After her first husband, Jimmy Raisin, stops her wedding and she is left jilted at the altar, he is found strangled to death, and Agatha Raisin must prove her innocence along with that of her intended. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage is a mystery filled with murder and mayhem, from bestselling author M.C. Beaton.
The blunt Agatha Raisin, with her stocky figure and "bearlike eyes," makes for an unusual sleuth, and her fifth outing (after Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley, 1995) certainly makes for an unusual adventure. The former public relations powerhouse who left London and a career for a simpler life in a Cotswold country village is about to marry her handsome next-door neighbor. But the wedding ceremony is halted mid-vow by the arrival of Jimmy Raisin, the husband Agatha fervently hoped was dead and has neglected to mention to James Lacey, the fastidious, upstanding citizen currently waiting to tie the knot. Even less convenient than a living husband who interrupts your wedding is one who, shortly thereafter, turns up dead in a ditch in the immediate neighborhood. Naturally, Agatha and James top the suspect list. But the dead Jimmy was a down-and-out alcoholic who had been known to practice a bit of blackmail. Agatha and James track down some of his victims, who have a distressing tendency to die shortly after being questioned by the two. With bodies stacking up and James refusing to marry Agatha (even though she has already sold her cottage), the atmosphere becomes nicely tense. Beaton, who also pens the Hamish MacBeth series, gleefully creates one excruciating situation after another for her indomitable heroine to endure.