17 November 2015

Today's Read & Giveaway: Dishing the Dirt by M. C. Beaton

review of Dishing the Dirt by MC BeatonWhat 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.

But somewhere in the heart of one private detective, Agatha Raisin, storms were brewing.
Dishing the Dirt by M. C. Beaton (Minotaur Books, 2015, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • 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.
The Giveaway

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!


Catherine 11/17/15, 6:55 AM  

Sounds very Agatha Christie-ish - I like it! :)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/17/15, 7:31 AM  

Always meant to try this author but haven't. I'm curious.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 11/17/15, 7:41 AM  

I don't really love the first paragraph, but the premise does intrigue me! Someone like that coming to town could cause a lot of havoc! Also - you may want to check out your first paragraph -there's something in there that made me die laughing, but you may want to change it!!!

Unknown 11/17/15, 8:05 AM  

I drew from Murder She Wrote to visualize this scene. Sounds so fun and I love the cover!

Here's my TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/11/17/teaser-tuesdays-136-h20/

rhapsodyinbooks 11/17/15, 8:40 AM  

I love settings in the Cotswolds! Must find this one!

karen 11/17/15, 9:00 AM  

I haven't started this series yet but it's on my to-do list! Maybe next year I'll get around to it :) I've got a cozy mystery with a Thanksgiving theme this week http://wellreadpiratequeen.blogspot.com/2015/11/teasertuesday-37-diva-runs-out-of-thyme.html

Kaye 11/17/15, 9:29 AM  

Wow, one I haven't read. Sounds like a fun one too,

grammajudyb 11/17/15, 9:54 AM  

Another series to add to my list of must reads. Sounds very good.

Anonymous,  11/17/15, 10:19 AM  

Ahh! A murder mystery writer I haven't read yet! And I really like your teaser. I'm always looking for good mysteries for my Mystery Monday meme. Here's my Teaser Tuesday link, an Avi historical fiction book for young readers (junior grade level, give or take): http://wp.me/p4DMf0-11y

Literary Feline 11/17/15, 10:24 AM  

I love that teaser! From calm to stormy. I have only read this author once before--many years ago. I remember enjoying her book, but haven't yet read anything else by her.

Suzie Quint 11/17/15, 10:37 AM  

Years ago I read Beaton's Hamish McBeth series (loved the BBC series) but I never ventured into her Agatha Raisin books. I'm not sure why.

Anonymous,  11/17/15, 10:39 AM  

Never read this author, must look into it.


bermudaonion 11/17/15, 10:42 AM  

Sounds fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

Debbie Rodgers 11/17/15, 11:19 AM  

I love M.C. Beaton! Thanks so much for the chance to win - and being open to Canadian addresses. :-)

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/17/15, 11:21 AM  

I've been really curious about the Agatha Raisin character and this series. That nosy therapist must have plenty of enemies! I'm sure Agatha will find the murderer. I haven't read any of the books...but they are on my list. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Alice Audrey 11/17/15, 12:56 PM  

Since I'm looking at cold and storms out my window, I don't even connect with the Spring time part of this teaser.

Mine is here: http://www.aliceaudrey.com/?p=12988

Cleopatra Loves Books 11/17/15, 1:44 PM  

These are always good for a light read and the teaser is a good one!

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 11/17/15, 3:16 PM  

Three cheers for Agatha Raisin, one of my all-time favorite cozy characters!

Unknown 11/17/15, 3:26 PM  

I love this series , I can't wait to read this one ! They are really
Good on audio too .

Monica's Bookish Life 11/17/15, 5:21 PM  

I read a book in this series several years ago, and I recall that I really enjoyed it. This book looks promising, too, so I'd keep reading!

Nise' 11/17/15, 8:11 PM  

Thankfully, I don't have any secrets to reveal! Sounds good.

Margot 11/18/15, 1:16 AM  

I am very late, but I just discovered Agatha Raisin. Just last week I finished the first and second book in the series. It was so much fun to read them. Obviously, I have a long ways to go, but I'm glad to hear the series stands up well.

Daryl 11/20/15, 10:08 AM  

never heard of this series but it sounds like its right up my alley, thanks

Anonymous,  11/23/15, 6:28 PM  

love MC Beaton -- I've read all the Agatha Raisin books (except this one!) and all the Hamish MacBeth ones, too. :) Thanks for hosting!!
Beth of Beth's Book-Nook Blog

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