Friday, 10 January 2014

Agatha Raisin and the Perfect Paragon (audio version) by M C Beaton

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter

What we thought: Agatha Raisin is, I admit, a secret vice of mine. I have fallen in love with the adventures of this middle aged female amateur detective, who lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, but is completely oblivious to the stunning surroundings and goes through life as ratty as a rat’s bottom. Helped along the way by the linguistic talents of Dame Penelope Keith (I cannot imagine Agatha being voiced by anyone else) the Agatha Raisin audiobook series is a joy to me. The crimes are all what would nowadays be classed as ‘cosy’ – not a term I particularly care for, but there’s certainly very little gore and even fewer profanities. But what there is, is a very talented writer who has created a bunch of misfit characters who charm and muddle their way through a variety of mysterious deaths in each novel. Agatha Raisin uses all of her savvy as a retired PR executive, and a bundle of ‘women’s intuition’ in a humorous and believable way. Although she’s razor sharp on the outside, inside she’s a boiling pit of regret and insecurity, and falls for the wrong men time after time. If you want psychological intrigue and edge of the seat action, you must look elsewhere, but for something to make you smile and a cast of characters you soon see as friends, I totally recommend indulging in this series.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: PD James, Agatha Christie, Midsomer Murders.

Avoid if you don’t like: Sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Ideal accompaniments: A large G&T or glass of Pimms and a bowl of strawberries.

Genre: Crime

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