Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The thirty-second Agatha Raisin novel is the last Cotswolds cozy written by Beaton, who died in 2019. It’s trademark Beaton, with the acerbic owner of Raisin Investigations discovering a murder and pursuing the case in the teeth of constabulary resistance. On a lunchtime break, Agatha comes across the freshly dead body of an elderly man on the bowling green outside his sporting club. Agatha instantly suspects the man died from guzzling poison in his flask of rum. The victim had many enemies, including his ungrieving widow and members of his own club. Beaton presents Agatha as a flawed, self-involved woman (she checks out her reflection in a shop window as she bends over the body), but, somehow, that just adds to her charm. A nice feature of Agatha Raisin mysteries is Beaton’s inclusion of other cases Agatha and her team are working on, including, this time, the matter of a woman who claims a man stands in her sitting room every evening. Author R. W. Green, who collaborated with Beaton on this mystery, will continue the series. As Green writes in the foreword: “There will always be a murderer on the loose somewhere in the vicinity and Agatha Raisin will always be snooping around to track them down.”


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Quick-tempered private detective Agatha Raisin gets involved in several cases that prove dangerous to her health.Out for a lunchtime walk, Agatha hears screams and comes upon a distressed elderly couple and a dead body. Shes quite certain the man known as the Admiral was poisoned, but her nemesis, the incompetent DCI Wilkes, dismisses his death as an accident. As usual, Agathas love life is a bit of a mess. Shes on the outs with Sir Charles Fraith after a series of misunderstandings. Her former husband, James Lacey, is back to wooing her. And she makes an enemy of the new coroner after refusing his crude advances. When Raisin Investigations gets a phone call from a Mr. Collins, who insists that "strange creatures keep appearing" in his garden, including "three small wizards dressed all in black, with orange hats and long white beards," James insists that she investigate; they discover that Collins seemingly unbelievable descriptions are actually of rare animals that have escaped from traffickers of exotic species. After she calls the police in, Agatha makes a bad enemy in the one man who gets away. The Admirals less than loving widow begs her to find his killer; one of the dead mans former loves is killed in a hit-and-run; and a friend of Charles hires her in a paternity case that will require all her staff and longtime friends to solve.This second posthumous adventure contains plenty of mystery plus all the usual quota of trouble for the colorful heroine. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
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Green, who collaborated with British author Beaton (1936–2019) on 2020’s Hot to Trot, ably continues the adventures of private detective Agatha Raisin, thorn in the side of conservative Cotswold society, in the diverting 32nd installment of this bestselling series. Agatha, out for a bracing power walk through Mircester Park, strides straight into a murder: at least she thinks so, even though ever-inept Detective Chief Inspector Wilkes believes the death to be accidental. The victim, Harold Nelson, is found dressed in the pristine whites of the Mircester Crown Green Bowling Club, lying spread-eagled on the grass, a bottle of rum at his side. His fellow bowlers are quick to describe him as “a foul, bullying loud-mouth” and a “drunken monster.” Nonetheless, Agatha makes it her personal mission to find Nelson’s killer, all the while juggling her paying clients’ cases, which involve, among other things, exotic dancers, space aliens, and a paternity suit. The prose sparkles as usual, but Agatha has softened a bit from her feisty early days, and her romantic pendulum doesn’t swing as wildly as it once did. Series fans will still have fun. Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Assoc. (Oct.)


Library Journal
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Walking in Mircester Park, Agatha Raisin encounters the distraught Swinburns standing over the body of "the Admiral," a prickly park gardener known for his drinking. The police think he died after imbibing weedkiller stored in a rum bottle (surely he would have noticed), but soon suspicion falls on the Swinburns themselves, who hire Agatha to discover what really happened. Next and perhaps last in the popular series from the recently deceased Beaton; with a 75,000-copy first printing.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Quick-tempered private detective Agatha Raisin gets involved in several cases that prove dangerous to her health. Out for a lunchtime walk, Agatha hears screams and comes upon a distressed elderly couple and a dead body. She’s quite certain the man known as the Admiral was poisoned, but her nemesis, the incompetent DCI Wilkes, dismisses his death as an accident. As usual, Agatha’s love life is a bit of a mess. She’s on the outs with Sir Charles Fraith after a series of misunderstandings. Her former husband, James Lacey, is back to wooing her. And she makes an enemy of the new coroner after refusing his crude advances. When Raisin Investigations gets a phone call from a Mr. Collins, who insists that "strange creatures keep appearing" in his garden, including "three small wizards dressed all in black, with orange hats and long white beards," James insists that she investigate; they discover that Collins’ seemingly unbelievable descriptions are actually of rare animals that have escaped from traffickers of exotic species. After she calls the police in, Agatha makes a bad enemy in the one man who gets away. The Admiral’s less than loving widow begs her to find his killer; one of the dead man’s former loves is killed in a hit-and-run; and a friend of Charles’ hires her in a paternity case that will require all her staff and longtime friends to solve. This second posthumous adventure contains plenty of mystery plus all the usual quota of trouble for the colorful heroine. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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