Agatha Raisin has had one dream since she was a young girl: to own a cottage in the Cotswolds and to be a part of the community. At 53, she is ready to retire from her fast-paced P.R. firm and she sells the business. Everything is ready: she has bought her cottage, it has been professionally decorated, and her car is waiting for her at the train station.
When she arrives in Carsely, things are not as she expected. People seem friendly on the surface, although no one has yet to invite her for tea and crumpets. Agatha immediately incites the ire of her new neighbor, Mrs. Barr, by hiring away her cleaning lady. How is she going to make a splash and fulfill her childhood dream of afternoon teas and neighborly bliss?
Agatha decides to enter the quiche competition at a local festival, despite the fact that she doesn’t cook! The important thing to her is becoming part of her new community, no matter what it takes. She hears that every year Mrs. Cartwright wins the quiche competition, so she decides to wine and dine the judge, Reginald Cummings-Browne, and his wealthy wife, Vera.
Agatha buys a quiche in London to pass as her own. Things become very tangled when the judge dies from poisoned quiche. Will she be considered a cheat and a murderess? How will she clear her name? Will she ever fit in?
This is the first book of a series featuring Agatha Raisin, local police constables Bill Wong and Inspector Wilkes, and Agatha’s former employee, Roy. M.C. Beaton is also the author of the Hamish Macbeth mystery series.
This is a quick-paced story with enjoyable, but predictable, characters. Carsely sounds like a place where we, too, might like being invited in for tea. Readers who enjoy Mrs. Pollifax may find Agatha Raisin to be a comfortable companion. I know I am looking forward to seeing what happens with Agatha and her new neighbors.
Review by Leann S.