Agatha Raisin and the Blood of an Englishman

Written by M.C. Beaton

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group.

Agatha Raisin and the Blood of an Englishman
RRP: £14.99
Released: October 16, 2014

Publisher:  Constable

Price:  £14.99

Release Date:  16 October 2014

This 25th book about intrepid detective Agatha Raisin has her investigating the murder of an amateur actor during a Christmas panto.

The murder is actually rather gruesome:  the victim, the local baker, falls through a trap door onstage during a performance and ends up being skewered – genitals first – by a metal spike that has been affixed underneath.  Yet when the body is discovered there is no mention whatsoever of any blood, despite the fact that with such a murder it would be everywhere, but lack of violence is typical of the ‘cozy’ mystery.

Agatha herself is a middle-aged woman and former Londoner who now runs a detective agency in a small community, though she frequently seems to find herself frustrated at its intimacy and seems to miss the bustle of the city.  There is an awful lot of ‘telling’ not ‘showing’ in this book, but that might again be a characteristic of the cozy mystery.  For instance, we are told (frequently) that Agatha falls in love often, and feels ‘diminished’ without a man.  This particular characteristic I found intensely annoying, especially in a woman who appears to be the wrong side of fifty, and I kept wanting to shout at Agatha to stand on her own two feet and stop chasing after every eligible bachelor she encounters.

However, there is a rather clever mystery in there, which Agatha – of course – manages to solve through the meticulous piecing together of clues.  Fans of Agatha Raisin are entertained by her scattiness and man-hungry ways, and I have no doubt that this latest adventure will please the many readers who have been following the series since the beginning.

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