Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death – M C Beaton Pub: Robinson
Agatha was taking early retirement. … The Cotswolds are surely one of the few man made beauties in the world: quaint villages of golden stone houses, pretty gardens, winding green lanes and ancient churches. Agatha had been taken to the Cotswolds as a child for one brief magical holiday. … the Cotswolds represented everything she wanted in life: beauty, tranquillity and security. … she would live in one of those pretty cottages in a quiet peaceful village far from the noise and smells of the city.
Thus the scene is set and Agatha Raisin, hard working London PR executive leaves work and sets off to live out her idyllic Cotswold dream in the fictional village of Carsely. Except the reality is anything but idyllic and the villagers prove to be mostly a strange and unwelcoming group of people, wary of incomers. Agatha finds it difficult to build relationships and the abrasive businesslike air she brings with her does nothing to help the situation. Trying to find a way into village life, Agatha enters the local Annual Quiche Competition, but instead of acceptance by the locals her duplicity starts in motion a train of events leading to tragedy and Agatha attempts, not always successfully, to uncover the truth by turning amateur detective.
I enjoyed this wittily written book with overtones of a well heeled female detective character who is, in fact, nothing like Agatha Christie‘s genteel Miss Marple. Throughout I could not help but hear the voice of Penelope Keith who played Agatha Raisin in the BBC Radio series where I first encountered the books. The plot was not particularly complex and often fairly easy to anticipate, however this was a good light read and I would not hesitate to pick up another. The next in the series is Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet.