Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer by M C Beaton
|Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer by M C Beaton|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: I have read other books in the series but I'll confess that I was confused about who was who for much of the time, but don't worry - you're reading for the fun not the intellectual challenge of working out whodunnit!|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: October 2018|
St Ethelred's Church in the idyllic Cotswold village of Thirk Magna has a team of dedicated bell ringers, with the keenest being twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin and when we first meet them they're preparing for the bishop's visit. Now you might be expecting an older, perhaps rather grey man, but this bishop is a little different. One description is 'sex on legs' and even Agatha Raisin is a little smitten - at first - but there's the merest whiff of a scandal about the bishop. It's the mystery of the bishop's ex-fiancee, local heiress Jennifer Toynby, who disappeared very suddenly and neither she nor her body have ever been found.
Jennifer's body might not have been found, but other bodies start piling up very quickly. You'd think that Agatha would be keen to investigate, but whilst the bishop's charms paled very quickly she's soon more deeply in love than ever before. She's even thinking about handing the private detection business on to her assistant, Toni. One thing is fairly clear though - Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley is not above suspicion, whatever else is going on.
There should be a special place in hell reserved for writers of the blurb on the inside flap of a book who give far too much away: and whoever wrote the blurb for Dead Ringer should get a place near the fire. Fortunately I didn't read it until after I'd finished the book or knowing that something that happened fairly early in the book wouldn't work out would have taken away some of my enjoyment. I had hopes: reading without knowing what would happen gave me a frisson of delight and then the shock of finding out what happened. That shouldn't be taken away from a reader.
If you are a regular reader of the series you probably wouldn't be as confused as I was over who was who, but then this isn't a series you read for the intellectual challenge of working out whodunnit before it's actually revealed. You read it for the black humour, the fun of wondering what drinking, smoking, man-chasing, glamourous Agatha will do next. There are so many bodies that you stop feeling the horror of violent death: you know that as soon as you look away the corpses will get up and walk away. It's a fun read and perfect for a lazy afternoon - I actually managed two lazy afternoons! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you'd like something else along the same lines we can recommend Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death by M B Vincent.
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