Celebrating the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever - armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on.
Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up.
Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike. Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime.
©2012 M. C. Beaton (P)2012 AudioGO
No. Plot was more vicious than usual, and narration was problematic.
Yes absolutely. In fact, I'm getting ready to fire up another one tonight on my way to work. I am a big fan of Hamish MacBeth and Agatha Raisin and after dozens of books, I guess no one should be too out of sorts when one turns up as a dud.
Awful. But she is actually a very GOOD narrator so her performance on this book was perplexing.
Switch it off several times. The story was particularly vicious in regard to how the killer murdered the initial victim, and Davina Porter's strange voices made it a struggle to listen to. It was also another multiple murder victim scenario, which has seemed to become a more and more common theme with Ms. Beaton's books. While I would never recommend against the Agatha Raisin stories, it does seem like in Ms. Beaton's more recent books, she has been using an ever expanding number of murders in lieu of making the story around the initial murder more interesting or perplexing.
I only listen to these books in audible form because I commute 100 miles to work every day. I am a big fan of Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth mysteries and despite the let down with this one will continue to purchase them in audible formats for my commute. It's never easy to get used to a new narrator as I know only too well because the MC Beaton books have switched several times, but I couldn't adjust to Davina Porter's narration of this book. Davina Porter is actually a very good narrator whom I've heard before, and is pleasant to listen to - so I don't know what went wrong here but her voices really were pretty awful. Even after sort of adjusting to everyone else, I just couldn't adjust to her version of Agatha, who she turned into this sort of harsh crackling old ladyish voice that was just too far out of character if you read the Agatha Raisin books. If Ms. Porter does another, I sincerely hope she will listen to the previous narrators in this series and at least try to fall in a range somewhere along the diffentiations they made between characters. When narrators change in a series (even when they change from male to female of vice versa) it does seem as though they make something of an attempt to follow through with the general genre for the individual characters as previously narrated.
Penelope Keith or Donada Peters. This narrator also does the Martha's Vineyard series by Cynthia Riggs where her quavering voice is great for a 92 year old detective but not for Aggie. A little too saccharin for someone with bear-like eyes and a stocky figure. And like most narrators, she could slow down a little.
As usual, M.C Beaton is very entertaining.
Irritation. I wonder if the producers/marketers/narrators of audiobooks ever sit and listen to a full recording of the book. A little affectation goes a long way.
I hate to write a negative review, but let's face it, audio is about narration. This is the last audio version of the Agatha Raisin series I will purchase unless Donata Peters returns to narrate. Agatha Raisin is actually a humorous character, but you would never know that with Davina Porter's delivery. I'm a huge fan of both Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, but narrators can make or break storytelling. First the switch to Penelope Keith whose delivery I disliked ( I cringed every time she read Toni Gilmour's parts) and now Davina Porter which was nothing short of horrible. I'm done. My only hope is that Graeme Malcolm continues as Hamish MacBeth or I'll be READING that series as well instead of listening to it.
I also agree with another reviewer, M.C. Beaton has changed the characters - this was not our typical Charles and James. All in all a very disappointing experience. I always re-listen to my Agatha and Hamish audiobooks - not this time.
No, This is one of the weakest stories in the Agatha Raisin series.
Go back to Donada Peters as the reader. Switching from Donada Peters to Penolope Keith and now Davina Porter does not make any sense.
Try another book in the Agatha Raisin Series. M. C. Beaton should end the series if she is running out of ideas.
Unfortunately, the usually wonderful Davinia Porter narrated this book and she just does not have the range to encompass the wide variety of characters. It actually made the story confusing since her voices did not differ enough, one from another, to enable the listener to keep track of who was saying what. Penelope Keith is, in my opinion, THE narrator for Agatha Raisin stories.
This story is unusual with its many twists and turns of plot. The whole snake thing made the story eerie.
I love Davinia Porter in the Poor Relations series. But she just doesn't have the oomph needed for Agatha's expressiveness (e.g. very wimpy "snakes and bastards!"). She is more of a genteel narrator.
More character development and relationship development happened in this book. I enjoyed that.
This reader makes Agatha sound like a b_tch all the time. If you've kept up with these whodunits, you know Agatha has softened through the years. You couldn't tell it by listening to Davina Porter! Very disappointing performance.
From M.C. Beaton, yes. Narrated by Davina Porter, never.
I love the Agatha Raisin books narrated by Penelope Keith - she is "my" Agatha. I adjust quickly to narration by Donada Peters. However, I will never listen to one narrated by Davina Porter again. My initial reaction was that she was making a mockery of it. I'm halfway through and I may give up. I can not adjust to the screeching or the tone.
The narration and production values are shockingly bad. I'm sure Davina Porter is talented and a good narrator but she is just wrong for this series. I am astounded that whoever produced this did not realize it right from the beginning and stop production.
As a steadfast fan of both Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth I am always excited to see a new title - and seeing Davina Porter as Narrator once again made me very very happy. But this book feels different. Davina seems to have changed the characters voices from how she has consistently portrayed them in the past. On top of that, M.C. Beaton seems to have changed the character of the characters! James Lacy and Sir Charles seem like different men. Agatha - well, Agatha has lost the personality that most could relate to in one way or another. She wasn't even likable this time around. Perhaps it would have been different if the voices had been the old tried and true... No disrespect to Ms. Porter - she is the best of the best. M.C. Beaton - if you write it, and Davina Porter reads it, I will buy it. Even with the above-mentioned complaints, time spent listening to Agatha (by Beaton/Porter duo) is time well spent!
Davina Porter has portrayed these characters consistently until this recording. Perhaps she has listened to the television program or the books recorded by the actress who portrayed Agatha in the series and has altered her narration to fit - only she can say. Davina Porter is the best of the best and many are drawn to purchases based on her being the narrator alone. In future recordings I hope that she will return to voicing the characters as we have come to know and love them.
Yes. I've listened to it numerous times and will listen many more - just as I have all of M.C. Beaton's books. I wish you would have Davina Porter read "The Wizards of Evesham" and any other Agatha Raisin books which are, so far, only available on audible as recorded by others. I'll keep checking!
I think a lot of fans will agree that if M.C. Beaton writes it, it should be narrated by either Davina Porter or Graeme Malcolm!
I needed something to rest my brain after The Guns of August and The Zimmerman Telegram. Agatha Raisin doesn't require any deep concentration or involvement so she made a good change. As usual - you have to suspend belief so the story holds together.
Davina Porter is the "voice" of Agatha - the books would not be so fun without her.
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