A Spoonful of Poison continues the tradition in M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series—now a hit show on Acorn TV and public television.
Cranky but lovable sleuth Agatha Raisin's detective agency has become so successful that she wants nothing more than to take quality time for rest and relaxation. But as soon as she begins closing the agency on weekends, she remembers that when she has plenty of quality time, she doesn't know what to do with it. So it doesn't take much for the vicar of a nearby village to persuade her to help publicize the church fete---especially when the fair's organizer, George Selby, turns out to be a gorgeous widower.
Agatha brings out the crowds for the fete, all right, but there's more going on than innocent village fun. Several of the offerings in the jam-tasting booth turn out to be poisoned, and the festive family event becomes the scene of two murders.
Along with her young and (much to her dismay) pretty sidekick, Toni, Agatha must uncover the truth behind the jam tampering, keep the church funds safe from theft, and expose the nasty secrets lurking in the village---all while falling for handsome George, who may have secrets of his own.
When elderly Mrs. Andrews blithely jumps to her death off the tower of Saint Odo the Severe during a church charity event in the Cotswolds village of Comfrey Magna, LSD-laced jam proves to be the cause in bestseller Beaton's saucy 19th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2007's Kissing Christmas Goodbye). Agatha joins the local authorities in the investigation, which focuses on the six women who contributed jam to the church fete, including wealthy Sybilla Triast-Perkins. Agatha and Toni Gilmour, her young detective-in-training, soon find unmasking the lethal jam poisoner complicated by Sybilla's sudden suicide and a murder connected to the theft of the fete's proceeds. Beaton's sly humor enhances the cozy-style plotting, while updates on Agatha's and Toni's respective romantic travails are delightful as ever. The open-ended resolution points to more madcap mayhem to come.