Going back to the first book in a series is often disappointing: there's usually a lot of scene-setting and character-creation. Some of the characters are going to be familiar to us twenty-eight years later: we'll see Roy Silver trying to get as much publicity as possible and Bill Wong becoming a Sergeant on the back of the case that Agatha solved. M C Beaton's great skill was always that she could create a scene or a character in remarkably few words, so reading ''Quiche of Death'' doesn't leave you losing the will to live. It's also a good plot. I ''did'' (unusually) work out who did the dirty deed and how - but it didn't spoil the enjoyment of the read.
This rather lovely edition of ''Quiche of Death'' has been published on 12 November 2020 to commemorate Marion Chesney's death earlier this year. It was first published on 12 November 1992 but has aged well. As well as the introduction by the author we also have an ''amuse-bouche'' by
[[:Category:Stuart McBride |Stuart McBride]] who was a long-time fan and friend of the author and the affection and respect shines through what he has to say. Apparently, M C Beaton did not like the series (or, indeed the [[M C Beaton's Hamish Macbeth Novels in Chronological Order|Hamish Macbeth series]] being referred to as ''cosy crime'' but for me, this is the essence of Beaton. I tried reading her as serious crime but the books failed miserably: the humour fell flat and the story didn't grab me. Once I realised that I should read it as humour, as cosy crime the charm shone through.
Beaton's death earlier this year meant that we lost not just the author but some wonderful characters too. Hopefully, this new edition of the first book in the Agatha Raisin series will introduce more people to her work. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.