Monday, January 31, 2011

Mystery Mondays: M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin Mystery Series

Anyone who has not yet discovered M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin mystery series is in for a treat!  Agatha is a "woman of a certain age" who survived a rough upbringing to become a great success in her chosen profession of public relations.  Feeling the need for a change, she decides to sell the business and retire to a cottage in the Cotswolds village of Carsely.  Never at her best in social situations, Agatha finds it hard to adjust to village life and begins to wonder if her decision was a mistake.  A faux pas on her part leads to involvement in a murder investigation, and suddenly she finds herself embarking on a second calling -- as a detective!  Agatha Raisin is a delightfully imperfect character -- socially awkward, rather belligerent at times, sometimes vain, and occasionally mendacious -- but in spite of her foibles you will find yourself rooting for her anyway. Success in her new endeavor is not always as smooth as she would like, but it is a lot less rocky than her road to romance.  You come to realize that all Agatha really wants is to be loved and accepted by others, and life has not always been fair to her in this regard.  The prolific author has written twenty-one Agatha Raisin novels to date.  I recommend that you start with the first of the series, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, and work your way chronologically to the last one, Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body, so that you come to understand Agatha's insecurities and outrageous personality.  M.C. Beaton has also written The Agatha Raisin Companion, which is a celebration of all things Agatha!  Once you start reading this series you will not be able to stop, and will eagerly await the next installment of Agatha's exploits.

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