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Agatha Raisin & The Walkers of Dembley

by M C Beaton

      PR executive Agatha Raisin has been lured out of her retirement for six months and can't wait to leave London for her Cotswold idyll. Now she has made some friends, solved some murders, and has a sexy neighbour to chase, her old life seems strangely unbearable. In nearby Dembley, a group of walkers have an unfortunately militant woman as their leader, and when unloveable feminist Jessica Tartinck is found dead in a field, Agatha and James are back on the case.

       This has more cozy than biting satire about it than the earlier books, as Agatha has settled into Carsley and is happily solving cases like the protagonists of many other English village cozies. The social comment switches instead to the Dembley Walkers, who all seem to be either gays or lesbians, and their battles over Rights of Way. The plot could do with more substance to it, but there is still a fair bit to laugh at and some fairly topical lampooning of people who are political for the sake of it, third-rate nobility, and modern life in general. Firmly in the forefront as ever is the redoubtable Agatha, by turns hard-headed businesswoman, dogged sleuth, and frantic suitor. Not the strongest in the series but enjoyable for all that, and a fast, well-paced read.

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
28 April 2005 (reprint)
Contemporary Crime [London and Cotswolds, UK]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005