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Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body (Agatha Raisin, #21)
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Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body (Agatha Raisin #21)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,773 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
Christmas falls on a Sunday ...

A blood-curdling scream stirs Agatha Raisin from her surreptitious slumbers at the Christmas meeting of Carsely's Ladies' Society. In a holly bush in the vicarage grounds, Mr Sunday, an officer from the local health and safety board, is found dead. It seems his latest ruling against a Christmas tree atop the church tower may have been the las
Paperback, 294 pages
Published April 21st 2011 by Robinson (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jul 22, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I honestly don't know why I continue to read this series. Almost every single person is unpleasant, INCLUDING the main character. The whole feeling of the series is uncomfortable, itchy and irritable - it's like wearing a too-tight sweater. I guess because they take place in a Cotswold village, I keep hoping that there will be something attractive and charming in them. The cover is misleading, too - there is almost NOTHING about Christmas in the book. It starts just before Christmas time and by ...more
Pattie Tierney
Oct 18, 2010 Pattie Tierney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Beaton book with the irascible Agatha Raisin at it again. A number of murders are investigated in this book with more time passing than usual and, consequently, a mystery a bit more complex than those in the past. A new addition to the detective agency adds another dimension. There's a lot to like in this book, old familiars as well as the new, and some surprises at the end that make me anxious to read the next installment. I'll have to wait another year for book 22 and the continu ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Gerry rated it liked it
'Is it any use , Agatha, telling you yet again to keep out of it?' says police officer Bill Wong to amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin after the second murder in that terrorised village of Carsely in the Cotswolds. The unsaid answer was 'No, there is no point telling me', for Agatha gets deeply involved in all the intrigue and various murders that take place, one of which takes place very early in the piece.

Agatha and her trusty crew, plus assistance from one or two of her old friends, delve as usual
Feb 16, 2016 Jo rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Ward
Dec 11, 2014 Richard Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of murder mysteries or of fiction set in England; libertarians or any skeptical of government
Wow! I loved this Christmas-themed instalment of the Agatha Raisin series a lot more than I expected to. It might not be a perfect book, but I'm giving it a perfect score anyway, since I can hardly imagine enjoying it more than I did. The main protagonist, P.I. Agatha Raisin, is at her best, as are her regular supporting characters. There's a new "Watson" introduced as well, and I really liked him.

I'm a libertarian and I read fiction like one, and this book had some strong themes that any liber
Sep 03, 2011 Lexi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I picked this book up from the library because I was heading to the Cotswolds (the area of England where the series takes place) and thought it would be fun to read something local. I made it about 100 pages in, and then gave up and skimmed through the last 50 pages to see whodunnit, though honestly I didn't care very much by that point. This is not my kind of story. I found the characterizations to be simultaneously hateful and unbelievable, like the author is stretching to see just how awful s ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Agatha Raisin is a cranky but lovable private investigator. her cozy little village of Carsely has always prided itself on its christmas festivities, But this year Mr John Sunday an officer with the Health and safety board has put a damper on things. He has ruled no decorating the lampposts to danagerous , no tree on top of the church amongest other things so when he is murdered, , Agatha decides to solve the crime, but with so many enemies it is hard to know where to start-or how to stop the ki ...more
Jenny L
Sep 26, 2013 Jenny L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
Read them! All of them. All 23. They are simply fabulous! I love them and love Agatha Raisin. The stories are set in the English Cotswolds - which is where I'm from, so that makes them extra special, but I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you want to read about an opinionated, outspoken, headstrong single woman in her middle years with no money worries, but men worries and murder at every turn, then you too will love Agatha Raisin. Just make sure you buy more than one at a time, because y ...more
Kathy Warren
This read just wasn't the greatest of MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin. Poor writing and mystery was poor.
Cute and fun read. Plenty of mystery.
Jul 15, 2013 bella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In her 21st adventure, Agatha is determined to forgo with a traditional christmas. She's not the only one dampening the christmas spirit. It seems Health and Safety Inspector, John Sunday, is upsetting everyone in Carsely and surrounding villages, by deeming everything "unsafe". From the christmas tree on the Church to lights on private houses, no one is immune from his wrath. John Sunday is fast becoming the most hated man in the Cotswolds so it's no surprise when he is murdered. Of course, for ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agatha does it again

I have loved Agatha Raisin books since the very first one. There have been a couple that didn't seem quite up to par but this is certainly not one of those. This time there are two murders to be solved, even more attempts, Sir Charles softens up a bit and James Lacey is briefly back in Aggie's life. All in all a totally satisfying visit to the Cotswalds.
Oct 31, 2014 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of the time I made the mistake of getting my lady parts waxed at a nail salon: thoroughly and unnecessarily unpleasant. I wanted it to end. But it just didn't. Not for quite some time. Every small action was drawn out. And just when I would see a glimmer of hope that the whole thing was about to be over, it wasn't.

Let's agree on some basics for a murder mystery: if four people have already been killed and a few more sent to the hospital, you fail as a detective! You did no
May 08, 2015 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Love, love, love Aggie. It's nice to see its not all about her this time, there are a few characters and you are hearing more of them in this one. On to the next one!
The Hobbit
#21 Agatha Raisin series. The new Health and Safety officer, John Sunday, will not allow the Carsely vicar to put the annual Christmas tree in the the tower - it might fall on someone. Nor can the villagers string lights on the lampposts without hiring a cherry picker and professionals. The village store can no longer have wooden shelves - someone may get a splinter. The Ladies Society of Carsely is meeting with the society in Odley Cruesis where decorations have also been outlawed, as well as s ...more
Aug 16, 2016 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.
This is number 21 in the Agatha Raisin series, and I have read them all in order. I'm not sure why. (I prefer the author's Hamish Macbeth series.)
This book, and all of them in the series are fun, though. That is, if you don't mind the constant demeaning comments about environmentalists, liberals, or virtually anyone to the left of Attila the Hun.
Examples (of which there are many):
"There was a global warming demonstration in Trafalgar Square with protestors nearly obliterated on the scr
The Flooze
May 03, 2016 The Flooze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A marvellous installment, featuring enough village scandal, shocking developments, and vicious blows to the head to keep anyone and everyone entertained.

I'm very much enjoying the newer cast brought in by Agatha's turning professional. This volume introduces another young detective, and Beaton does a lovely job of making us like him from the onset.

She does an equally admirable job of making us suspect an entire village. Two murders and the police, as usual, are too short-staffed and too restric
Clarissa Longoria
I enjoyed the character development a bit more this time around. Like the idea of a romance finally happening between Charles and Agatha; he has always been there for her while James screwed her over time and again. I hope that Agatha finally finds happiness at last with whoever it is. The mystery was interesting in that it was a demographic you would least expect to committ murder. Makes you wonder . . .
Jul 23, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, audiobook
I think this book would be getting exactly half the stars if I hadn't listened to the fantastic audiobook version read by Penelope Keith. Her interpretation of the characters was just spot on and lifted the enjoyment level considerably of what was a fairly drawn out tale with numerous weak points. Because of Penelope Keith I'll probably be trying another Agatha Raisin sometime in the future.
Dec 25, 2010 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Certainly this isn't the best Agatha and not the best chapter in the series: it really seems written in a hurry, putting together pieces from previous books. Old and new characters are poorly defined, the life in Carsely village (the real strenght of this series) is totally lacking and another important missing element is humour (maybe except in the very end). The mystery in itself has never been the centerpiece of these books, but this time it is really (using a typical Raisin expression) too " ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Agatha Raisin series by M.C.Beaton is one of my favorite adult series. Cranky self-centered Agatha is a hoot. In this book she solves the mystery of two seemingly unrelated deaths, murders, in a neighboring English village with all the usual troubles that only Agatha can encounter.
Sep 11, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british
Agatha Raisin finds herself investigating the murder of a man who is hated by an entire town. How do you narrow down the suspects when no one has anything good to say about the dead man accept "good riddance"?

Though the beginning and the end of the story are set around Christmas the majority of the book takes place in between so it is really not a Christmas story. I'm still working out whether I like Agatha Raisin or not , as she can be nice (kind of) when she wants to be, but mostly she is obno
Dec 18, 2014 Mary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I finished this is because the mystery book discussion group was reading it.
I disliked the main character so much that I have absolutely no desire to read any of the other books in this series. I can't think of one redeeming quality for Agatha Raisin, except perhaps that at the end of the book she helped one character start a business, but that had a giant nasty consequence for another character. Otherwise, she is a grumpy, controlling, complaining crank who lets others do her de
Oct 29, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About time! I was slightley upset about Agatha's continued "James obsession" and this dragged on too long. But this storyline eased up so that I saw enough of the "old" Agatha to be happy!
Gary Bonn
May 28, 2016 Gary Bonn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was challenged to read a murder mystery and find one that reached 4-5 stars (in my estimation). I cringed at the genre labelled 'Cosy Murders'.
I discovered yet another prejudice lurking in my literary soul.
This was lovely. Beautifully written, different, great characters, clever stories. This really merits 4 stars (and I don't give 4 easily - no way - see my reviews).
Plot twists, clever narrative techniques, 'had me guessing' syndrome, and the rest.
I may even go back to Contemporary Romance an
Dec 26, 2010 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful addition to the series. Agatha is up to her old tricks again, and I'm loving the use of all the supporting characters! Can't wait for the next one!
Dec 04, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, just as I love all of M.C. Beaton's books. Read my full review at
Una Tiers
Agatha just cannot get a break on vacations. Although the series is losing steam, it's nice to see the familiar characters.
Mary: Harry Dresden's Love Slave
Snake's and bastards! Love Agatha. Been awhile since I visited the Cotswold's and Ms Raisin. Still enjoyable.
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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...

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Agatha Raisin (1 - 10 of 27 books)
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  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (Agatha Raisin, #4)
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  • Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden (Agatha Raisin, #9)
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