I’m not sure how I have lived all these years without having read an Agatha Raisin book. Well, okay, I have a fairly good idea. I was a classics snob when I was in high school and the Agatha Raisin books were first being published. I didn’t have lots of spare time for reading exploration in college. Then I moved to Guatemala and back three years later. I have four kids and just started exploring new (to me) authors in the past year or so. But now, 22 years after it was first published, I have finally read the first Agatha Raisin book.
This series is written by M.C. Beaton and begins with Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. I’ve read a few books written by the same author under the name Marion Chesney that were okay, but nothing too exciting. I think that is one of the reasons I have passed by the Agatha Raisin books so often without checking one out. I’m happy to say that I like her much better as M.C. Beaton.
Agatha Raisin has had a dream of owning a cottage in the Cotswolds since she was a child. Now that she has made enough money to retire comfortably she finds a cottage and retires. And is completely bored stiff. She’s used to the world of public relations and the quiet life of retirement. It’s a whole new world and it frightens her as she discovers that she hasn’t any real friends or family.
She decides to throw herself into village life and get involved. Her first attempt is entering the quiche bake-off. The only problem is that Agatha does not have a clue how to cook. So she whips up to London and buys a spinach quiche from the Quicherie. Unfortunately, not only does she not win, her quiche poisons the judge. It’s the quiche of death.
This incident sets her off on a journey of discovery. She learns how to make real friends and becomes integrated into village life. She makes a few enemies as well. You can’t just go around stealing someone else’s cleaning lady or trying to discover just how the quiche you bought managed to kill someone’s philandering husband. People object to that kind of thing.
It was hilarious. I am definitely going to read the rest of them. The only thing I didn’t care for was the occasional swear word.