Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Read in 2013 - 39: Something Borrowed, Someone Dead

That I love M. C. Beaton's "Agatha Raisin" series is no secret to anyone who has been reading my blog for a while, and so I was looking forward to the latest book (# 24) in the series, "Something Borrowed, Someone Dead".


For some reason, which I can't really put my finger on, I seem to remember not having enjoyed "Hiss and Hers" (# 23 in the series) quite as much as most of the others, but re-reading my review from May of this year, I can't find any hint to that. Therefore, I guess my memory does not serve me right in this case.

And anyway - "Something Borrowed" is one I really enjoyed.

Agatha (who, more than 20 "years" after her first adventure, if you were to draw a timeline by the stories, is still described as being in her mid-fifties) seems to have learned a lesson or two from her previous adventures.
This time, she finds a love interest pretty soon into the story, but does not pursue the man as stubbornly as she has been famous for in the past. Also, she refrains from interfering with her youngest employee's private life, even though she thinks 19-year-old, pretty, blond, long-legged Toni is about to make a huge mistake.

Instead, she really does focus on the investigation of two murders that have taken place in a village much different from all the other Cotswolds villages she has come to be familiar with. This one, unlike the rest, has no newcomers and no tourists. Everyone's families have been living in the place for ages, everyone knows everyone else (which is, of course, not quite true, as Agatha soon finds out), and when there really is a newcomer, that lady gets poisoned with elderberry wine.
One of the parish councillors enlists Agatha's detective agency for help, because the close-knit community is shaken by the murder; everyone suspects everyone else, and it turns out that a lot of people had reason for disliking the newcomer - but not enough to warrant murder.

In her usual rather blunt manner, Agatha goes about investigating in the picturesque village. A second murder follows, and it is obvious that the intended victim was Agatha; sheer coincidence made her escape.

Her old friends rally round to help - ex-husband James, long-standing friend Sir Charles, the vicar's wife, Mrs. Bloxby, even Roy Silver puts in an appearance. 

There are a few surprises (at least there were for me), not just the solution of the murders. The pace is fast where it does no harm but detailed enough for the mental cinema to play along while you read.

When I go to lunch at my Mum's today, I'll pass the book to her. She ordered it and let me read it first - thank you, Mum!

18 comments:

  1. You are welcome! And I am looking forward, first to our lunch and second to the book! ;-)

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    1. Lunch was excellent, as always, and I hope you'll enjoy the book as much as I did.

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  2. Oh, I loved the new Agatha Raisin book too! I thought this was one of her better Agatha books.I still love Hamish Macbeth the best, though. One of my patrons says she wishes she could marry him, I told her I want to BE him!! :-) Love M.C. Beaton!
    Have a great week Meike!
    Dorothy

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    1. Yes, the Hamish Macbeth books are good, too, although I haven't got quite "into" them as much as into Agatha. I must say though that I wish neither to marry Agatha nor to BE her :-D
      You too have a great week, Dorothy!

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  3. Would you believe that I have never heard of MC Beaton? And I like murder mysteries.
    I shall check her out - I assume she’s a she? The story sounds like a lady writer’s story.

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    1. She is a she, Friko, and you can learn quite a lot about her and her books on here: http://www.agatharaisin.com/

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  4. Agatha - now there is a name for a detective to conjure with ! :)

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    1. And she hates being called Aggie :-)

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  5. Maybe I'll try to read this.......I really liked the first few AR books and then grew impatient with the books and stopped reading them. That was quite a while ago. Do you think I could just jump into this one without reading all the past ones - which I think I would never do?

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    1. I guess you could, Kristi. Of course there are hints at things that happened in previous books, but as far as I can tell, nothing that would make you unable to keep up with the current story.
      To me, this one is definitely one of the best five of the series.

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  6. Except through you, I've never heard of Agatha Raisin. There are no Swedish Wiki-articles about the author either (I checked via the English one) so I guess none of her books have been translated into Swedish.

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    1. I don't think the novels have been translated into German, either. If it had not been for my mother-in-law who gave me the first three books as paperbacks some years ago while I was on one of my annual Yorkshire holidays, I'd probably never heard of Agatha or Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton) either.

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  7. If I were an Agatha (though, to be honest I'd rather not be) I, too, would hate being called Aggie. I do enjoy these books though: pure escapism. This might be my flight read this time. I seem to have gone off the heavy reads for my flights recently.

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    1. Is it that time of the year again when you are thinking of your flight read, Graham? It must be!

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    2. I leave Glasgow on the 3 November Meike so, yes, I'm thinking of my flight read. I might put this off until the way back, though, because the Kindle edition is at premium price and I can wait. I shall read one of her others that I have or perhaps an Alexander McCall Smith (although I collect them so have the 'real' books.)

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    3. None of the Agatha Raisin series is on my Kindle, I have them all as physical books. But there are still somewhere around 70 unread books of all sorts on my Kindle; I am glad, though, that I do not have such a long trip ahead as you do, even if it means to get a lot of reading time!

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  8. Never heard of her but the book sounds intriguing!

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    1. It is fun and not too tiresome on the brain after a long day at the office.

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