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2.0 out of 5 starsFun plot left me tired of Agatha.
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2018
I probably won't read more from M.C. Beaton. The story was interesting and there is some humor; however, Agatha isn't very likable. It has become tiresome. The poor thing never evolves. After finishing this one, I decided that I've had enough. Has Agatha any insight at all? Feelings, yes. Insight, no. Okay for a couple of books, but it's better as a TV series. Wow. I never thought I'd say that.
In this eighth book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as her insecurities still often get the best of her. Agatha is a menopausal woman in her fifties who is trying to look her best and, despite the encroachment of the aging process, still wants men to find her attractive. This can often lead to missteps by our feisty heroine, as when she tries to wash the gray right out of her hair and ends up with purple hair.
What is a girl to do? Well, Agatha turns to Mr. John, the much in demand hairdresser in the nearby village of Eversham, to rectify the situation. When she meets Mr. John, he actually succeeds in fixing her hair problem, and she, too, falls under the spell of his blue eyes and his charmingly, reassuring manner that inspires cozy confidences. Poor Agatha, she always seems to be looking for love in all the wrong places.
When some clients seem to be afraid of this hair wizard, Agatha's friend, Sir Charles Fraith, suggests that perhaps that those cozy confidences are simply the basis for some sort of blackmail by Mr. John. A concerned Agatha then decides to look into these allegations of blackmail, but before it bears fruit, the hair wizard of Eversham dies under mysterious circumstances, poisoned.
What follows is typical Agatha Raisin. There are many twists and turns, as Agatha, our ever engaging heroine, bumbles along as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Her investigatory efforts, however, land her and Sir Charles Fraith in a bit of a pickle, as they themselves suspects in the murder of the wizard of Eversham. Moreover, just when Agatha thinks that her hair trouble is behind her, insult is added to injury when the actual murderer catches up with her.
As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.
5.0 out of 5 starsWatch out Mr John he comes Agatha for your heart!
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2015
It doesn't take Agatha long to be in pursuit of another man now that James is out of the picture. Or is he? This time her need to keep looking the best on the outside helps her to get involved with a hairdresser and the goings on in the beauty world. Another Agatha masterpiece with her stumbling in and out of houses and people's lives in her usual brisk manner. Falling in lust is not a problem for Agatha. Mr. John is the target this time. Bill Wong is still around to give her information from the police as well as Mrs. Bloxley filling in the blanks. Sir Charles Fraith is back in town in place of James. All in all another great read.
I absolutely love the Agatha Raisin series, but this story falls a little flat. It takes a while to get anywhere, and the writing is very fragmented; there are random inserts of history about Evesham inserted throughout. I don't mind reading the historical facts at all, but they were so awkward and forced into this story it felt like I was reading a travel brochure sometimes.
But that's honestly not what sets me off. I just have to complain about this specific kindle edition being the absolute WORST kindle book I've ever read. The editing was terrible. There are random italics throughout the entire story, and they don't even make sense being there. There were mistakes of getting character's names wrong on the same page (spelled differently in the same paragraph!). There was blatant poor grammar and everything about it was pretty atrocious. I almost had to stop reading it...either the editing was this bad in the actual printed version of the book too or the conversion to Kindle was poorly done.
This is one of those stories in a series you just have to push through to get to the better ones on the other side.
4.0 out of 5 starsI loved Agatha Raisin when I first discovered her
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2018
I loved Agatha Raisin when I first discovered her. The first few books are really addictive. The later storylines got even more ridiculous and even more silly. In the same vein as Hamish Macbeth, M C Beaton gets away with it because you, as a reader, become fond of the characters and so when another book is churned out, you instinctively hope that maybe something good has at long last happened to the main character and so your loyalty hasn't been in vain, unfortunately as with Hamish Macbeth this never happens and you get to the end of another book saddened that you cannot get that time you have just invested, back again. I love Agatha Raisin and some of the main characters but my advice is the same as I would give about smoking, don't start because its really hard to quit.
4.0 out of 5 starsAgatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2017
Agatha Raisin's friend Mrs Bloxby suggests she goes to see the hairdresser, Mr John, at Evesham as she has noticed a few grey hairs. Mr John turns out to be a very handsome and charming man.
Agatha is still smarting from her rejection by neighbour James Lacey so she responds to his flirting and when he invites her out for a meal she accepts with alacrity. But Mr John isn't all he seems to be and when he is poisoned there are rather a lot of suspects including Agatha herself.
I enjoyed this entertaining mystery with its complex plot and its amusing dialogue and characters. Good to see Sir Charles Fraith joining in with the detection and proving every bit as inventive as Agatha herself.
If you enjoy light mysteries with a likeable amateur detective who is very far from being perfect then try this book and this series. The books can be read in any order but it is better to read them in the order in which the books were published as the relationships between the series characters is quite complicated at times.
5.0 out of 5 starsMay be safer to choose a gay hairdresser if your a gossip
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 17, 2015
Just finished yet another Agatha Raisin book. Now I know why Agatha was wearing a wig and looking for love again in the Witches of Wyckhaddyn. Which was my introduction to this delightfully dippy detective. I say detective but realy she's a middle aged love lorn busy body. I'm not suprised her hair fell out in this story, when she seemed to be getting it done by differant hairdressers daily. The cream the hairdresser used must have been exceptional strong??? I remeber my youngest daughter putting Veet on her hair when she was 6 but it didn't make her bald. Well anyway my advice would be choose a gay hairdresser. They always strive to make you look your best, no matter your age. Good light hearted read
Yet again a good read of Agatha's detective adventures. Yet again she, and not the police, gets the woman. And yet again she can't sort out a good man for herself. Much of what we expect but still original enough to be a good read in the series.