The Blood of an Englishman continues the tradition in M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series—now a hit show on Acorn TV and public television.
"Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman..."
Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn't re-appear at final curtain.
Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.
The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha's 25th adventure, and you'd think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha's flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again "manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery" (Bookreporter.com).
Bestseller Beaton's 25th Agatha Raisin cozy (after 2013's Something Borrowed, Something Dead) opens stronger than it finishes. During a performance of an embarrassingly amateurish pantomime in the small English town of Winter Parva, the local baker, Bert Simple, is impaled on a spike set up on the bottom of an elevator platform under a stage trap door. Gareth Craven, the show's producer, hires PI Agatha to find Bert's killer, who later strikes again. Agatha, who seems at least as interested in finding a new husband as in locating evidence, has a penchant for repeatedly getting herself into dangerous situations. The by-the-book conversations she has with people display no insight or cleverness, and chance plays a big part in the solution. Still, readers will enjoy the flashes of wit (e.g., "Agatha reflected that Marie was wearing so much make-up, you could skate on it").
The Blood of an Englishman
Absolutley delicious! Agatha is delightfully vain, capricious, shallow and just complex enough to be engaging while snooping.