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Agatha Raisin and The Curious Curate
Agatha Raisin series #13

by M C Beaton

      As the thirteenth novel begins in this wonderfully inventive and original series, Agatha swears that she is off men. With her ex-husband returning to his monastery, and her new neighbor handsome but dull, they just seem a waste of time. But Mrs Bloxby wants to see what she thinks of the new curate, Tristan Delon. With his golden curls and blue eyes he looks the answer to a maiden’s prayer (and a widow’s, and a divorcee’s), but can it be that there is something not quite right about him? Agatha gets invited back to his lodgings for a romantic dinner for two, but by the next morning he is dead. Whodunit, and why?

Agatha is back in the Cotswolds (with frequent sorties to London) for this story, but as ever village life hasn’t stood still, and there are new characters to meet as well as murders to solve. As ever, Agatha herself continues to delight and be a satirical but convincing character, and James is now truly out of the picture. This is a good thing, as he almost outstayed his welcome, and the fact that new people move in and others move out of Carsely only makes it seem more realistic. This is an amusing and teasing mélange of mystery, satire and village life as Agatha organizes a duck race, entertains Bill’s latest girlfriend and tries to get a man. The fact that she fails to see her true strengths and constantly falls prey to her weaknesses (particularly in the shape of unsuitable men), adds to the appeal of these books. They aren’t chicklit (or I wouldn’t be reading them), but with their witty observations on love, marriage, age and sexuality, they might well have a wider appeal than just mystery fans. May this series continue to change and grow with each book - I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
12 October 2006
ISBN-13: 9781845293796
ISBN-10: 1845293797
Contemporary Crime - Cotswolds and London, UK
More at US || UK
NOTE: The US version is different

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006