Agatha Raisin and the Blood of an Englishman by MC Beaton

Brutal, but rather ingeniously devised, murder occurs during the finale of an amateur pantomime performance. The local baker in the role of Ogre is impaled below a trap door as he exits the stage in spectacular fashion. Agatha Raisin springs into action. The list of suspects is long: most of his fellow actors (he wasn’t a well loved man), his widow and a couple of rivals for her now vacated hand in marriage. The murderous spree doesn’t end there, but are those murders connected by the same perpetrator?
While Agatha investigates, she simultaneously hunts for a husband and at some point comes dangerously close to finding one.
As usual, it is a fast-paced, no-nonsense tour de force into the small but vibrant Cotswolds world full of idiosyncratic eccentrics and plain-speaking locals.
Following MC Beaton’s sad death in December last year, I felt compelled to dive into the colourful world she had created in her Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series. More reviews to follow.

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