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The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,897 Ratings  ·  942 Reviews
Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement so ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published December 1992)
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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Cozy Mystery Series
14th out of 634 books — 1,746 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cathryn Ferrara
Aug 07, 2012 Cathryn Ferrara rated it it was amazing
Agatha Raisin is one of my favorite cozy Character, she is not particularly likable until you get to know her and she tends to spout off whatever enters her mind. Having retired from a successful career in advertising she has set out to fulfill her childhood dream of going from poverty stricken city life to a cozy cottage in the Cotswolds only life inst exactly what she expected. Retirement does not suit Agatha Raisin nor can she quite muster up the politeness to fit in with many of those around ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Exina added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I dropped it like a hot potato after the first chapter. Why? An example:

Back in her cottage, she found a basket of pseudo-logs by the fire, little round things made out of pressed sawdust. She piled some up in the grate and set fire to them and soon had a blaze roaring up the chimney. She removed the lace antimacassar which the decorator had cutely draped over the television screen and switched it on. There was some war going on, as there usually was, and it was getting the usual coverage; that
Feb 24, 2015 Tracey rated it it was ok
I've heard quite a bit about Agatha Raisin, here and there. Everyone loves her, from what I've seen, and I've read a little bit of M.C. Beaton's other series, so I paperbackswapped the first Agatha.


It always irritates me when the blurb on the back reveals the first victim, and often details of the murder. I understand the need to pull a reader in, but – especially in this case – it seems to obviate the need to read the first seventy-five pages or so.

The idea is that Agatha Raisin, socially in
This is a delightful little English countryside mystery. Agatha Raisin, a life-time career woman, takes early retirement from her PR business and moves from London to her dream cottage in the Cotswolds and finds herself in the middle of a murder in the quiet countryside.

Beaton has created a wonderful character in Agatha Raisin. Agatha is a no-nonsense, calls it like she sees it type who finds herself a bit out of sorts and vulnerable in this tight-knit Village of Carsely. She soldiers on and tr
Dec 04, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lori by: Simon from The Readers
When I discovered that Simon from The Readers enjoys this series I was interested but when I discovered that it takes place in the Cotswolds of England, I knew I had to check it out. The Cotswolds is one of the most scenic beautiful places in the world, filled with charming villages, thatched-roof cottages dating back hundreds of years and I was interested to see if this might be something I would enjoy. Bingo! Delightful!

This is the first in a series in which Agatha Raisin, a middle-aged publi
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 13, 2012 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
Although mysteries aren't my favorite genre The Quiche of Death was an exception. It captured my attention right away with its prickly protagonist Agatha Raisin.

Agatha is a middle-aged business woman who has made enough cash to retire. She decides to buy a home in a little town and has some difficulty adjusting to small town life. She comes to the realization that she is seriously lacking in people skills. Being a sales person she's spent years bullying and talking people into things but when it
Syl  ʃʃ^.^ʃʃ
Mar 20, 2012 Syl ʃʃ^.^ʃʃ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audi, cozy-mystery
This is the coziest and funniest mystery I have read in recent months. I just loved the quirky 52 year old amateur detective, femme fatale Agatha. I loved the old, droll village and the villagers. I loved the repeated mentions of Agatha Christie. Some of the funny incidents had me laughing out loud (I was listening to audio book while jogging) making other joggers vary of me. I could not help it. I so thoroughly enjoyed this book that I am a bit reluctant to start on the next in the series, for ...more
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Published: 07/03/2006
Author: M.C Beaton
Recommended for: Fans of comedy dectective novels

This books is part of a series of books featuring the amateur sleuth Agatha Rasin, this is a very funny detective fiction novel, the characters that feature in this are described well and you get a really sense of the characters and the surrounding areas. M.C Beaton takes us on the detective adventure with Agatha as we try find out who did it, it isn't always easy to figure out who did it. In this novel Agath
Feb 08, 2013 Nikki rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, crime
Okay. Okay. I gave Agatha Raisin a couple of chances. I actually wanted to like this; I bought the four book omnibus back whenever it was on sale in the Kindle store, and I love my cosy mysteries terribly much. But I hated the main character, I didn't find all the descriptions quirky and funny as they seemed meant to be, and I actually fell asleep trying to read it, something which I almost never do.

Giving up on it even though I haven't got to the end, because I don't care enough to keep details
Aug 02, 2011 Ellie rated it really liked it
The Quiche of Death is the first entry in M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin mystery series. Agatha Raisin, a woman in her early 50s, has retired from her high-powered London career in public relations to a cottage in a small English village. Agatha Raisin is a not-very-likable woman who struggles to understand why people don't like her, even as she bull-dozes her way through life. I found her both touching and hilarious. In her pursuit of popularity, Agatha enters a local cooking contest. Unfortunatel ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha Raisin has taken early retirement at fifty three from public relations and taken a dream cottage in the Cotswolds. However, rural life is harder than she imagines and, with no work to fill her day, she finds herself isolated and bored. She discovers a new liking for detective fiction, but it isn't enough to occupy her, so she decides to ingratiate herself with the locals. Having alienated her neighbour by luring away her cleaning lady, she then decides to win the 'Great Quiche Competition ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Tweedledum rated it really liked it
I was quite sniffy about Agatha Raisin, suspecting the books to be lightweight ( they are) and rather trivial (this is also true) however sometimes light and undemanding is exactly what one needs.... And I jhadn't allowed for humour ( a lot of it) and well done pastiche. ( old lady, small village, suspicious goings on) Then I chanced across Penelope Keith as Agatha Raisin in the radio adaptations and I was won over. 'Nough said.
Jul 29, 2015 CatarinaG rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo, epub, english
Agatha Raisin reformou-se aos 50 duma empresa de relações públicas, e resolveu comprar uma casita de campo em Carsely, nos arredores de Londres.
Não tem jeito nenhum para a jardinagem, não tem lá muito jeito para socializar, nem para cozinhar, nem para o ritmo pacato das vilórias. Sente falta do movimento da cidade e já nem sabe muito bem como é que aqui veio parar... Isto só pode dar bom resultado! lol
Para se integrar (ou afirmar como 'estrangeira') começa por tentar aldrabar um concurso local c
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
2.5 stars for this, the first in the Agatha Raisin series.

I picked this up because I was waiting on another of MC Beaton's works, Death of a Nurse in her Hamish MacBeth series.

I love the character of Hamish, he is a dour, emotionally stunted Scotsman who has a string of ladies in his life, but relies on his cat and dog for companionship.

Agatha Raisin thinks everyone should love and admire her. She wants friends without having to make them or earn them. She wants to 'fit in' - instantly. So when
Book Concierge
The author would have us believe that Agatha Raisin was a successful business woman, having built a PR firm from scratch. How did she do that if she is so abrasive and insensitive to everyone around her? Makes no sense. Neither does the plot of this “cozy” mystery. I figured out the victim’s great secret on page 26 (victim had been introduced on page 25). I could tell who the murderer was on page 30 (murder was introduced on page 24).

I don’t understand Agatha’s success; and I really don’t under
Aug 31, 2009 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have finally got around to reading the first of these books, after having collected a good many of them.

I really enjoyed this little book. Funny, charming a real English cosy mystery. Rather better written than the American cozy mystereies I have read recently. Agatha Raisin is a character who is very likeable despite her being quite flawed. In this first book she must come to terms with a new way of life following her early retirement from the world of P.R in London. Her attempt to fit in lea
May 15, 2013 Penny rated it liked it
Shelves: cosy-mystery
This is a mystery set in the Cotswolds with a middle aged woman as the protagonist.

I found the first half of this book very dull and very slow. Agatha Raisin is rude and obnoxious - so I quite liked her - which kept me reading and in the end I am glad I did.
The mystery really picks up in the second half of the book and while I wouldnt rate it as the best I would read another. Perhaps the author was being very thorough at setting the scene of the village with its various inhabitants so that in
Apr 19, 2015 Michele rated it really liked it
First in a very popular series I've been meaning to read for ages and ages. And it's cute. A cozy mystery, I suppose, but not as cozy as many I've read so I liked it better because of that. Agatha Raisin is a retired big-wig PR firm owner from London who has moved to the British country side and is trying to figure out how to do this small-town retirement thing. She's been separated from a loser husband for decades and has no children so she is essentially alone in the world. And because she has ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Cher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book.

This was a typical cozy though I enjoyed the protagonist more than most. It was charming and made for a quick and easy read, but was a bit unrealistic with an amateur sleuth outwitting the professionals.

Favorite Quote: N/A.

First Sentence: Mrs. Agatha Raisin sat behind her newly cleared desk in her office in South Molton Street in Mayfair.
Martine Bailey
I do like to sample truly mass market books and this is a true bestseller, written by M C Beaton, just one of the pseudonyms of a 78-year old author who has conquered huge markets in romance, murder mysteries and comedy, and successfully mingled the three genres. A free audio download enticed me to listen to this, the first of the Agatha Raisin series, well narrated by Penelope Keith. Given the title, I imagined it would be about food, but instead it is ultimately about loneliness and friendship ...more
Elaine White
It was very slow to take off. I didn't like Agatha as a person from start to finish, though there were a few shining moments when she became human.

I thought this book was based on a great idea which wasn't explored to its best. There was a lot, I feel, of filling out of the story at the beginning, as with Roy's visits and personality quirks, which were unnecessary but might become more apparent later in the series. Who knows.

I liked the idea of the quiche, the death and how she came to solve it.
I am aware this is a minority view, but I hated this. Sorry to upset the author and her many fans, but I would go so far as to say this has no literary merit whatsoever. Poorly delineated characters fail to rise above the level of caricature and the plot is ridiculous – there’s no suspension of belief, willing or unwilling. The language is dull, pedestrian and uninspired and the vocabulary limited. Perhaps I've missed the point and its really some of kind of bad joke?

Anyway, I suppose I had bett
Jun 19, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, mystery, uk
Questo romanzo appartiene di sicuro alla tipologia dei cozy mysteries, gialli che tendono ad evitare, minimizzare o trattare in modo umoristico i temi del sesso e della violenza, e che sono ambientati in comunità piccole e socialmente intime (la definizione è ripresa pari pari dalla pagina di wikipedia). Stranamente ero convinta che si trattasse di un libro molto, molto più vecchio (forse perché in Italia è pubblicato dalla meravigliosa casa editrice Astoria, che in linea di massima si occupa di ...more
Jan 24, 2009 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first in the series of Agatha Raisin novels and Agatha sells her successful London-based PR business and moves to a sleepy Cotswold village. It turns out to be not so sleepy however as she enters a quiche (that she had not made) in a local competition only to discover that the judge, who seemingly ate a piece of it, dies from poisoning. How did it happen? How do the villagers react to this intruder? Will she stay after the mystery is resolved and, more importantly, will she be accepted into ...more
May 12, 2013 Merry rated it really liked it
So glad I read this book, as I now have a new mystery series to follow. Agatha Raisin starts out as a not very likeable character at all, and unfortunately keeps some of the less desirable qualities throughout the book. But that's one of the things that makes her such an interesting character. Not at all gory, and rather funny in places, it makes for a delightful read that is a nice mix of mystery and light reading. Although I haven't read any of the other Agatha Raisin books yet, this first one ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Sári rated it liked it
Szörnyű, hogy mostanában Angliáról leginkább a turkálók világából szerzem az ismereteimet. Aminek nyomán egyre többször skandálnám, hogy „Hülye angolok, angol hülyék” – főleg a társasjátékaik alapján, amiket képesek megvenni (majd utána „charity” címen dagadó kebellel továbbpasszolni szegényebb rászorulóknak…). Vajon tényleg olyan infantilis és elkényeztetett debilek, mint amilyennek tűnnek? Nos, Agatha, és főleg Roy alakja nyomán azt kell hogy gondoljam, igen.
Jó volt egy kicsit másik oldaláról
Jan 27, 2015 Luffy rated it liked it
There has been some deliberation concerning the book's rating. I mused on how different the book was. How different from my expectations. Much of the book's positives ranked as character buildup. On that score, the book scored high. But characterization was something that didn't- doesn't- set my pulse racing. Basically I don't admire things that I THINK I can do myself. I can remember a lot of acclaimed songs that I couldn't enjoy because I thought I could have written them myself.

Agatha Raisi
Feb 02, 2016 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining re-read, Agatha takes early retirement and moves to the Cotswolds. Hoping to join in she enters a quiche making competition but the judge dies ..... Agatha turns detective to help unmask the killer. Rude, blunt and no pushover, can she find the murderer?
A really easy light read, I first read this book years ago, OTT characters and a fun plot. I love the title as well!!
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it
M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series feature a different type of heroine in Agatha. A retired, high-powered advertising executive, Agatha has retired to the small-town life. She is raspy, demanding, acerbic and extremely hard to get along with, but she certainly grows on the reader, and some of her neighbours also. This very comedic series will have you laughing at Agatha's antics as she investigates murders and chases men.
Beaton, M.C. - 1st of Agatha Raisin series

In order to introduce herself to the picturesque English village where she has just retired, Mrs. Agatha Raisin enters a quiche in a local competition and promptly finds herself a murder suspect when the judge dies from her poisonous pie.

I know she is supposed to be annoying, and she certainly was. This was very light.
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Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John
More about M.C. Beaton...

Other Books in the Series

Agatha Raisin (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (Agatha Raisin, #4)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (Agatha Raisin, #5)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist (Agatha Raisin, #6)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (Agatha Raisin, #7)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham (Agatha Raisin, #8)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden (Agatha Raisin, #9)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam (Agatha Raisin, #10)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell (Agatha Raisin, #11)

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