Agatha Raisin and the murderous marriage

M. C. Beaton

Book - 1996

Agatha Raisin is tying the knot with James Lacey before he can have second thoughts. After all, her first husband must be long dead of alcohol poisoning. But Jimmy Raisin hears the news in his cardboard residence in London and reaches the village of Carsely just in time to stop Agatha from committing bigamy. Promptly jilted by her groom, Agatha pushes Jimmy in a ditch--where he is later found strangled.

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MYSTERY/Beaton, M. C.
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Detective and mystery fiction
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery stories
New York : St. Martin's Press 1996.
Main Author
M. C. Beaton (author)
1st ed
Physical Description
196 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

In the seventh entry in this cozy mystery series, former public-relations woman now Cotswold resident Agatha Raisin is about to be married to her next-door neighbor, James Lacey. Then Agatha's long-absent but undivorced husband turns up. That night he turns up dead. Although Agatha and James agree the marriage is off, they decide to team up, as they've done in the past, to solve the murder and clear themselves as suspects. One of the interesting things about this series is how unappealing the abrasive Agatha can be. She's vain, snide, and self-pitying on a regular basis. All that adds up to a heroine who is also very human, and perhaps that--we identify with her even if we don't always like her--is one of the elements that keeps readers coming back. Another is Beaton's plotting. Like snack food, it's fast, tasty, and leaves you satisfied, if only temporarily. That's all right, though. Beaton is quick; more Raisin should be along shortly. --Ilene Cooper

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Agatha Raisin (as in Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley, LJ 3/1/95) had long presumed her first husband dead when she married her attractive neighbor, but then Jimmy Raison suddenly turns up. When someone murders him that same night, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. A great series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Beaton, author of the often crisp and stylish Hamish MacBeth stories, seems to lose her cool whenever she turns to the exploits of the abrasive sleuth Agatha Raisin (Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley, 1995, etc.). This fifth in the series finds Agatha, onetime London p.r. hotshot, on the verge of marriage to James Lacey, a reticent ex-army officer who lives next door to her in the Cotswold village of Carsely. Agatha has sold her house to the unfriendly Mr. Hardy and, typically, refuses to face the fact that Jimmy Raisin, her long-unheard-from sot of a husband, may not be dead. Jimmy, however, alerted by Agatha's friendly enemy Roy Silver, turns up just in time to abort the wedding and worse, is later found strangled in a local ditch. The police, including Agatha's pal Bill Wong, don't move fast enough for our heroine, who teams up with Lacey to investigate Jimmy's blackmailing past, centered on a ritzy health spa and a long defunct charity headed by Mrs. Gore-Appleton. Their nervy, adolescent forays--lies, disguises, break-ins--leave a string of fatalities in their wake, until Agatha faces the enemy closer to home, and with some help from the despised police, manages to survive, and to triumph. Careless, arbitrary plotting and much tiresome exploration of the emotional turmoil suffered by tough-as-nails Agatha. Strictly for adoring fans.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.