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Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham (Agatha Raisin #8)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  4,257 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
"She was a stocky middle-aged woman with good legs, a round face and small bearlike eyes which looked suspiciously out at the world. Her hair had always been her pride, thick and brown and glossy."

That description, which could also fit Dustin Hoffman in 'Tootsie', tells us almost everything we need to know about Agatha Raisin, M.C. Beaton's smartly updated Miss Marple, who
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published (first published April 1999)
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May 17, 2015 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books go so fast…this one is #8 and I’m already finished. Like the previous books, this one picks up right where the last one left off. This would really make a great TV series. Very similar to Murder, She Wrote.

Agatha is horrified to discover she has a few gray hairs. She tries to color to take care of it on her own but when her hair turns purple, she knows she needs professional help. She is referred to Mr. John, known as the Wizard of Evesham. Mr. John fixes her hair but he also seems q
The Flooze
Apr 19, 2016 The Flooze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I am no fan of James Lacey, he was right about one thing: Agatha does tend to solve mysteries by bumbling about until the murderer feels compelled to ring her interfering neck.

In that respect, this story does not disappoint.

There are lots of red herrings thrown at us to confuse things. These misdirects, combined with the ups and downs of Agatha's personal life, keep the pace lively throughout.

I keep coming back to the same thoughts when visiting with Mrs. Raisin: Will she ever be comfor
Una Tiers
Apr 08, 2014 Una Tiers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the earlier Agatha Raisin books with more thought put into the plot. I recommend it.
Nov 29, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha is a never ending source of entertainment for me. From storyline to storyline she manages to get herself in one jam after another with pretty much the same outcome. Though that sounds redundant, MC Beaton makes the books entertaining and at times downright laugh out loud funny.

Agatha should never be left to her own devices, when she is bored things go from bad to “Oh, Agatha” very quickly. So when James is out of the country, Bill is on vacation and Charles is a bit stand offish, Agatha d
Stuart Douglas
Apr 22, 2012 Stuart Douglas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hate being disappointed in a book. Not that I don't get annoyed at a disappointing movie or album or whatever, but there's something particularly unexpected and irksome about a poor book from a trusted writer. Note - not a disaster from a favourite writer; that'd be a cause for real concern, not my current feeling of vague irritation. Don't get me wrong, this is not John Irving's descent from the majesty of 'A Prayer for Owen Meaney' to that dull one about tattooists (or, on a muscial n ...more
Angela Oliver
Agatha Raisin is a fun and easy romp - a good light read. The antics of this middle-aged woman are a real lark. These little mysteries are fast-paced and intriguing, with plenty of humour muddled in with the more serious issues and a few little misadventures tossed in for good measure. Agatha has mellowed a little since her earlier days in the Cotswalds, but she is still a stubborn and determined woman, with good legs and a number of male admirers.

This particular instalment deals with the fatal
What rollicking good fun this book is as Agatha once again stumbles and bumbles her way to solving the murders of a blackmailing hairdresser and one of his victims. If only Agatha had as much luck with the men in her life that she has with solving crimes! Don’t expect a well thought out plot line or even clues that allow the reader to guess whodunit. This is just a fun, easy, quick to read cozy mystery. While each book stands on its own, you will get much more enjoyment from it if you embark on ...more
Oct 19, 2009 Dan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signal, didnt-finish
Was there supposed to be a mystery here? The book divides its time between inane factoids (details about the city, Agatha being catty about what restaurant she's eating at) and pointing out the main character's many faults. By the end of the first chapter I wanted to slap her, and it just got worse until I quit around chapter six.

In fairness I should note that I hadn't read the first N books in the series; it's possible I would have gotten more out of this book if I'd known these characters comi
May 10, 2009 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amateur detective Agatha Raisin is at it again - much to the chagrin of police officer Bill Wong! With the help of an aristocratic friend she follows up a case of blackmail and murder, and despite a few false leads, eventually unveils the culprit. The love interest falters, as usual, throughout the very enjoyable novel with its delightful country setting.
Mar 20, 2013 Gabby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says about this book: "anyone interested in a few hours' worth of intelligent, amusing reading will want to make the acquaintance of Mrs. agatha Raisin." says Agatha Raisin is an updated Miss Marple. I don't know what book those reviewers read, but it couldn't possibly be the same one I read. What I read was about a very rude, often obnoxious, know-it-all, middle aged woman who has way too much time on her hands, so occasionally she plays at being an a ...more
Stephen Lawton
As usual over far too quickly but these are such fun as we watch Agatha go through a delayed adolescence and bumble her way through another murder mystery, this time accompanied by Sir Charles rather than James Lacy. Plenty of slapstick and of course lots of cups of tea with the ever calming Mrs Bloxly.
May 27, 2009 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
He was a hairdresser to dye for... The local ladies all deem Mr John a wizard, so when Agatha finds a few grey hairs on her head - and the rinse she tries at home turns her hair purple - she makes a beeline for the handsome Evesham hairdresser. And as well as sorting out her hair it soon becomes clear the charming man also has designs on her heart - but thier budding romance is cut short when Mr John is fatally poisoned in his salon. Once again Agatha finds herself embroiled in a murder case. Wa ...more
Janet Martin
Aug 04, 2016 Janet Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series of short amusing cozies has turned into a go-to collection for me, a bit of fluff that I look forward to. That said, this is probably the strongest mystery so far with Agatha at her best and worst.
Dec 13, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, Cozy, Simple

The 8th in the series...

Spunky difficult Agatha Raisin just reminds me of someone and her antics seem like those of a gal twenty years younger. Agatha has lived her life alone, a lifelong spinster of sorts. Agatha doesn't understand men and spends much of her time consulting the preacher's wife, one tolerant lady indeed.

Agatha is a trouble magnet, so when a fabulous and attractive hairdresser catches her eye she decides to investigate him. A nosy busybody, she manages to be i
May 01, 2010 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wizard of Evesham is the 8th Agatha Raisin mystery, and with this one I felt she was back on form. James Lacey is away, and so it is baronet Charles Fraith who is Agatha's sidekick on this mystery. Poor old Agatha gets herslef into some scrapes, and makes more visits to various hairdressing establishments than I think I have made in 5 years. I was quite amused by how much of this book is set in Evesham, a less unremarkable place after all, it would be hard to find - a fact that is hinted at ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eighth in the series, another fun and easy read. This time Agatha visits a new hairdresser in Evesham when she discovers her first grey hairs and is amazed by the miracles he performs. However, not everyone is so keen on the wizard of evesham and, in the usual format, he ends up dead and Agatha decides to investigate. This time, she has no help from James Lacey who is away travelling, but instead her baronet friend Charles Fraith assists - if you can call it that! I always enjoy these, they ...more
#8 in the Agatha Raisin series.

Cotswolds villager Agatha Raisin series - Agatha manages to turn a bad hair day into a mini-crime wave. In an attempt to get rid of the gray, Agatha accidentally colors her hair purple. Soon she finds herself in the capable hands of Mr. John, a hairdresser with a devoted following in nearby Evesham. Tinting and styling aren't his only tricks - with his deep blue eyes and sympathetic nature, he coaxes all sorts of confidences out of his clients. Even the tough Agath
The Hobbit
#8 in Agatha Raisin series. Finally an entry in this series that has a bit of the humor and charm of the author's Hamish Macbeth series. Major criticism: too many suspects, all females, and difficult to recall who is who. Hairdresser Mr John is recommended to Agatha. Not only does he make her hair look terrific, bit his invitation to dinner makes her feel wonderful --until she sees her Mrs. Friendly spot Mr John and look terrified. Agathe wonders why a sensible woman like Mrs. Friendly would be ...more
Sep 04, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one as an audio book. it was ok, and the narrator did a good job. My two big complaints are the ones I have with the other books in this series- it takes about an hour and a half for the murder to actually occur which is a problem since the plot is pretty middling until it happens.
The other complaint is in regards to how Agatha seems to solve the murders in all these books. She jumps to some conclusion or another that has little to do with most of the information she's been ga
Aly Cokeley
Jan 20, 2016 Aly Cokeley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable Agatha Raisin mystery. James is absent from this book, which is actually rather refreshing and Agatha's storyline with Sir Charles heats up again.

Agatha Raisin is depressed. Her erstwhile lover and ex-fiance James is abroad for who knows how long and Agatha is feeling lonely and unloveable. When she attempts to dye her own hair at home, she ends up with an unsightly purple coif. She heads to the new hairdresser in nearby Evesham - Mr. John, dubbed the Wizard of Evesham. Mr. Jo
Jul 09, 2011 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can imagine Patricia Routledge portraying Agatha Raisin perhaps 20 years ago. She's getting a little old for the part now.
I am not reading these in order so this is before she opens her own detective agency. I had not read an Agatha Raisin in a while and I always find them refreshing somehow. The murderer was a surprise to me but mostly because the character was not even mentioned until a good way through the book.
A good read!
Oct 21, 2014 Denita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun read.
Thalia Papadakis
I have an affinity for cozy mysteries. They generally aren't written in pursuit of a spot on the bestseller list; rather, cozies are written to give the reader a sense of comfort and calm (ironically, by way of murder).

My mom read cozies to escape her three eccentric young daughters and grumpy husband: one daughter, the artist, painted five-foot tall green flowers on the side of the freshly painted rental when she was four; the adventurous daughter asked which way north was, and was found by ne
Sep 09, 2016 Cyndi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha is a strong, capable woman until a man shows up. Then all she can think about is him. Ugh.
Good story but cringe worthy in places.
May 03, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most enjoyable read. Agatha Raisin is in great form again in her further adventures involving a handsome hairdresser, who unfortunately is murdered before they become romantically involved. However Agatha is determined to find out who was responsible for the murder.

There are a number of likely suspects in this case, the police investigations prove fruitless, but surely with Agatha on the case, justice will prevail. I like Agatha, what a character, for all her faults and foibles, I found mysel
Feb 20, 2009 Lynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Agatha Raisin books! Totally addictive and fun to read - they always have the knack of making me laugh, and sometimes this is exactly what's needed. An Agatha Raisin book a cup of coffee and some chocolate...or maybe a glass of wine!
Agatha becomes involved a local new hairdresser who performs miracles on her hair after a bad home dye job sends her running for help. She soon suspects he may not be the charmer that he seems to be, and thinks that he is blackmailing his clients. Of course, he soon is murdered by poisoning and Agatha and Sir Charles are in hot pursuit of the murderer. James Lacey is nowhere to be found in this one (except in Agatha's dreams). The audio book reader was interesting in the last few of these I've r ...more
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Jun 06, 2009 Taunya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Agatha Raisin for me. I love M.C. Beaton so I thought I'd give this series a try. I'm going to back and read previous ones so I get all the history.
Apr 12, 2009 Libbeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery, 2009
Enjoyed listening to this during the hours and hours it took to clean up the kitchen after the plasterers. Penelope Keith is a fantastic narrator.
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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 Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1)
  • 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 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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