in the Cotswolds is a dream come true. And how better to begin making herself a local leading light than by entering the village quiche-making competition? Unburdened by old-fashioned ideas of fair play, the ruthless Agatha decides to ensure she wins by buying her entry from a London delicatessen. Alas, Agatha’s perfect product is soon exposed - as not only store-bought but poisoned. The contest judge succumbs after eating it, and with him go Agatha’s reputation and her chances of rural bliss - unless she can expose the poisoner....
©1992 M. C. Beaton (P)2012 AudioGO
Last night I finished the first Agatha Raisin audiobook. This morning in the car on my way to work I thought, "I will start the second book!" And then, panic!! I realized that I had not downloaded another Agatha Raisin book.
These books are dangerous to the consumer! They are good for audible.com but for us listeners they present a dilemma. You see, I bought the first Agatha Raisin novel outside of my regular monthly credits. Today, I know that I will buy several more before I get any more credits for the month. At first, I thought that I might not like the stories. But then I was drawn in by the variety of interesting characters, the beautiful descriptions of the old English countryside, and the intriguing situations in which Agatha Raisin found herself involved.
Many times during the book I laughed out loud. Many times I was so worried about how in the world Agatha Raisin would get out of the difficult situation she had gotten into. Some of Agatha's difficult situations were the kind that you and I would struggle with, for example embarrassment, regret at having been prideful front of other people, or things like that. Some of the situations were ones with which few of us would ever find ourselves having to deal. Some of them were horrifying. Others were zany. In addition to the oddball characters in the book, there were also several very comforting characters who I was always happy to have come on scene.
If you have read and enjoyed other books by MC Beaton and, also, if you have enjoyed books like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency, the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, and the Poor Relations series, and even the free Whodunnit books available on Audible, I believe you will enjoy Agatha Raisin.
I recently listened to the audible.com Dave Barry book Insane City. Insane City is kind of "way out there" with some of the characters and situations and the language. But if you enjoyed that one, and don't mind something a little more tame, I think you would also enjoy Agatha Raisin.
This morning, as I dictate this review into my iPhone, my only regret is that instead of doing this review I could have been listening to the second Agatha Raisin book had I only thought last night to buy and download it. Next time I will plan better!
P.S. These books seem to be best read in order. I hope Audible can soon get a hold of the several in the series that are "not currently available for purchase"!
I like to listen to cozy mysteries while I knit. I like to feel relaxed yet inquisitive. This book really read like a movie. I loved the description of London, the settings overall, I really could smell the smells and see the sights. On top of this is a main character that made me grin throughout and even laugh out loud. Can't WAIT to try the rest of the series.
Since knitting can be monotonous at times, this series will get me through those moments no problem because the book was so diverting. LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!!
Agatha Raisin is my hero :)
Agatha Raisin. She is a character who, although aggressive to a fault (but we don't mind at all and in fact applaud it), she also has a self-reflective side and a vulnerability to her. Very well done.
I had a permagrin on my face through many parts of this book. Then I would run and tell my husband, "guess what she did now!?".
Very cozy, clean, and happy little mystery.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
When you're tired of serious books and in the mood for something fast, fun, and frivolous, give Ms. Raisin a try! Agatha is an atypical heroine, brash, prickly, self-absorbed, and ofttimes ill-mannered, but she grew on me. And although the mystery is not particularly clever (the murderer turns out to be exactly who the police would have and should have suspected from the outset), the point of the story is in the humor and the all-too-human flaws of the main character, her friends and her neighbors in this charming, cozy village. I actually think I prefer Agatha Raisin to Louise Penny/Inspector Gamache/Three Pines. And as good as Ralph Cosham is as a narrator, Penelope Keith is very nearly as good, and perhaps twice as lively. She is a perfect match for the material. Many thanks to the reviewers I follow for suggesting this series! I have now purchased the third and fourth volumes in the series (skipping over the second, after reading the reviews and listening to the sample of that very different narrator). I plan to save them for times when I'm weary of long, dense, slow-moving classics, or just when I could use a bit of good cheer!
I generally like cozy novels for an occasional light read but this one.... not so much. I had a difficult time deciding on how many stars to apply because the writing and performance was good. The main character is completely unlikable; arrogant, self-centered and manipulative. Even in her softer more vulnerable moments I couldn't feel sympathy. If I can't like the main character, I can't like the book. I scored the performance without regard to the characters, I scored the story knocking off only one star because of the main character. I think I'm being fair, if I were to score it on strictly my reading enjoyment it would have gotten an overall score of 2 stars. This is a long running series so perhaps she had mellowed over time but I'm not curious enough to read through more of her adventures to find out.
The headline probably summarizes it all. This entire novel, while funny, is a comedy of errors so painfully avoidable perpetuated by a character who really should learn to censor herself that I was torn between laughter and cringing in almost physically debilitating mortification the longer I attempted to endure.
Backing up a step, I probably should have prefaced this review by informing the reader that I was lured in by the title (and a deep and abiding love for British mystery novels) but, really, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death is a wonderfully ludicrous title and I feel that I really can't be faulted for either my curiosity or the fact that it set my schadenfreude senses tingling. All of these things turned out to be true, right down to the absurdity but I won't be finishing the series because Agatha Raisin is a marvelously incurable disaster; a true menace to herself and everyone near her. This could be funny if it weren't so painfully self inflicted because, Ms. Raisin really, really needs to learn to swallow her dubious pride and lie a little less often.
I wanted to enjoy the book but I fear that it just doesn't jive with my own sense of humor. Instead I am left with a chronic case of secondhand embarrassment.
That being said, the narration was spot on, right down to Miss Raisin's bewilderment at her own foibles.
Listen while I work, ride, drive & run.
This was our first Agatha Raisin. Drawn to it because it was on a BOGO sale and because we enjoyed PK in To the Manner Born. We were not disappointed.
Agatha to be sure.
Perfect: PK is Agatha Raisin.
Not taking retirement well?!
I liked Agatha even for her faults. She is what she is and not at all ashamed of it. As the story progresses she becomes a bit mellow but still feisty. The mystery keeps you listening until the end as she solves a poisoning by pastry. This is new series for me and I can't wait to listen to the others.
Agatha is a wonderfully flawed character, full of hilarious insecurities and stubborn enough to keep going.
Well, who couldn't love the "quiche of death"?
Her voices are wonderful, every character is so distinct.
I've read a bunch of the MC Beaton novels starring Hamish MacBeth. Agatha Raisin is a quite different character---but absolutely delightful. Sort of a grumpy, crotchety woman who takes risks and is sharp. Lots of funny little moments in this book as well.
I'm ready for read and listen to more of them staring Ms. Raisin!
Sara A :)
I downloaded this series because my mother recommended it. I was not sorry! Agatha Raisin is a funny character and always getting in trouble. I wish all of the series was available on audible. They are great light hearted stories to do while working out or doing house work!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.