Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An Amusing Who-Done-It

Agatha Raisin, private detective, is looking for a case. Things have dried up in the dogs, cats and missing children business; let alone murder. She gets her wish when Glroia French, a rather unpleasant widow, is murdered in Piddlebury. The police want Agatha to keep out of the case, but when Jerry Tarrant, head of the parish council in Piddlebury, hires her to investigate, she eagerly trots off to the village. Gloria's murder is only the beginning and before the murderer is apprehended, Agatha, too, has become a target.

This is an enjoyable mystery. The characters are interesting, not only do they solve crimes, but they have difficult interactions with each other, some of which get resolved in the book. The English villages are a delightful setting at least when no one is being poisoned.

The plot is good up to a point. I thought the early part of the book was very clever, but after the murder was apprehended, the story continued with characters who were only tangentially connected to the action. Finally, there was a third part to the story where difficulties among Agatha and her staff were resolved. If you're a long time reader of this series, the epilogue may be interesting, but this is my first book, and I felt the last two sections were padding the page count.

If you like cozy mysteries with a fast pace and an interesting setting, you may enjoy this book and the series, but if you're a serious mystery reader you may want something with more meat. This is a very light story. Too many times things are solved by serendipity.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.