From the Publisher
“A lively and entertaining tale.” BookLoons
"Anyone interested in a few hours' worth of intelligent, amusing reading will want to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Agatha Raisin."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"I simply love mysteries that have all the requirements necessary to make them greatthe characters, the action, the plots, and that thing we call humanity. Beaton has them all in spades."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of the estimable Hamish Macbeth mysteries falters with this second story (after Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death ) to feature London PR executive Agatha Raisin, who has recently retired in the Cotswolds. When handsome veterinarian Paul Bladen dies from a drug injection intended for a horse, Agatha decides it was murder and calls on her bachelor neighbor James Lacey to help investigate. Although her friend, Detective Sgt. Bill Wong, believes the death was an accident and cautions her against overdramatizing life in their village, Agatha proceeds . She discovers an angry former client of the vet whose cat had died at his hands and claims she has information about Bladen. But when Agatha shows up for their meeting, the woman is dead; another accident, suggest the police as Agatha cries murder once more. Pursuing men and clues with abandon, Agatha finally ferrets out the murderer but loses her male quarry in the process. Stretching for charm, Beaton here unexpectedly scants characterization and plot--both of which are amply supplied in Constable Macbeth's Scottish Highland adventures. (Aug.)
Still on break from her Hamish Macbeth series, Beaton adds to her Agatha Raisin opus ( Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death , St. Martin, 1992). Constantly shunned by the man next door, Agatha turns her attention to the handsome new veterinarian--only to become involved in investigating his suspicious death.
Read an Excerpt
Agatha Raisin arrived at London's Heathrow Airport with a tan outside and a blush of shame inside. She felt an utter fool as she pushed her load of luggage towards the exit.
She had just spent two weeks in the Bahamas in pursuit of her handsome neighbour, James Lacey, who had let fall that he was going to holiday there at the Nassau Beach Hotel. Agatha in pursuit of a man was as ruthless as she had been in business. She had spent a great deal of money on a fascinating wardrobe, had slimmed furiously so as to be able to sport her rejuvenated middle-aged figure in a bikini, but there had been no sign of James Lacey. She had hired a car and toured the other hotels on the island to no avail. She had even called at the British High Commission in the hope they had heard of him. A few days before she was due to return, she had put a long-distance call through to Carsely, the village in the Cotswolds in which she lived, to the vicar's wife, Mrs. Bloxby, and had finally got around to asking for the whereabouts of James Lacey.
She still remembered Mrs. Bloxby's voice, strengthening and fading on a bad line, as if borne towards Agatha on the tide. "Mr. Lacey changed his plans at the very last minute. He decided to spend his vacation with a friend in Cairo. He did say he was going to the Bahamas, I remember, and Mrs. Mason said, 'What a surprise! That's where our Mrs. Raisin is going.' And the next thing we knew this friend in Egypt had invited him over."
How Agatha had squirmed and was still squirming. It was plain to her that he had changed his plans simply so as not to meet her. In retrospect, her pursuit of him had been rather blatant.
And there was another reason she had not enjoyed her holiday. She had put her cat, Hodge, a present from Detective Sergeant Bill Wong, into a cattery and somehow Agatha found she was worrying that the cat might have died.
At the Long-Stay Car-Park, she loaded in her luggage and then set out to drive to Carsely, wondering again why she had ever retired so youngwell, these days early fifties was youngand sold her business to bury herself in a country village.
The cattery was outside Cirencester. She went up to the house and was greeted ungraciously by the thin rangy woman who owned the place. "Really, Mrs. Raisin," she said, "I am just going out. It would have been more considerate of you to phone."
"Get my animal . . . now," said Agatha, glaring balefully, "and be quick about it."
The woman stalked off, affront in every line of her body. Soon she came back with Hodge mewling in his carrying basket. Totally deaf to further recriminations, Agatha paid the fee.
Copyright © 1993 by M. C. Beaton. All rights reserved.