What if someone moved to your close-knit town and seemed determined to reveal your secrets? Agatha Raisin, a brash ex-public relations executive, is afraid that the nosy new therapist, Jill, could tumble her carefully built house of cards. When Jill is found strangled to death, all eyes turn to Agatha as the prime suspect. Will Agatha, now a private detective, be able to solve the case and clear her name, even as new murders are discovered?
After a dismal grey winter, spring came to the village of Carsely in the Cotswolds, bringing blossoms, blue skies and warm breezes.—Dishing the Dirt by M. C. Beaton (Minotaur Books, 2015, p. 1)
But somewhere in the heart of one private detective, Agatha Raisin, storms were brewing.
- Setting: the Cotswolds, modern times
- Circumstances: Therapist Jill Davent, new to the village of Carsely, seems to have way too much interest in Agatha. Not only does Jill dig into Agatha's past but she's even dating Agatha's ex-husband. Soon after Agatha angrily confronts Jill, the therapist is found murdered. Agatha and her team of investigators must prove her innocence before she either is arrested or becomes a victim.
- Characters: Agatha Raisin, our hero; James Lacey, her ex-husband; Charles Fraith, her friend and sometimes lover; Jill Davent, therapist and Agatha's new rival; members of Agatha's newish PI firm; various villagers
- Genre: British mystery; light reading
- A little about Agatha Raisin: When Agatha Raisin retired early from a career in public relations, she moved from London to the Cotswolds. After becoming entangled in a number of murder investigations, she became a private investigator. Agatha is one of those women you love to hate: she's brash, outspoken (not always in a good way), and thinks the world revolves around her. She's also a man chaser, who has questionable judgment when it comes to potential mates. Much of her behavior is a mask to hide her insecurities.
- Thoughts: Dishing the Dirt has all the trademark Agatha Raisin features. You'll find plenty of red herrings and quirky characters, not to mention murder victims. Agatha lets her jealousies get the better of her, and of course, she has her eye on some men (including her ex-husband). As always, it's fun to see her try to solve cases because she relies so much on her hunches instead of hard, cold facts. This is a satisfying addition to the Agatha Raisin series.
- Recommendation: If you like British mysteries, quirky characters, and small-town settings, you're sure to like the Agatha Raisin books. Don't worry if you haven't read any of the other books in the series, M. C. Beaton provides enough background so you won't feel lost. Dishing the Dirt is fun, quick read, making it a perfect choice for a cold winter's evening.
Thanks to the publisher, I am able to offer two of my readers with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address a copy of Dishing the Dirt by M. C. Beaton. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick two winners, via a random number generator, on November 27. Once the winners have been confirmed and I've passed the names and addresses along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!