An Agatha Raisin Mystery
By M. C. Beaton
(Minotaur Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780312536503, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
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Cranky yet lovable Agatha Raisin has always been ambivalent about holiday cheer, though her cozy village of Carsely has long prided itself on its Christmas festivities. Until now. This year, local Health and Safety Board officer John Sunday is threatening to undo some of Carsley’s most time-honored traditions. The tree on top of the church? A public menace. The decorations hanging on the lampposts? Hazardous. Even May Dimwoody’s homemade toys are deemed unsafe for the children. Bah humbug! The Carsely Ladies Society is in an uproar and will do anything to put a stop to this Scrooge—only to find that someone else has done it for them…with a kitchen knife. Soon Agatha’s detective agency is on the case. But when a man has made as many enemies as Mr. John Sunday, it’s hard to know where to start—or how to stop the killer from striking again.
M. C. Beaton has been hailed as “the new Queen of Crime.” She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Agatha Raisin mysteries, including A Spoonful of Poison and As the Pig Turns. She has also written more than 100 historical romance novels under the name Marion Chesney. Before writing her first novels, Beaton worked as a bookseller, a newspaper reporter and fashion critic, and a waitress in a greasy spoon. Born in Scotland, she currently divides her time between Paris and a village in the English Cotswolds. She was selected the British Guest of Honor for the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2006.
"Beaton ... does a brilliant job of depicting Agatha's struggles with aging and keeping her detective agency afloat. Her romantic upheavals (will she ever marry close friend Sir Charles Fraith?) continue to tantalize."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "Testy Agatha, continuing her habit of falling for unsuitable men, scores again with a cunning mixture of satire and mystery."--Kirkus Reviews "Beaton is a master of the cozy formula — there are plenty of red herrings, a large cast of suspects and an eagle-eye view of village life."--RT Book Reviews