My Mum and I are both fans of this series, and so its 28th volume was a "must" for us. As soon as my Mum had ordered and received the book, she gave it to me to read first; I put other books I was reading aside for it and made sure my Mum did not have to wait too long until I'd finish and she could read it, too.
With all that, I completely forgot to write a review and post it here!
So, actually, this is not in strict order of reading, but the total number is still correct.
Before this new book, our last literary encounter with Agatha Raisin took place in October 2016. What I wrote then was partly true once again:
It took me a while to get re-acquainted with M.C. Beaton's storytelling pace and unfrilly style. But soon I was fully immersed in Agatha's world again.
We meet Agatha mostly true to her old form: wondering about her relationship with Charles Fraith, dealing with the frustration of dead ends and red herrings in her murder investigation, and coming across a set of characters often turning out to be somewhat different from what she first thought (men including).
Of course, as in all her stories, she has a romantic interest, but unlike in the earlier books, she sees through him and loses interest rather quickly. In another new character, she makes a friend, and that was someone I really liked; I was afraid the new friend was going to turn out to be the culprit. I am not going to tell you any more about this, though, as I do not want to spoil it for you, in case you want to read the book yourself.
Something I noticed - and I wonder if other readers felt the same - was a slight shift in the way Agatha is portrayed.
Before, she always used to be reliably grumpy, and her looks were described consistently as having good legs and glossy brown hair, but fighting a constant battle against an expanding waistline, and trying very hard to please (by her looks) whoever she had a romantic interest in.
Now that Agatha Raisin has made the transition to a successful TV series, where she is very different from what I imagined her by reading the books, I find that maybe M.C. Beaton is trying to gradually adapt her literary heroine to the image of the TV character.
No mention of brown hair anymore (the TV actress is blonde), but instead we frequently read about her good figure and attractive curves (both true for the TV actress).
They are only very small instants and nuances; not much to really put my finger on, but I wonder whether we are slowly going to see a different Agatha Raisin emerge, one that is more like the TV character and less like the old familiar one from the pages.
Anyway, it was a fun read!