Introducing Agatha Raisin: The Quiche of Death/The Vicious Vet by M.C. Beaton #Mystery #AgathaRaisin

Beloved author M. C. Beaton has delighted readers and fans alike with her Agatha Raisin mysteries. The Quiche of Death and The Vicious Vet, the first two books in the series, are now together for the first time in one volume. . . .

The Quiche of Death
Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely, and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest. Despite the fact that Agatha has never baked a thing in her life, she is sure the pie she has secretly bought from an upper-crust London quicherie will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when the judge not only snubs her entry–but falls over dead!

The Vicious Vet
Agatha Raisin hasn’t quite adjusted to the slow pace of village life, or to the failure of her overtures to her handsome neighbor, James Lacey. Since the new vet in town is young and good looking, Agatha’s perfectly healthy tabby endures a nasty physical exam in the name of romance. Unfortunately, his sacrifice is all for naught when the vet is soon found dead. The police call the death a freak accident, but Agatha convinces James that playing amateur detective might be fun. Unfortunately, just as curiosity killed the cat, Agatha’s inept snooping is soon a motivation for murder. . . .

Introducing Agatha Raisin (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible Plus) (AbeBooks) is an audiobook I picked up for free with my Audible Plus subscription. Indeed, the majority of M.C. Beaton’s cozy mysteries featuring Agatha Raisin are included with membership, so I quickly added them to my library because I love a cozy mystery.

I don’t know what I was expecting in Agatha Raisin, but after years of hearing about M.C. Beaton’s books, I conjured up an image of a Miss Marple-like character, which Agatha most decidedly is not. There’s a lot about her character that isn’t likeable, but still compelling enough to make you want to find out more about her and how she operates.

I found the Quiche of Death to be the better of the two mysteries, and a great mystery to introduce a character. Recently retired and moving from London to a small village, Agatha has nothing but time on her hands. Of course she’s going to develop some interests, and one of them happens to be the mystery of the “accidental” poisoning of a man who ate her store-bought quiche that she entered into a local baking competition. Turns out that the poisoning wasn’t so accidental, despite what the police believe, and Agatha determines to find out the murderer.

The Vicious Vet was an okay mystery, further establishing Agatha’s unlikeable character but with redeeming qualities. The mystery in this one was pretty obvious, and the introduction of James as a help-mate was a nice bonus. Beaton does not take the characters too seriously as there’s plenty of humor sprinkled about, even though they are dealing with murders.

Overall, I found Agatha Raisin endearing and look forward to listening to many more mysteries courtesy of my Audible Plus membership. If you love audiobooks and don’t already have an Audible membership, I highly recommend it and the Agatha Raisin books, which are included with membership.

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