Thursday, October 22, 2015


In M.C. Beaton’s The Deadly Dance (2004), Agatha Raisin sets up her own detective agency.

After a pickpocket robbed her in Paris and the police almost ignored her, Agatha decides she could do better. She goes back home, rents an office in Mircester, and hires staff.

Agatha being Agatha, she has an eclectic staff. Among them is Emma Comfrey, her next door neighbor who now lives where James Lacey had lived before. James is Agatha’s ex-husband with whom she still has connections.

Any Agatha Raisin fan knows what happens next. Agatha and Emma begin chasing every man who comes into their lives. They compete with one another, turning hot and cold about their “friendship.” Their competition becomes a deadly dance.

Along the way, Agatha saves a wealthy débutante from being assassinated at her own engagement party. Then Agatha solves the attempted murder and another actual murder which happens later.

The Deadly Dance ends with two people converging to try to murder Agatha. This comes after a earlier attempt to poison Agatha, an attempt which went wondrously wrong.

And the whole story ends with a disastrous but fun Christmas party at Agatha’s home.

No other cozies are quite like the Agatha Raisins. She is always going to be a mildly sex-crazed upper-middle-aged divorcée surrounded by men. And she is always going to be competing for the attention of whatever good looking man comes into view.

When it comes to the Agatha Raisin books, I suppose there is little middle ground. Most readers either like or dislike them. I like them.


George said...

I just picked up a bunch of Agatha Raisin books at a Library Sale. After reading your fine review, I'll be starting one of these books soon.

Joe Barone said...

Thanks, George. Like I said, I figure people either love them or hate them.

Mathew Paust said...

Sounds like a hoot. By sheer coincidence our library is holding its periodic old book sale today and tomorrow. I shall search for the Raisins!

Joe Barone said...

Matthew, She is funny. The Agatha Raisins are a different kind of cozies.