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Agatha Raisin: Pushing up Daisies

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When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory. The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.


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When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory. The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.

30 review for Agatha Raisin: Pushing up Daisies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jaline

    Lying somewhere in the range between cozy mystery and crime suspense, the Agatha Raisin series is great, undemanding entertainment reading. Twenty-seven books ago, Agatha Raisin left her PR job in London to take early retirement in a small village in the Cotswolds. She is irascible, very rarely graceful unless she puts on her heels (forcing a certain amount of necessary grace short of falling on her fanny), with an acerbic sense of humor, and the tendency to get mad crushes on any single male who Lying somewhere in the range between cozy mystery and crime suspense, the Agatha Raisin series is great, undemanding entertainment reading. Twenty-seven books ago, Agatha Raisin left her PR job in London to take early retirement in a small village in the Cotswolds. She is irascible, very rarely graceful unless she puts on her heels (forcing a certain amount of necessary grace short of falling on her fanny), with an acerbic sense of humor, and the tendency to get mad crushes on any single male who finds himself within a 50 mile radius. Opinionated and incorrigibly politically incorrect, she also has a razor-sharp mind and a totally uncensored intuition. Out of boredom, Agatha Raisin decided to set aside her retirement and open her own Private Investigation service. What started as just her poking around until something flew out gradually grew into a full agency with 4 assistant investigators, all of them added gradually over this series, complete with fascinating back stories. And yes, I have read the entire series so far – starting with an amazing deal for the boxed e-Set of the first 25 books – and continuing through to this most recent one. A retired detective named Gerald Devere has moved to the village and Agatha is set to pounce – especially when she notices that Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has taken to wearing fancier outfits and a new hairstyle. (Did I mention Agatha is highly competitive?) She rationalizes her predator’s instincts under the guise of saving Mrs. Bloxby from herself. Both women are crushed when it appears obvious that Gerald has a ‘thing’ for another new resident – Peta Currie. Meanwhile, the residents are upset because their allotments (areas villagers can rent within a large community garden to plant vegetables) is about to be turned into a housing development by the owner of the land, Lord Bellington. One of Agatha’s oldest friends, Sir Charles Fraith, goes with her to try and persuade Lord Bellington against this plan and shortly thereafter, Lord Bellington is dead. When told of the symptoms, Agatha intones that he has been poisoned, and since it turns out to be exactly how she called it, she gets herself in trouble – again – with the local constable, who is always irked that Agatha beats him to the punch. (Did I mention that Agatha is super ambitious and loves having her agency get to the finish line before the police?) As has happened before, Agatha is thoroughly questioned . . . but she is not the only one. Damien, Lord Bellington’s son is a prime suspect, and there is a long line-up of other possibilities. Damien hires Agatha and her agency to figure out who did this so he can clear his name. And that is where things get really interesting as bodies continue to pile up . . . I’m not sure what it is about Agatha Raisin, but despite cringe-worthy behavior, a lack of social graces, and a personality that cannot decide if it’s insecure or confident, bumbling or competent – Agatha Raisin just grew on me. She is funny, thinks things that boggle my brain, says things that would scald my mouth, and is outrageous in so many ways. Yet, I really enjoy reading about her exploits and love the fact that in the end, she always figures out “who dunnit.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    *3.5 to 4 stars. I recently picked up The Witches' Tree, the 28th in the Agatha Raisin mystery series, from the new book shelf at the library and realized I had somehow missed reading number 27. Gasp! Thankfully my library had a copy of Pushing Up Daisies on the shelf. I wouldn't want to read them out of order, after all! Agatha Raisin is such a hoot! At fifty-three, she is single, lives in the Cotswolds and runs her own detective agency. In this outing, Agatha is hired to figure out who killed Lo *3.5 to 4 stars. I recently picked up The Witches' Tree, the 28th in the Agatha Raisin mystery series, from the new book shelf at the library and realized I had somehow missed reading number 27. Gasp! Thankfully my library had a copy of Pushing Up Daisies on the shelf. I wouldn't want to read them out of order, after all! Agatha Raisin is such a hoot! At fifty-three, she is single, lives in the Cotswolds and runs her own detective agency. In this outing, Agatha is hired to figure out who killed Lord Bellington--his son and heir wishes to clear his name. Most small agencies like hers survive on missing pet and divorce cases, but Agatha has had some success solving murder cases in the past, mostly through her intuition and stumbling upon clues. But as her ex-husband says: "The trouble with you, Agatha, is that you solve your cases by ending up a sort of tethered goat. The murderer realizes you are on to him, and he decides to bump you off." While working the case, Agatha has her usual romantic problems, as do her staff and friends. Will she ever find true love? Or is she much too independent and feisty for that? These books are delightfully funny and can be gobbled down in one sitting, like a bag of chips! They sort of remind me of the Nancy Drew mystery books that I loved as a child, but a more adult version, with a little sex, its problems and consequences thrown in. Now on to book 28!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bad Cookie

    It was okay, but the story was choppy and someone should have done a better job of editing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    It was nice to see all the characters (this is the 4 part). The set up and resolutions are without much meat to them. People are ALWAYS home and not too busy to talk to Agatha. Many of the things are not reasonable. I think she crowded the book with characters and murders without a benefit to the reader. Did James have anything to do with naming the cats?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    3.5 stars Agatha Raisin is really an unpleasant person but there's just something about her. She is abrupt, selfish, too outspoken, knows no boundaries and is not very nice. She is also smart, witty and, deep inside, wants to be loved. She's always on the hunt for a man in her life apparently not realizing her attitude is a major drawback. There's something about her as she has friends and loyal employees. When the local Lord wants to sell the town's garden allotments to a real estate developer 3.5 stars Agatha Raisin is really an unpleasant person but there's just something about her. She is abrupt, selfish, too outspoken, knows no boundaries and is not very nice. She is also smart, witty and, deep inside, wants to be loved. She's always on the hunt for a man in her life apparently not realizing her attitude is a major drawback. There's something about her as she has friends and loyal employees. When the local Lord wants to sell the town's garden allotments to a real estate developer he ends up dead. His son and heir hires Agatha to find the killer. As the investigation ambles through the delightful Cotswold towns and quirky natives, a newcomer ends up dead and buried in an allotment. Are the murders connected? She meets a potential lover but is he too young for her? She dabbles with old love Charles and meets a local gentry who has quite an interest in her until he ends up dead too. Where Agatha goes, dead bodies turn up. The investigation sprawls including uncovering a smuggling operation in London. When the mystery ends, the murderer is found quite cleverly and Agatha is off on vacation with a love interest. What could be better? Thank you Net Galley for providing the book in exchange for a fair review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    RE-READ UPDATE 7/21/16 First Review (6/25/16): This is the first book I've read from the Agatha Raisin series and I think that maybe it wasn't the best one to start on. The mystery was ok, the pacing was fine. There wasn't really anything I could fault, but there's nothing I can really praise either. This felt very much like a "meh" read for me. I honestly don't think I'll remember reading it in six months time. Heck, I finished it two days ago and I'm already forgetting it. The best thing about t RE-READ UPDATE 7/21/16 First Review (6/25/16): This is the first book I've read from the Agatha Raisin series and I think that maybe it wasn't the best one to start on. The mystery was ok, the pacing was fine. There wasn't really anything I could fault, but there's nothing I can really praise either. This felt very much like a "meh" read for me. I honestly don't think I'll remember reading it in six months time. Heck, I finished it two days ago and I'm already forgetting it. The best thing about this book was the characters. They felt very solid and fleshed out. I do feel like I missed something not having read the previous books, though. Some of the character interaction seemed to depend on those previous stories. So, I didn't love this book, but it intrigued me enough to want to read more Agatha Raisin mysteries. I'm actually reading the first in the series now and I must say, it is better than this one. But maybe, if I decide to read all the books in the series, when I get to this one again I might appreciate it more. Only time will tell. **I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** EDIT: Re-read this and finished on July 20 2016, after reading the entire Agatha Raisin series. I definitely enjoyed it more this time around. I had a MUCH better understanding of the characters and got the little inside jokes this time. I really liked the character development of Bill and Mrs. Bloxby. I liked the Charles/Agatha relationship in this one too (I admit, I ship Agatha and Charles pretty hard. Come on. Beaton! A/C 4 eva). But mostly, my first review still stands. You really need to read the entire series first to appreciate this book. Also, the *mystery* part is forgettable. The character developments/events aren't, however. So if you are reading the series, you'll enjoy this one, but don't take it as a stand-alone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ionia

    Oh, Aggie. How I love thee. I even named my pug after you. Not to say you have wrinkles. Agatha Raisin may not be getting any younger, but she just keeps getting better. If you, like me, have been following this series for a long time, then you will know what I mean when I say I couldn't wait to get a fix. I've missed my Raisin. This book has the usual charming cast of characters, plus some new ones that spice things up a bit. Wherever Agatha goes, there seems to be trouble, as Bill Wong has poi Oh, Aggie. How I love thee. I even named my pug after you. Not to say you have wrinkles. Agatha Raisin may not be getting any younger, but she just keeps getting better. If you, like me, have been following this series for a long time, then you will know what I mean when I say I couldn't wait to get a fix. I've missed my Raisin. This book has the usual charming cast of characters, plus some new ones that spice things up a bit. Wherever Agatha goes, there seems to be trouble, as Bill Wong has pointed out a number of times. I like that Bill took life by the horns this time and showed some independence. I also enjoyed the furthering of Agatha's poor love life situation. The murders in this book are unique and interesting as always, but I particularly like the way this one wrapped up. No spoilers from this girl, but I will say that it made Agatha once again, one of those characters you love because of their lack of perfection. I strongly recommend this book to anyone that is following this series, and thank M.C. Beaton, as always, for the jolly round of giggles that ensued from reading her work. This review is based on a complementary copy from the publisher and was provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This was not the usual, feisty Agatha that I've come to know and love. She has become a little soft and tired, leaving much of the detecting to Toni and Simon. Surprisingly, she seems to be getting younger and has taken to petting and playing with her cats. I missed some of the old characters. Gone are the long chats with Mrs. Bloxby, whose appearance has changed a great deal, and the shenanigans of Roy Silver. James is mentioned briefly. Thankfully, Charles is still present. The book rambled a l This was not the usual, feisty Agatha that I've come to know and love. She has become a little soft and tired, leaving much of the detecting to Toni and Simon. Surprisingly, she seems to be getting younger and has taken to petting and playing with her cats. I missed some of the old characters. Gone are the long chats with Mrs. Bloxby, whose appearance has changed a great deal, and the shenanigans of Roy Silver. James is mentioned briefly. Thankfully, Charles is still present. The book rambled a lot and was in need of editing. The ending fell flat and there was no hint in the epilogue of another murder or anything exciting to look forward to in the next book. Wish I could have given this one more than three stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    The plot (and I use the term loosely) was so meandering in this one I really struggled to maintain my attention. Far too much time was spent on the latest disasters in Agatha’s perpetually stalled love life. On the plus side, it was the first of these books in quite some time not to suffer from a painfully overlong epilogue.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Enid Silver

    The story was choppy and honestly to me it felt like solving a murder was just an afterthought slotted in when it's realised that nothing murder-y had been mentioned in 20 pages! The characters were just replaying stereotypes set out from previous books rather than furthering their development and I swear the conversations between Aggie and the regulars were rehashes of scenes from earlier books. Nothing new. The story was choppy and honestly to me it felt like solving a murder was just an afterthought slotted in when it's realised that nothing murder-y had been mentioned in 20 pages! The characters were just replaying stereotypes set out from previous books rather than furthering their development and I swear the conversations between Aggie and the regulars were rehashes of scenes from earlier books. Nothing new.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Grey853

    It took three tries to get through this book. Agatha Raisin is probably one of the most unpleasant characters ever created for a cozy. She's everything I hate in a person and the fact that she's a successful business woman makes it even worse. She's self-absorbed, judgmental, and lacks empathy. People are to be used and to serve Agatha. In this book she's investigating a murder, but I just wasn't that interested. The writing of this series has gotten more and more slack. This is definitely a thu It took three tries to get through this book. Agatha Raisin is probably one of the most unpleasant characters ever created for a cozy. She's everything I hate in a person and the fact that she's a successful business woman makes it even worse. She's self-absorbed, judgmental, and lacks empathy. People are to be used and to serve Agatha. In this book she's investigating a murder, but I just wasn't that interested. The writing of this series has gotten more and more slack. This is definitely a thumbs down for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Selah

    I really don't know how M. C. Beaton does it. The mystery is all over the place before it fizzles out (Agatha even thinks this), and the editing is *horrific*. Yet, it's imminently readable, and curmudgeonly Agatha is oh-so lovable. I really don't know how M. C. Beaton does it. The mystery is all over the place before it fizzles out (Agatha even thinks this), and the editing is *horrific*. Yet, it's imminently readable, and curmudgeonly Agatha is oh-so lovable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This series continues to go downhill. Bad writing, bad editing and a plot which is a shambles. "Large" seems to be the favourite adjective in the first chapter: it's repeated no end of times. Of no interest whatsoever. This series continues to go downhill. Bad writing, bad editing and a plot which is a shambles. "Large" seems to be the favourite adjective in the first chapter: it's repeated no end of times. Of no interest whatsoever.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I think reading this series is becoming more habit than anything. None of the characters have a redeeming quality. I would hate to live in Carsely.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Oh, come on! I want Agatha and Charles together...Snakes and bastards!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    It was fun to catch up with some of the regular characters. I do enjoy this series. I've been reading it for many years. It's definitely a series I recommend if you enjoy cosy crime. It was fun to catch up with some of the regular characters. I do enjoy this series. I've been reading it for many years. It's definitely a series I recommend if you enjoy cosy crime.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    This was my first Agatha Raisin book and it will be the last. I wanted to like it. After all, it is a British mystery by a very well-known author (the Queen of Crime!) and I do love me a good British whodunnit. The fact that the author has written well over a hundred books (!) should have alerted me to something wrong. There is a lack of care and thought in the writing when one is simply churning them out. The writing was jerky and felt rushed, the characters were laughably shallow and the plot w This was my first Agatha Raisin book and it will be the last. I wanted to like it. After all, it is a British mystery by a very well-known author (the Queen of Crime!) and I do love me a good British whodunnit. The fact that the author has written well over a hundred books (!) should have alerted me to something wrong. There is a lack of care and thought in the writing when one is simply churning them out. The writing was jerky and felt rushed, the characters were laughably shallow and the plot was ridiculous. The copy editing is deplorable! I realize that it is a "cozy" mystery but that is no excuse for insulting the reader with such sloppy writing. For example, consider the timeline: Lord Bellington dies on a Sunday, a few days later his obituary is in the Times newspaper, which is when Agatha learns of his death. Then "two weeks later, on a Sunday, she attended a meeting of the allotment users" (page 15). Then "the following Sunday" (page 16) Agatha learns that the cause of death was antifreeze poisoning (page 17). On the Friday of the following week, Agatha is hired by the son Damian to investigate the murder (page 21-22). Damian tells her that the funeral had finally been held the day before: "we had the funeral yesterday and hers (Andrea) were the only wet eyes around" (page 22). A couple of days later, Damian informs Agatha that his sister Andrea "got back yesterday" (from Scotland) and "the funeral is tomorrow" (page 54). Well, which is it? Or are we to understand that the funeral was held again? Perhaps the publisher has decided to skip editing Beaton's books to save money? Books use up trees and cost library budgets...so don't churn out poor novels just to keep a series going. A book should be published with care and with some respect for the reader. I wasted my time with this one!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Celine Godfrey

    As I had been looking forward to this book for some time, I started it immediately it arrived even though I was half way through another book. I'm afraid to say I'm pretty disappointed with this one. It seemed very rushed to me or that not as much thought had gone into this one as previous books in the series. I thought the last one, Dishing the Dirt was the best yet and that things were improving but this one has taken me back a step or two. Fast start, fast murder. At some points it just seems As I had been looking forward to this book for some time, I started it immediately it arrived even though I was half way through another book. I'm afraid to say I'm pretty disappointed with this one. It seemed very rushed to me or that not as much thought had gone into this one as previous books in the series. I thought the last one, Dishing the Dirt was the best yet and that things were improving but this one has taken me back a step or two. Fast start, fast murder. At some points it just seems to ramble. Everyone seems to be blunt and rude, overusing "Shove off"; new characters are very unlikeable; could have been edited better as it seemed to jump from one scene to the other without warning and Mrs Bloxby, a well loved and long standing character, has a new first name (now Sarah rather than Margaret). I also found he non-progress of relationships between established characters very frustrating. I may be wrong on this next point, but this book says that Agatha's ex husband James had named her cats Hodge and Boswell, which she wasn't particularly enamored of. But I thought she had the cats (and those names) long before James came along? Agatha Raisin herself is unchanged fortunately, but even she seemed to be bored with the plot and considered giving it up at one point! I feel a bit cheated on this one. The opportunity to have a better plot, new character exploration, giving clues that meant any one of them could have done it etc, were there, just sadly not used by the author. Am wondering if this is the beginning of the end for Agatha and that the next book may be her last. I'd rather it wasn't but I'd also rather she went out when she was still riding pretty high, rather than see her sink to humdrum. So I have a lot of hope riding on the next one!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    Now in her twenty-seventh outing since taking early retirement and selling up her PR business in London for life in the Cotswolds village of Carsley, the incorrigible Agatha Raisin is still poking her nose in where it isn't wanted and lusting after unsuitable men. Her lack of diplomacy might not have made her popular but as her loyal best friend, vicar's wife Mrs Bloxby knows, her heart is in the right place. With her private detective agency based at Mircester thriving and a team of four detect Now in her twenty-seventh outing since taking early retirement and selling up her PR business in London for life in the Cotswolds village of Carsley, the incorrigible Agatha Raisin is still poking her nose in where it isn't wanted and lusting after unsuitable men. Her lack of diplomacy might not have made her popular but as her loyal best friend, vicar's wife Mrs Bloxby knows, her heart is in the right place. With her private detective agency based at Mircester thriving and a team of four detectives gainfully employed, Agatha has her eye on ex-Scotland Yard detective Gerald Devere, only to find competition in the form of married Mrs Bloxby! Sporting a chic new look and a spring in her step, Mrs Bloxby is attracting admiring glances so when she tells Agatha about the odious Lord Bellington's plans to sell the local allotments land in order to build a housing estate, she sees an ideal opportunity to persuade him otherwise and impress an eligible bachelor in the process. Calling at Lord Bellington's estate as an emissary Agatha is accompanied by friend Charles only to swiftly be sent away with a flea in their ear and Agatha fuming! When she later reads his obituary and suspects that his death sounds like antifreeze poisoning, the abundance of suspects is overwhelming and with heir and son Damian making no secret of his feelings for his father, he is prime suspect. Employing Agatha to get to the bottom of things she is led a merry dance by the multitude of suspects only for the discovery of the body of latest newcomer and former model, Peta Currie to be found buried in the allotment the very next day. Once married to a cousin of Lord Bellington, patriotic Independent MP Nigel Farraday (cheap shot), she suspects a connection between the two murders. The resulting pursuit sends Agatha up to London and sees her return with a late twenties public school educated male in tow, creating tension between detective Simon Black engaged in an unrequited affection and pursuit of gorgeous colleague, Toni Gilmour. With a clever resolution to matters in the closing pages the novel finishes on a high and with two murders by page twenty-five, M.C. Beaton's leading lady proves as deadly as ever! Alongside the murders the mystery of the vegetable thief causing uproar amongst the allotment holders creates a diversion to proceedings and rather comically a request for a house-to-house search for a prize winning marrow by a certain green-fingered grower. Entering into a dream of idyllic village life prior to her retirement, Agatha neither gardens, bakes cakes or enjoys pottering around, giving her plenty of time to get to the bottom of juicier village matters. Forthright with an acidulous tongue she excels at the helm of her own detective agency, blessed with a willingness to pry and the gift of intuition. Although not a lover of cozy mysteries, my one guilty pleasure are the often farcical tales of Agatha Raisin, and with each appearance the plots get more threadbare, the cast more like caricatures and Agatha finds at least one man to take her fancy. Indeed the interest here is in the continuing drama amongst the cast of regulars who surround Agatha; notably ex-husband James Lacey, charmer Sir Charles Fraith and DS Bill Wong. I was pleased to see a few routine M.C. Beaton phrases woven throughout the novel, from the bearlike eyes of Agatha, the jester face of Simon Black, the lugubrious Patrick Mulligan and the self-contained as a cat Charles Fraith. The double figures mentions of Agatha's legs are also get the requisite admiration and spotting these almost compulsory descriptions is part of the charm. I was pleased that several opportune questions were answered along the way, from Mrs Bloxby's first name (Sarah) to an exact age for Agatha and Charles and Bill finally escaping the clutches of his domineering mother! With Agatha being apparently fifty-three and Charles six-years younger, I fear she has taken a year off for each of the years she has spent in the village. Given that I read the hardback novel which only stretched to two hundred and thirty pages and was littered with mistakes (typographical errors, incorrect tenses and even several name changes along the way), this novel could have been aided immeasurably by employing a decent proofreader. This is one for the Agatha loyalists and has the feel of being rather rushed to publication, doing a complete disservice to her readers. For fans of cozy mysteries with an English village setting, the Agatha Raisin series is worth a bash, but in all honestly the pick of the novels are the earlier tales and the scenarios gets flimsier by the minute. Although this novel would work as a standalone, it undoubtedly works best for those already acquainted with the folk of Carsley and an awareness of the history amongst them.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    This is my first foray into an Agatha Raisin adventures, I’ve been meaning to try these for awhile. So when I spotted one in my local library, I felt it was worth giving it a try... This is the 27th outing of the series, I was able to get a real sense of the cosy murder mysteries of these stories. I practically liked the main character Agatha, a 53 year old singleton living in the Cotswolds. The relationship with all the other characters was just wonderful. It’s the main selling point of the series This is my first foray into an Agatha Raisin adventures, I’ve been meaning to try these for awhile. So when I spotted one in my local library, I felt it was worth giving it a try... This is the 27th outing of the series, I was able to get a real sense of the cosy murder mysteries of these stories. I practically liked the main character Agatha, a 53 year old singleton living in the Cotswolds. The relationship with all the other characters was just wonderful. It’s the main selling point of the series. I also liked how unlucky in love Agatha is. As this quite far down the series, I felt as if I’d missed lots of character development. The murder itself is fun. Lord Bellington, one of the biggest landowners in Carsley annoys the local residents as he plans a new housing department on the local allotments, he is subsequently found poisoned. I felt that the mystery felt secondary, I found Agatha’s latest romantic problems the far more intriguing part of the story. I liked this book just enough that I want to go back and invest from the start, I felt this didn’t really work aswell as a stand-alone novel.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Maybe it's just me --- I haven't read an Agatha Raisin book in awhile since I'm caught up in the series --- but this book just seemed very choppy to me, maybe a tad too frenetic. Agatha was jumping all over the place mentally and physically. She is still battling the same old personal demons regarding her self-worth and her inability to find true love. I was prepared for that, and I keep rooting for her that she'll figure out that aspect of her life. But the mystery(s) had her running hither and Maybe it's just me --- I haven't read an Agatha Raisin book in awhile since I'm caught up in the series --- but this book just seemed very choppy to me, maybe a tad too frenetic. Agatha was jumping all over the place mentally and physically. She is still battling the same old personal demons regarding her self-worth and her inability to find true love. I was prepared for that, and I keep rooting for her that she'll figure out that aspect of her life. But the mystery(s) had her running hither and yon with various cast members from her standard work team, village folks and of course Sir Charles. I just didn't like this story as much as I've liked some the earlier books in the series. Perhaps this premise is getting played out? Come on Agatha, you've still got it! Surprise me more in the next book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I have been a huge fan of this series for a long time. Every time I open a book featuring my favorite sleuth, Agatha Raisin, I know I am in for a wild ride. This book did not disappoint me. It was full of the charm I look for whenever I crack open a new addition to the series. As usual, Agatha feels empty in her life, microwave dinners and cigarettes aren't filling the void. When a wealthy land developer is killed, his son hires Agatha and her firm to investigate his death. Could his death be rel I have been a huge fan of this series for a long time. Every time I open a book featuring my favorite sleuth, Agatha Raisin, I know I am in for a wild ride. This book did not disappoint me. It was full of the charm I look for whenever I crack open a new addition to the series. As usual, Agatha feels empty in her life, microwave dinners and cigarettes aren't filling the void. When a wealthy land developer is killed, his son hires Agatha and her firm to investigate his death. Could his death be related to the allotment issues in town, or is his son guilty of murder? Tune in September 20, 2016 to see how this wonderful story ends. I received and Arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    This book was a lot of fun. Beaton brought in tons of characters. Since I listened to it on cd I could just imagine the author rubbing her hands together and thinking, "How many voices can I force Alison Larkin to come up with? he he he." This book was a lot of fun. Beaton brought in tons of characters. Since I listened to it on cd I could just imagine the author rubbing her hands together and thinking, "How many voices can I force Alison Larkin to come up with? he he he."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    Lord Bellingham is threatening to put up the rents on some allotments he owns so when he is found murdered no one is too surprised as he has also raised rents for all his other tenants. Agatha Raisin has been to see him just before he's murdered to try and persuade him not to put up rents and she is asked by his son to try and find his murderer. Agatha visits the allotments on a pleasant sunny day and even finds herself attracted to the idea of owning an allotment and growing her own vegetables. Lord Bellingham is threatening to put up the rents on some allotments he owns so when he is found murdered no one is too surprised as he has also raised rents for all his other tenants. Agatha Raisin has been to see him just before he's murdered to try and persuade him not to put up rents and she is asked by his son to try and find his murderer. Agatha visits the allotments on a pleasant sunny day and even finds herself attracted to the idea of owning an allotment and growing her own vegetables. Then Peta Currie - a newcomer to the village - is found buried in one of the plots. Another newcomer to the village - former Scotland Yard detective Gerald Devere - attracts Agatha and also attracts the attention of Mrs Bloxby, the vicar's wife. As the body count mounts, Agatha finds her emotions turned upside down as Charles takes up with a new girlfriend. With some excellent sleuthing and rather more sense than usual from Agatha herself this is a fast paced amusing story which will delight Agatha's many fans. All the series characters make an appearance, including Boswell and Hodge, Agatha's cats. I enjoyed reading this light hearted mystery and it is a fitting addition to this long running series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you retire please don't move to Carsley in the Cotswolds: the murder rate is far too high and, additionally if you are a male, there is every chance that Agatha Raisin will set her cap at you- so watch out! On the first point, even Agatha's friend Charles Fraith says at one point, 'You mean all those people bumping each other off is normal?' And on the second I lost count of how many males Agatha suddenly fancied, regardless of age, in this one but, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you retire please don't move to Carsley in the Cotswolds: the murder rate is far too high and, additionally if you are a male, there is every chance that Agatha Raisin will set her cap at you- so watch out! On the first point, even Agatha's friend Charles Fraith says at one point, 'You mean all those people bumping each other off is normal?' And on the second I lost count of how many males Agatha suddenly fancied, regardless of age, in this one but, in fairness, after having a one-night stand with young Jake, she did tell him, most forcibly, when he tried again 'Sod off, you randy pillock.' She certainly has style. Anyway, down to the storyline, it begins with Lord Bellington deciding to sell of the locals' allotments for a housing development but, needless to say, he dies and immediately Agatha suggests that his death was not accidental and even offers the method of killing him to the police, who are not pleased that she is interfering once more in a crime. However, Bellington's son hires her to discover what exactly happened and, if murder is proved, to find the killer, mainly so that he can clear his name. Agatha is, therefore, committed to the task in hand. This sets Agatha and her trusty team, all four of them are in action in this episode, off on a determined track. And on the way a couple more bodies turn up, which lead them into all sorts of backwaters of village life. There are feuds, jealousies and disputes over land all of which throw red herrings into the investigation but nothing ever deters Agatha, even though she may, in the midst of all the mayhem, be sidetracked when pursuing her own romantic agenda with whoever is on hand. All the usual characters in Agatha Raisin tales turn up and our heroine continues to have her own special relationship with each of them, often bordering on love/hate. But, once more, despite the misgivings of the police who repeatedly inform her to leave well alone, she turns up trumps and everything is well and truly sorted out. I have been a fan of MC Beaton and Agatha since the outset but this one does have some very noticeable flaws particularly in the editing. Two obvious instances are Mrs Bloxby, the vicar's wife and Agatha's friend (on occasion), who suddenly has a different forename and out of the blue it is said that James Lacey, one of Agatha' former husbands, had named her cats, but she had the cats long before he came on the scene. In addition the plots are becoming more and more difficult to accept and it is only Agatha's special relationship with everyone and her quirkiness all round that keeps the series afloat. I suppose it could be true as Agatha says at the end of the book, 'Life is a bitch.' It certainly will be if we do not see some improvements in the next book in the series otherwise Carsley and its murders will be a thing of the past, which will be a sad thing to come to terms with. Having said all that, 'Pushing Up Daisies' is still an enjoyable read if only to revel in Agatha's futile, and often pathetic, attempts at creating a love life for herself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caila

    I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this Goodreads giveaway book from Minotaur Books...and even more delighted that it was by one of my very favorite authors. As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest Agatha Raisin. She's got tons of middle-aged angst, several bad habits and blunders her way through life and this latest mystery. Of course there's romance and sex (and lack of it) and one can't help but hope she'll find true love eventually. But where would the fun be in that? Nope, gott I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this Goodreads giveaway book from Minotaur Books...and even more delighted that it was by one of my very favorite authors. As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest Agatha Raisin. She's got tons of middle-aged angst, several bad habits and blunders her way through life and this latest mystery. Of course there's romance and sex (and lack of it) and one can't help but hope she'll find true love eventually. But where would the fun be in that? Nope, gotta keep the men and the murders going for more Agatha. Thanks Goodreads, Minotaur and M C Beaton, I'm already looking forward to the next one!

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

    what the heck happened to these books? I picked this up to see if what people said about the later Agatha Raisin books was true (that they're simply not as good), and BOY were they right. Agatha has become slightly Mary-Sue-ish and so much stuff is just plain contrived, like her asking the murder victim who will inherit if he dies before he gets murdered (this DOES NOT come about in any natural way, she just says it completely out of nowhere). what a disappointment. I hope that this is only a mo what the heck happened to these books? I picked this up to see if what people said about the later Agatha Raisin books was true (that they're simply not as good), and BOY were they right. Agatha has become slightly Mary-Sue-ish and so much stuff is just plain contrived, like her asking the murder victim who will inherit if he dies before he gets murdered (this DOES NOT come about in any natural way, she just says it completely out of nowhere). what a disappointment. I hope that this is only a more recent development though since several of the ones I haven't read yet look interesting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I received this through the Goodreads Giveaway program. The characters were quirky and none were totally admirable. The plot was sufficiently complicated. Unfortunately I didn't care for the writing style at all. There were very few page breaks to indicate a change in narrators or locations. The dialogue was staid and the reflections by the main character were tiresome. I doubt I'll read another book by this author. I received this through the Goodreads Giveaway program. The characters were quirky and none were totally admirable. The plot was sufficiently complicated. Unfortunately I didn't care for the writing style at all. There were very few page breaks to indicate a change in narrators or locations. The dialogue was staid and the reflections by the main character were tiresome. I doubt I'll read another book by this author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    In this latest book, controversy over garden plots leads causes drama in the village, and when the grouchy landlord is found murdered, nobody mourns. Agatha is as feisty as ever in this installment, but she doesn't make quite as many silly decisions. I like the surrounding characters as well. These are fun, relaxing reads. In this latest book, controversy over garden plots leads causes drama in the village, and when the grouchy landlord is found murdered, nobody mourns. Agatha is as feisty as ever in this installment, but she doesn't make quite as many silly decisions. I like the surrounding characters as well. These are fun, relaxing reads.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I love me some Agatha Raisin, but seriously? Snakes and bastards - I could have edited this one better myself! Between the cast of faceless characters, the meandering plot, the abrupt change of scenes, and the almost laughable fiasco starting on page 263 where Patrick and Phil's names are interchanged at least twice, I started wondering if Beaton is ok. I love me some Agatha Raisin, but seriously? Snakes and bastards - I could have edited this one better myself! Between the cast of faceless characters, the meandering plot, the abrupt change of scenes, and the almost laughable fiasco starting on page 263 where Patrick and Phil's names are interchanged at least twice, I started wondering if Beaton is ok.

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