Love, Lies and Liquor continues the tradition in M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series—now a hit show on Acorn TV and public television.
Agatha Raisin is lonely. Busy as she is with her detective agency and the meetings of the Carsely Ladies' Society, she still misses her ex-husband, James Lacey, so she welcomes his return to the cottage next door with her usual triumph of optimism over experience---especially when he invites her on holiday at a surprise location that was once very dear to him. With visions of a romantic hideaway in Italy or the Pacific dancing in her head, Agatha goes off happily with James to...Snoth-on-Sea, in Sussex.
While James may have fond memories of boyhood holidays there, Snoth-on-Sea has seen better days, as has the once-grand Palace Hotel, now run-down and tacky and freezing cold. Nor do the other guests have much to recommend them, especially the brassy honeymoon couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jankers, who pick a fight with Agatha in the dining room. But trouble has a way of following Agatha even if romance does not: Just as she and James are preparing to flee to warmer climes, Geraldine Jankers is found dead on the beach—strangled with Agatha's scarf. So much for Agatha's holiday fantasies: Not only is it time to put her detective skills to work, but the police are not even sure that she'll be allowed to leave town.
In bestseller Beaton's mildly entertaining 17th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2005's The Perfect Paragon), Agatha still carries a torch for her ex-husband, James Lacey, who invites her on holiday after moving back to the cottage next door to hers in the small English village of Carsely. Unfortunately, the surprise destination is a rundown British seaside town, Snoth-on-Sea, where a fellow guest at their hotel is murdered, strangled with Agatha's scarf. Before Agatha can make much headway in her investigation, two more guests are killed. More engaging than the crime solving the underdeveloped victims and suspects are hard to tell apart, let alone care about is the back-and-forth between Agatha and James. Driven by Agatha's strong personality, this predictable cozy will please devoted fans, but is unlikely to win new readers.