Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: St. Martins
Release Date: January 2003
ISBN: 0-312-98318-2
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Mystery/Cozy
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Mary Lynn
Reviewer Notes:

Agatha Raisin And The Love From Hell
M C Beaton

In Agatha Raisin And The Love From Hell, after a honeymoon consisting of sightseeing and sex, Agatha and her new husband, James Lacey, return to their home in the English village of Carsley in the Cotswolds.

But married life is far from blissful. They keep separate cottages and a series of misunderstandings creates friction between the two newlyweds. Soon Agatha's one time lover and friend, Sir Charles Fraith, arrives and James is soon seemingly involved with a divorced woman. Agatha finds James at the local pub with another woman and threatens to kill them both in front of many witnesses. Shortly thereafter, James disappears, leaving behind evidence of a struggle and blood in his cottage. Agatha becomes the prime suspect.

Accompanied by Charles, Agatha sets out to clear her name and find James. She decides to start with the woman James was apparently having an affair with, Melissa. When Melissa is found dead, the police learn that James was heard threatening her. Agatha, though devastated that James had apparently been unfaithful, is determined to find him and clear both their names.

     Although I enjoyed this book, some who have not followed the series closely, or who pick it up as their first Agatha Raisin mystery, might find it a slow, painstaking read. The Love From Hell is a definite slow starter and tends to prod along. Even careful readers might feel as if they weren't given enough clues to arrive at a whodunit solution before Agatha does and might feel a little cheated.

     The Love From Hell was the eleventh Agatha Raisin mystery I've read. As with the Hamish Macbeth mystery series, it was nice to "see" some of the regular in this book, such as James Lacey, Sir Charles, and Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife. I believe that I will always enjoy picking up an Agatha Raisin mystery. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.

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