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Agatha Raisin and The Love From Hell
Agatha Raisin series, No.11

by M C Beaton

      If you have read Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam (also reviewed on this site) then you will know that at the end Agatha was finally about to marry her beloved James. But this is not going to be a marriage made in heaven, and by the start of this eleventh novel, they are living in separate cottages and fighting. When Agatha sees James in the pub with femme fatale Melissa Sheppard she sees red. James vanishes, and Melissa is found dead leaving Agatha as chief suspect, and only Sir Charles Fraith and a lot of detective work is going to clear her name and find out whether James is alive or dead.

This lively and wonderfully inventive series never ceases to amaze me. Is it the frequent changes of location, intriguing plots or the humor? Perhaps it is the pin-sharp observations on modern life and a part of the country where I myself used to live? Or even Ms Beatonís rare talent of packing all this into a modest amount of pages; all of these I think, but the last one most of all. Agatha seems to almost step off the pages at times, and must surely rank as one of detective fictionís most convincing and inimitable sleuths. This one has a particularly good and tortuous plot, throwing plenty of suspects and red herrings into Agatha and Charlesí paths, before delivering a satisfying denouement that might seem a little far fetched, but somehow seems to fit perfectly. I just cannot get enough of these stories - may she continue writing them for many years yet.

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
29 June 2006
ISBN-13: 9781845293772
ISBN-10: 1845293770
Contemporary Crime - Cotswolds, UK
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006