Title: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
Author: M.C. Beaton
Genre: Cozy mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher for Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program
Audiobook reader: Penelope Keith
Audiobook length: 6 hours and 26 minutes
First line: Mrs. Agatha Raisin sat behind her newly cleared desk in her office in South Molton Street in London’s Mayfair.
Goodreads blurb: Agatha has moved to a picture-book English village and wants to get in the swing. So she buys herself a quiche for the village quiche-making contest and is more than alarmed when it kills a judge. Hot on the trail of the poisoner, Agatha is fearless, all the while unaware that she’s become the next victim …
Oh, Agatha Raisin, where have you been all my life? The irascible, surly Agatha came into my reading life at just the right time. In my current print reading, I’ve got one difficult read (Bleak House) and one dark read (White Horse by Alex Adams). I needed something light and fun to balance it, and the audiobook edition of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death was the perfect contrast.
Agatha is a fantastic character, and Beaton has done the near impossible of making a cranky middle-aged woman into a thoroughly likable character, one whom I had no problem rooting for. Whether it is passing a store-bought quiche off as her own for a contest, or getting villagers to bid oodles of money on worthless items at a charity auction, Agatha’s spunk comes through. She also has a knack for getting into sticky situations that had me chuckling over and over again.
I enjoyed piecing together the mystery with Agatha, but even more than that, I simply enjoyed reading about her attempts to fit into her new chosen village. The villagers greet her with varying degrees of welcome – some warm (the vicar’s wife and a local policeman) and some outright hostile (the snobbish woman whose cleaning woman Agatha lures away), but by the end of the book, she is clearly a welcome addition to the town, bringing a bit of excitement with her. The addition of a handsome neighbor has me thinking that there may be a bit of romance in Agatha’s future – and I can’t wait to listen to book two, The Vicious Vet.