Friday, March 26, 2010
THE QUICHE OF DEATH by M.C. Beaton
I enjoy Agatha Raisin.
The Quiche of Death is one of two books included in Introducing Agatha Raisin. The other is the second Agatha Raisin book The Vicious Vet.
In The Quiche of Death, the 1993 book which begins the series, Agatha retires from her successful London PR firm and moves to a cottage in the Cotswolds.
Agatha, as always, is vain, driven, inclined to cheat (at least in minor ways) if it will get her ahead, a blithering idiot when it comes to men, and controlling. She is so human! That's what makes her such a good character.
But what do you do if you are driven but retired, especially if you have chosen to live in a small place where the pace is slow and everyone knows everyone else.
Of course, small towns have their intrigues and even murders too. So Agatha begins, almost by accident, on her career as a detective. The quiche she bought to claim as her own and to enter into a quiche-baking contest has poison in it. It kills the judge, and so Agatha's career begins.
This book introduces some of the familiar characters, especially Mrs. Bloxby, the parson's wife who is a sort of opposite of Agatha. Mrs. Bloxlby is calm, kind, caring and virtually always knows the right thing to say. She is one of the more enduring characters in the series.
The book also has Bill Wong, the policeman, as well as Agatha's new next door neighbor, James Lacey.
Agatha's cat becomes part of her family in this book too.
So, this book gets Agatha off to a good start. I'll write about the second book in this retrospective volume when I read that book later.
P.S. I purchased this book from Mystery Guild.