Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death

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Ivy Books, 1993 - Fiction - 185 pages
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When Mrs. Agatha Raisin decides to retire early to the English Cotswolds, she envisions herself enjoying all that country life has to offer: garden parties, tea at the vicarage, and a cozy home far from the noise and smell of London. Life in the village of Carsley is not as Agatha anticipated, however. Much to her surprise, she doesn't attract much interest among the villagers. No one comes to call; there are no invitations to tennis or tea. A miserable Agatha is forced to acknowledge that she is but another newcomer to the well-established Carsley society. Agatha didn't succeed in business by being a shrinking violet, though, so she shakes off her doubts and resolves to make her mark on the village: She will enter Carsley's Great Quiche Competition and win! The fact that Agatha has never baked so much as a potato in her life doesn't stop her; she submits a delectable store-bought quiche as her own. Having dusted off her mantlepiece to accommodate her silver cup, Agatha is stunned to see the award go to another entry. Her surprise turns to horror, however, when the contest judge drops dead - from poison the police trace to Agatha's "homemade" spinach pie. Agatha is now the talk of the town - though not exactly in the manner she had hoped. In an effort to clear her name, she turns amateur sleuth - as Beaton introduces a witty and well-crafted new mystery series peopled with quirky characters and all endearingly eccentric sleuth.

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Agatha Raisin takes an early retirement, says goodbye to her successful London PR business, and heads to the quiet village of Carsely and a cozy little Cotswold cottage. Carsely will never be the same, as Agatha barrels her way into village life, turning up one murder after another as the series progresses. Agatha has not a clue when it comes to gardening, cooking, or figuring out why she offends people, but she has a streetwise method of tracking down killers that leads her to one adventure after another. Described by one reviewer as a cross between Miss Marple and a pit bull, this is definitely Miss Marple with an edge!  

About the author (1993)

M. C. Beaton's real name is Marion Chesney. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936. She has written over a hundred books under her own name and other pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Helen Crampton, Jennie Tremaine, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester. She started her writing career while working as a fiction buyer for a bookstore in Glasgow. Working at one time or another as a theater critic, newspaper reporter, and editor, she used her British background to write a series of regency romances set in England and Scotland. Some of her regency romances include The Folly, Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue, and Regency Gold. In 1986, she was awarded the Romantic Times Award for Outstanding Regency Series Writer. She has also written two mystery series under the pseudonym M. C. Beaton: The Hamish Macbeth Series, which became the inspiration for a television show in England, and The Agatha Raisin Series, about a retired advertising executive. Her title His and Hers made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

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