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Friday, 26 August 2016
Agatha Raisin & The Quiche of Death by MC Beaton
Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (www.gillianhamer.com)
What we thought: I have been a closet MC Beaton fan for many years, all of her writing is quirky, clever and entertaining, but I particularly enjoy her Agatha Raisin series. As a treat, I have decided to go back to book one of the series, The Quiche of Death, and listen to each one on an audiobook format, as I particularly enjoy Penelope Keith’s narration. I believe it's also a popular new series on Sky TV now but I've yet to catch up with that format.
In The Quiche of Death we are introduced to Agatha Raisin, a businesswoman who has decided to take early retirement, and walk away from her successful company, and life in London, and settle down in an idyllic Cotswold village. This has been Agatha’s life long dream, since she was raised in a poor area of Birmingham … and of course, nothing at all could go wrong because dreams always live up to our expectations. Right?
Of course, being new to village life comes as a shock to Agatha. Joining the ladies’ society of Carsley seems one good way of integrating into her new life. However, when Agatha makes a decision to cheat the local baking competition, her life is turned upside down and she suddenly finds herself number one suspect in a murder enquiry.
I’m so glad I’ve gone back to the first book in the series, as it’s delightful to meet all of the characters, like Detective Bill Wong, and the vicar’s wife, Mrs Bloxby, for the first time.
Make no mistake this isn’t gritty, dark, high-action crime fiction, but it’s appeal for me is a calming, funny and yet intensely clever story, written by a hugely gifted writer. If you’ve yet to open a MC Beaton novel, I seriously recommend you try one as soon as you can!
You’ll enjoy this if you like: Agatha Christie, PD James, JJ Marsh
Avoid if you don’t like: Cotswolds’ villages and nosey neighbours
Ideal accompaniments: Salmon and dill quiche and a crisp, dry Chablis.
Genre: Crime Fiction.
Available from Amazon