Agatha Raisin is like an M&M

A review of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

She's got a hard shell on the outside and is sweet and melty on the inside. Or maybe assertive, blunt and cranky on the outside and warm-hearted, generous and looking for love on the inside. Inside or out, Agatha Raisin is a smart, retired public relations guru from London moonlighting as an amateur detective in the Cotswolds. She's got a shiny brown bob, inquisitive bear-like eyes and excellent legs! And from the comfort of my Madison armchair, she's living the life.

Agatha finds herself in the middle of murder after murder and she gets down to business asking questions, working with (and defying) local police and taking in the English countryside and more exotic climes. I've been reading my way through the series and I'm currently on book six, Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, set in Cyprus. I'm learning a lot. 

Some things about Agatha that I like: she's constantly drinking coffee, not tea. She's off to the pub with a wide variety of characters good and bad. And she's always got a slew of younger men hanging about. Good for her! Some things I grow weary of: she's so nosy. I would not enjoy hanging around with someone who asks so many questions and I've spent half my adult career as a Reference Librarian answering questions for a living. Wow! Also, she tends to make friends with people who are not kind to her. Life's too short, Aggie. Maybe she will learn her lesson as the series progresses. There are currently 27 books featuring Agatha Raisin so there's plenty of time for her to figure things out.

And finally, I am M.C. Beaton's aka Marion Chesney's top fan. I've been working my way through all of her splendid series and find her Regency romances to be witty, smart and pretty radical. My favorites have been The Travelling Matchmaker, The Poor Relation and The School for Manners series. There are 15 series in all and I've only read about half. I needed to take a little break and it made me laugh to discover that the author did, too. This quote from sums it up: After she had written over 100 of them (Regency romances) under her maiden name of Marion Chesney and getting fed up with 1811 to 1820, she began to write detectives stories. 

I hope to read them all.



Shout out to our MPL video librarian, Liz A., for adding the Agatha Raisin BBC series DVDs to our collection!  I am on hold for season one and super excited about it!  Thanks!