Agatha Raisin and Something Borrowed, Someone Dead was published in 2013 and was a last second choice as I was about to leave my local library. I had previously decided not to read any more in this series as I had decided that it had definitely come to the end of the line. I should have stuck to my guns about that as this one was just the same old Agatha stuff, including her ‘excellent legs’. Remind me not to read any more, please!
Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher is a very quick and light read, not in the same class as The Shell Seekers or September but it’s a mildly diverting romance set on a Spanish island where Selina has gone in search of her father.
I read this one as part of the Scotland 2014 challenge.
This book was just published in 2011 but unfortunately I didn’t bother to check the publication date before I borrowed it from the library. So I read it way out of sequence and it would seem that I’ve missed quite a lot of important events in the life of Agatha. For one thing she’s now divorced – and I missed the marriage!
The biggest change though is that she has now set up her own private detective agency and is employing several people of varied ages and backgrounds so that they can be deployed in situations where they are most likely to be of use.
Apart from those differences I also felt that this book was quite a bit darker than the previous ones which I’ve read, the original murder was nastier, but having said that I still did enjoy it as MC Beaton doesn’t go in for supplying you with the gory details, which I’d really rather avoid.
For me the plot of this one wasn’t as predictable either, which is another plus. Agatha Raisin is a very human character, completely aware of her own flaws but she also has a conscience and she’s particularly worried that her habit of meddling in other people’s private lives (for their own good as far as she is concerned) could have dire consequences – but will she mend her ways? I doubt it and I hope not – because then she wouldn’t be Agatha – would she?
I’m not a fast reader as I read every word and comma but I started reading this one at bedtime last night and finished it this morning. As ever with Agatha Raisin, cat-loving grump that she is, it was an enjoyable romp, with Agatha being surprised by the reaction of some of the village women to an Evesham hairdresser. She sees fear on their faces and is told by some that they wouldn’t go near his salon, despite the fact that he is the best hairdresser in the town by far. Of course Agatha smells a rat and must get to the bottom of it.
In pursuit of the truth Agatha and her hair spend a lot of time being dyed, back-combed and such, so much so that I began to think that if there were a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Hair – I would definitely have reported her to it.
On the other hand – if I had been Agatha I would have expected to be awarded the George Cross for valour for being brave enough to frequent the various salons so often!
I got to the bottom of the mystery long before Agatha and company did but I think that that is part of the charm of the books and contributes to the popularity of them, people like to think they are smarter than the police and amateur detectives.
I’ll continue with the series now and again, just as I come across them in the library.