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Agatha Raisin #1

The Quiche of Death

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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 sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry--but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…

Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner's tag on her toe…

246 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published December 1, 1992

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About the author

M.C. Beaton

255 books5,279 followers
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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 Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

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5 stars
6,931 (21%)
4 stars
13,065 (39%)
3 stars
10,446 (31%)
2 stars
1,848 (5%)
1 star
469 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,672 reviews
Profile Image for Cathryn Ferrara.
108 reviews19 followers
August 7, 2012
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 her. However never count Ms. Raisin out.

In the first installment in an effort to fit in Agatha buys a quiche at an upscale bakery in the city then enters it in a local contest, all was going well until the quiche eating judge dropped dead. Faced with accusations and embarrassment Agatha finds herself on her first case. The series is filled with delightful reoccurring characters and properly evil villains and a lot of humor. I can not recommend this series enough a true delight.
Profile Image for Juan Naranjo.
Author 2 books2,251 followers
August 2, 2021
Este libro es una lectura ideal para quienes disfrutaban de los misterios protagonizados por Miss Marple o por Jessica Fletcher. Agatha Raisin es una publicista de mediana edad que, por fin, consigue el dinero suficiente como para retirarse y abandonar Londres para vivir en una bucólica región de Inglaterra digna de salir en las postales: ella es todo lo opuesto a lo que se espera de un detective (distraída, necesitada de atención, caótica…) y vive en un lugar tranquilo en el que nunca pasa nada, y es ahí donde radica la gracia del misterioso asesinato en el que se ve envuelta. Agatha hace sentir al lector que él también podría resolver ese misterio, que si ella ha desenredado el entuerto con una pizca de suerte y algo de cabezonería cualquiera que se lo propusiese sería capaz. Y nos embauca en un retorcido entramado que transcurre entre una asociación filantrópica de señoras inglesas, concursos de tartas, gin-tonics en el pub y tazas de té con galletitas en las visitas a las vecinas.

Este libro tiene la gran virtud de saber exactamente lo que es: un entretenimiento. La autora embauca al lector para que le acompañe en sus pesquisas, sin mayor afán que hacerle pasar un buen rato mientras transcurre una tarde de piscina o una noche junto a la chimenea. La primera mitad me ha gustado bastante más que la segunda, que creo que se extiende y se enrevesa demasiado. Y, aunque el misterio del libro no es gran cosa, me quedo con el magnífico personaje que crea, al que es imposible no amar mientras, a la vez, se le desean nuevas desgracias que tenga que desentrañar.
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,388 reviews1,057 followers
February 13, 2017

"It helps in public relations to have a certain amount of charm and Agatha had none."

I'm not sure how to classify this one - I suppose it's a cozy hybrid with a golden age type. It defies common cozy rules such as no swearing, a sweet main character, and a suitable feel-good vibe. Instead Agatha is moody, surly and rebellious - there's plenty of drinking, unhealthy eating, and a morbid humor that totally raises the bar for this mystery.

Agatha certainly wasn't what I was envisioning by her name and knowing this was a cozy going in - I pictured an elderly sweet lady who bakes. Instead I get a middle aged woman who is lonely, doesn't fit in, has no idea how to cook, and steals her neighbors maid because she hates to clean. A refreshing change!

The mystery part is good to as it incorporates the humor - instead of baking a quiche, Agatha buys one - but this doesn't help when the judge is murdered via poisoning. It wasn't easy to solve the crime as Agatha first dives in with enthusiasm and out of boredom for sleuthing, but she cautiously keeps stepping back when it hands her in hot water. There's different leads that go to the road of false suspects, so the ending is a nice surprise on who it ended up being and exactly how. I like how the author laid down clues to find as the mystery revealed, and not all at the end to where it would finally be revealed for the reader to guess.

The writing style is good for this type, not too personalized and distant with some of the emotions, but the characters come across genuine enough in an amusing way, reminding me more of a golden age style.

As a small side note, that Agatha got into reading big time was a joy - not adding to the plot, but adds to the fun of reading about a character reading. How bookworm is that?

There are 27 books in this series - wow. I only have the first, but I'll keep my eye out for others.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,839 reviews4,677 followers
September 9, 2022
What a pleasant surprise! I wasn't exactly going into this one thinking that I would enjoy it as much as I did. Please keep in mind that this book was originally published in 1992 so all the elements don't exactly age very well.

The Quiche of Death is the first in the Agatha Raisin series and follows a character of the same name who decides to give up her successful PR firm to move to a small town called Carsely. Trying to navigate her new town and the community, Agatha makes the decision to enter the local quiche competition except she decides to buy her quiche instead of making it from scratch. Unfortunately, someone in the town gets her leftovers and ends up dying. While she is initially a suspect and shunned by some members of the village, Agatha works hard to figure out who was truly responsible.

One of the highlights of this book is the character development. Agatha isn't a likeable character. In fact, I'll go as far to say that she's an asshole. Nevertheless, she's hilarious. There's quite a bit of dry humor that makes this book delightful. Not only does she have a lot going on in terms of her internal dialogue, but she also says whatever the hell she wants to anyone that she wants. It makes for tumultuous, yet funny relationships with other characters. What I did find is that there is a softer side to Agatha that may be revealed in future books. The hard external shell that she exhibits with everyone seems to alter when she gets the opportunity to feel comfortable and get to know people.

As expected, there wasn't a lot of "intense" action with the plot. It's pretty straight-forward although I did appreciate the fact that I didn't know who the killer was until the end of the story. I'm getting the feeling that a lot of these could be read as standalones. This book had a closed ending that didn't necessarily lend itself to a sequel; however, it did make me excited to see more of Agatha and how she will continue to grow and get to know more people in the village. Overall, this was a good start to a cozy mystery series. I'm looking forward to reading more in the future.
Profile Image for ✨ Gramy ✨ .
1,382 reviews
September 28, 2019
This is a light, cozy mystery, set in the Cotswolds of England. This is the first book in the series and introduces the reader to Agatha Raisin, a newcomer with an acerbic personality. She sold her PR firm in London and opted to settle in a small village. Although she is brash, vain, and used to getting her way, she also craves a sense of belonging and will go to any length to achieve this desire.

When a murder occurs in connection with her entry in a baking contest, she straightens up her spine and decides to investigate the murder o avoid being found responsible, with some assistance from a friend on the police force. Her efforts resemble a bumbling comedy of errors, yet she takes credit for more than her due.

It is a clean read and is able to stand on its own. If you find you enjoy this type of entertainment, there are 29 more books in the series to enjoy. It may not be an in-depth or intense plotline, but the characters are quirky enough to garnish some attention and once you get used to them, you may be ready to read on looking for more mysteries and maybe even a chuckle or two. This was a solid 3.5, but I feel I have been grading too harshly recently, so I am bumping it up to 4.00.
Profile Image for Mrs.Martos .
70 reviews8 followers
January 15, 2023
Un cosy mystery (misterio acogedor) que te sacará unas cuantas carcajadas. Ideal para intercalar con otras lecturas o simplemente para pasar un buen rato.
1,453 reviews126 followers
March 20, 2012
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 the fear that it will disappoint me. The gist of the story is middle aged Agatha, a self made PR executive retiring to a quaint cottage in a quaint village, entering the village quiche baking competition, cheating by putting down a store bought quiche as her own, and facing consequences when the judge, a never-do-well middle aged Lothario die of cowbane poisoning. There is a cute chinese policeman and a romantic interest for Agatha to boot.
Profile Image for Ana Cristina Lee.
641 reviews235 followers
March 12, 2022
Cozy no, lo siguiente. Si eres fan de Miss Marple también te gustarán esta primera historia de Agatha Raisin, situada en un idílico pueblo de la campiña inglesa. Lo mejor es el retrato de los personajes locales y la recreación de la atmósfera de la vicaría, del pub y de los concursos de comida casera.

Agatha Raisin tiene personalidad propia, no es la típica heroína perfecta, sino que es una mujer de mediana edad, no particularmente agraciada y que tampoco tiene buen carácter, aunque se las arregla para caerte bien.

El misterio no es de lo mejor, pero sí el humor y los diálogos, que hacen que sea una lectura muy ágil y relajante. Seguramente continuaré con algún otro de la serie.

Profile Image for Claire.
184 reviews49 followers
July 29, 2017
A complete delight! I always thought these books looked cheesy, especially the mass market editions, but I was totally wrong. I loved the writing, the characters, the pacing. I was hooked from the first page. So happy it is a long series.
Profile Image for Exina.
1,183 reviews375 followers
August 5, 2015
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 is, the anchorman and the reporter were having a cosy talk. "Over to you, John. What is the situation now? Well, Peter..." By the time they moved on to the inevitable "expert" in the studio...

This was the most boring first chapter I've ever read. Maybe it improves, but maybe not, and I don't want to waste my time.

Profile Image for Christy.
641 reviews
November 23, 2020
I've wanted to read this book for ages. I've realized that I usually love "older" characters. Especially ones that are quirky or snarky. In Agatha's case...she is very abrasive, bossy, and unlikable to most around her. She would probably be a person you can't stand in person, but she is hilarious to read about.

Agatha moves to the country after an early retirement from PR. She finds herself bored and needing to make a statement in her new community, so she enters a Quiche contest. The judge of the contest is poisoned from Agatha's quiche, and she finds herself becoming an amateur sleuth. She cannot accept it was an accident, and is determined to find who the murderer is. Side Note - really enjoyed this on Audio.
Profile Image for Tracey.
1,075 reviews241 followers
February 24, 2015
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 inept public relations mogul, sells her company and fulfills a childhood dream of moving to the Cotswolds (because it's so pretty there), but finds that her high-powered tight-focus personality is much less comfortable there than it was in London; her alienation from other people is much more obvious to her now that she has removed herself from the hectic lifestyle she's always been used to. She has no friends, and doesn't know how to make them, as any social skills she ever had have atrophied. Her first efforts to start to break into the society include entering a ringer into a village cooking contest: hearing that Mrs. ( ) always wins, and not quite grasping the implication behind the fact that Mrs. ( ) is the judge's mistress, she returns to London, buys a quiche from a shop renowned for same, rewraps it, and enters it in her own name.

The gist of all of this is included in the blurb. Also included? The quiche that Agatha enters is snubbed, and then the judge dies, poisoned by the losing dish.

There has to be some amount of information about the case in the blurb; there has to be some reason for someone to pick up the book and start reading. This seemed excessive, though: there's a fine, fine line between "intriguing" and "thanks, I don't need to read it now". I think this is part of why I nearly put the book down several times in the first 75 pages.

That, and I just don't like Agatha Raisin.

I'm not supposed to, obviously; she's horrid, and is written that way. I tend to be impatient with main characters like that; I don't ask that every protagonist be warm and cuddly, but there has to be some attractive or interesting trait to keep me involved; I have an obscene number of books on my TBR list, and why should I spend time with someone I don't like? If Agatha was a bitch on wheels but bitchily funny, I think I'd be happy. If there was just some redeeming quality, it would be better… instead, though, she decides to pull a tacky, petty cheap trick, and is angry when it doesn't work – and grouses about it.


I get it – she's supposed to be socially inept, and this was the way she's learned over the years to deal with situations in her job in London: she has made her way through life and business forcing her will upon others. And the idea is that her retirement and new environment work changes on her, as she decides how to go about the rest of her life. Got it. By the end of the book I in fact didn't dislike her nearly so much, so – well done, both Agatha and M.C. Beaton. But still.

If this is an example of the sort of mystery the series will feature, that would be another reason I won't make strenuous effort to expand the Agatha Raisin section of my library. It was muddled and confused; it's standard operating procedure in a mystery story for one suspect after another to come to the fore and be discounted – see any episode of almost any tv show featuring a cop. But this was a meandering sort of is-it isn't-it hit-or-miss investigation – which I suppose it was intended to be given that Agatha wasn't supposed to be and didn't intend to be investigating – with one vital piece of information withheld until nearly the end. I usually read mysteries more for character than the puzzle, but in this case I enjoyed neither.

I really should be happy I didn't love it; I have enough books on my to-be-read list now, I didn't need to add this whole series to it.

(Right after finishing, I posted the following on Goodreads:

I disliked the first half; I didn't expect to rate it as high as three stars, but it picked up in the second. I'm still not a fan, though; the writing isn't what I had expected: if Roy had "shrieked" (or "shrieked with laughter") or his friend Steve had said something "ponderously" one more time *I* would have shrieked. I will say that the eminently unlikeable Agatha is redeemed a bit by the end, by natural degrees and not completely, which is to say rather realistically - which is good, because I wanted to stuff several poisoned quiches down her throat at the beginning. Actually, with the possible exception of Bill Wong and the kitten I think I would have happily poisoned everyone in the book... It was curiosity and a great apathy for the other book I was reading that kept me going to the end, and I have a feeling those are the circumstances under which I'll pick up another M.C. Beaton.)
Profile Image for Patricia.
524 reviews98 followers
November 26, 2018
I rate THE QUICHE OF DEATH a 3.5 stars and enjoyed reading it. Agatha retires from her job and moves to a village away from London. Agatha, who knows nothing about cooking, decides to enter a local quiche contest hoping to make herself look outstanding in the village. After purchasing her quiche in London, the quiche judge dies from poison after eating Agathas' quiche. So it begins...
Profile Image for Ammar.
444 reviews217 followers
March 28, 2019
Easy read
A bit boring
I just was reading it slowly and taking my time
It could be better and more detailed
But it’s an okay start of a series of cozy mysteries
Profile Image for Iris ☾ (dreamer.reads).
435 reviews856 followers
December 8, 2021
M.C. Beaton, publicó en 1992 la primera parte de la saga de Agatha Raisin, “Agatha Raisin y la quiche letal”. Se la compara en diversos medios con la archiconocida Agatha Christie y las referencias a este hecho en el escrito son numerosas pero debo decir que entre las dos no hay ni punto de comparación posible. Me animé a empezar esta saga buscando una lectura que no supusiera un quebradero de cabeza, algo relajante para pasar el rato pero la decepción ha sido mayúscula.

La historia nos presenta a Agatha, una mujer que decide marcharse de Londres para vivir en un tranquilo pueblo llamado Cotswolds disfrutando de una jubilación anticipada. Nada es lo que ella esperaba, la monotonía le resulta sumamente aburrida, no siente conexión con los demás habitantes del lugar y por ello decide participar en un concurso gastronómico para obtener el primer premio y ganarse buena reputación.

La trama cobra interés cuando el juez del concurso muere tras probar la quiche que presentó nuestra protagonista al concurso. A partir de entonces y para limpiar su nombre pues muchos creen que ella misma trató de envenenar a ese hombre, se propone desenmascarar ella misma al asesino. Pronto esta súbita emoción cae en picado, el libro entra en un bucle eterno, no avanza, se pierde la incipiente intriga y se finalmente se diluye sin remedio.

Sin lugar a dudas debo decir que mi atención en la lectura fue disminuyendo al avanzar la historia, lo que prometía ser una novela entretenida y ligera se convirtió en un gran y pesado aburrimiento. Tanto el estilo narrativo, como el vocabulario utilizado por la autora pecan de extrema sencillez y los diálogos son pobres y en ocasiones sumamente absurdos. La protagonista, a pesar de ser una heroína poco común y con un carácter bastante altivo y agrio, me ha resultado desagradable e insulso.

En conjunto el libro se me ha hecho pesado, esperaba encontrar una experiencia lectora amable, que reflejara el costumbrismo inglés pero me he encontrado con unos personajes mal desarrollados, muchas repeticiones sin sentido, un misterio con un final de lo más predecible y simple y que en definitiva no me ha aportado nada. Tengo el segundo volumen de la saga en mis estanterías así que aprovecharé para leerlo y con todas las esperanzas puestas en que consiga seducirme más que el anterior.
Profile Image for  ⊱Sonja•●❤️.
2,066 reviews386 followers
November 23, 2018
Agatha Raisin ist eine erfolgreiche PR-Beraterin in London, doch sie träumt schon seit Jahren von einem eigenen Cottage in den malerischen Cotswolds. Nun endlich hat sie sich diesen Traum erfüllt, doch mit der Abneigung ihrer neuen Nachbarn hat sie nicht gerechnet. Doch Agatha lässt sich nicht unterkriegen und versucht alles, sich in die Dorfgemeinschaft zu integrieren. Sie macht beim örtlichen Backwettbewerb mit und reicht eine gekaufte Quiche ein, da sie selbst nicht backen kann. Dumm nur, dass einer der Preisrichter bald darauf stirbt und man in Agathas gekaufter Quiche Gift findet!

Mein Leseeindruck:

Ich liebe England und ich liebe Krimis, die dort spielen, daher musste ich Agatha Raisin einfach kennenlernen! Ich habe diesen ersten Band der Reihe sehr genossen! Ein klein wenig hat mich Agatha an Miss Marple erinnert oder auch an Lori aus den "Tante Dimity"-Büchern. Es ist ein absoluter Wohlfühlkrimi mit einer ganz besonderen Atmosphäre. Die Spannung steht hier nicht unbedingt im Vordergrund, ist aber dennoch auf jeden Fall vorhanden!

Mir hat die Geschichte auf jeden Fall sehr viel Spaß gemacht und ich bin froh, dass es schon einige Bücher gibt in dieser Reihe, die ich nun hoffentlich bald alle lesen werde!
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,928 reviews2,018 followers
January 22, 2016
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 she sells her PR firm and her London flat and buys a genuine "village cottage" in Chesney (which she proceeds to strip and make out like some up-market show home), she is determined to become one of the leading lights in the village. She enters the Quiche baking contest with a bought quiche from London. Not only does she not win the competition, but the judge dies after eating her quiche!

While this does tend to be a tongue-in-cheek look at small village life, with shallow characters (or should I say characterizations?), it does have its funny moments.

While I won't be in any hurry to read any more Agatha Raisin mysteries, I probably will at some stage dip into them again, if just to see if her character develops at all.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
483 reviews500 followers
January 27, 2022
Agatha Raisin ha cumplido su sueño. Desde hace años desea adquirir una casa en Cotswolds, una preciosa y pintoresca región alejada de la ruidosa Londres. Acaba de prejubilarse y por fin ha hecho realidad ese anhelo: ha comprado una preciosa vivienda en un tranquilo pueblo del lugar. Rápidamente se dará cuenta que el cambio no va a ser tan fácil como imaginó y que le costará adaptarse al lugar y ganarse el amor y la aceptación de los vecinos. Estos parecen no aceptar a los forasteros, y Agatha Raisin se propondrá encajar. La muerte inesperada de uno de los habitantes del pueblo, la pondrá en el punto de mira. Agatha, acostumbrada a la actividad, verá en la investigación del caso la manera de entretenerse, mientras consigue ganarse un lugar en el pueblo.

Desde que descubrí esta extensa saga (más de treinta libros), que imitaban o homenajeaban de alguna manera la obra de Agatha Christie, supe que antes o después acabaría probando con la autora. Y pese a que la lectura no ha sido todo lo buena que me he esperaba, he disfrutado mucho del personaje de Agatha Raisin, una Miss Marple noventera y actualizada, con un toque borde que me ha encantado, y es la misma Raisin lo mejor de la novela. Tiene mérito conseguir una obra que recuerde a Agatha Christie, midiéndose con una sombra tan alargada, consiguiendo lo que pretende: darle un toque fresco a la obra de Christie, pero manteniendo lo mejor de la autora.

"Agatha Raisin y la quiche letal" se lee de un tirón y se disfruta con el mismo gusto que las historias de Christie. Lo que me ha fallado es que el misterio se queda algo cortito y tarda mucho en despegar, cosa que quizás sea efecto de ser una primera parte y necesitar la presentación de Agatha Raisin, nuestra icónica protagonista, pero me esperaba un misterio algo más elaborado y sorpresivo, y la verdad es que no he visto muchos giros que me dejaran sorprendido. Pese a todo, tengo muchas expectativas con la serie y ya tengo en mi poder la segunda parte, y la empezaré en unos días. Con los personajes principales ya presentados, auguro un misterio mucho más rico y mejor establecido.
Profile Image for Dani.
63 reviews42 followers
June 30, 2021
Inicio ameno y agradable para una saga que comenzó a publicarse en la década de los 90 y que actualmente cuenta con más de treinta historias en las que Agatha Raisin, una mujer de mediana edad, decide mudarse de Londres a los Cotswolds con el propósito de encontrar una vida tranquila y alejada del bullicio de la ciudad. Sin embargo, diferentes casualidades van a querer que la protagonista se vea envuelta en crímenes y misterios que harán pensar automáticamente en una versión moderna de Miss Marple.

Para su primer caso, Agatha Raisin se encontrará en una situación comprometedora cuando la quiche que presentó en un concurso gastronómico resulta ser la responsable del envenenamiento y muerte del juez. A partir de aquí, la autora nos lleva de la mano por una investigación sin grandes giros ni revelaciones, pero con un humor muy inglés y un ritmo frenético.

Y probablemente ese sea su gran acierto: funciona como novela con la que olvidarte de las preocupaciones y simplemente disfrutar de la lectura. No tiene grandes pretensiones, pero tampoco las necesita, y probablemente acabarían jugando en su contra. Otro punto positivo es esa atmósfera tan bien dibujada de la sociedad inglesa rural. Los Cotswolds engloban un conjunto de colinas situadas en el interior del país en las que se encuentran varios de los pueblos más bonitos de Inglaterra. Recorrer sus calles y senderos te transporta inmediatamente a un ambiente histórico, de calma y paz. Y eso lo consigue M.C. Beaton a la perfección, pese a enmarcarlo en un contexto de crímenes y mentiras.

Por lo demás, acaba convirtiéndose en una historia excesivamente simple que no queda almacenada en la memoria por su ingenio o por su entramado, sino que son los personajes y las situaciones cómicas las que te retienen en la lectura. Pese a que no espero grandes cambios, seguiré con las aventuras de Agatha Raisin cuando necesite una historia simpática de detectives aficionados.
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,491 reviews29 followers
August 30, 2021
This is the first book of a series that are mystery books. It is a quick read as it wasn't even two hundred fifty pages long. In this one, Agatha is leaving London and the hectic life. She is moving to a tiny village. When she gets there she soon discovers she is not welcome and finds herself involved in a death of one of the villagers.

This was my introduction to this series and author and it was a nice introduction. I liked the main character of Agatha. She is a little older and is curt and abrasive as she is a go go go type of person. Even with this type of attitude she wants to be accepted in her new surroundings. Her attitude did make me laugh a couple of times as I can identify with her. As for the murder mystery the journey is more of how it was perpetrated instead of the culprit. The culprit was easy to guess. The fun of this book is Agatha diving into an investigation even though she is not an investigator. I liked the reveal of how the crime was done.

Like I said this is a quick read that at times put a smile on my face. It isn't my favorite mystery book but I enjoyed it. I liked it enough that I will read another offering from this universe. I wasn't crazy about it that I have to dive into every single offering in this long running series.
Profile Image for Chrissana Roy.
329 reviews197 followers
March 25, 2022
A sus cincuenta y tres años, Agatha Raisin quiere empezar de cero: ha decidido cerrar su empresa de relaciones públicas y cambiar su piso de Londres por una casita de ensueño en Carsely, un pueblo en el corazón de la Inglaterra rural.

Al principio le cuesta integrarse en Carsely. Pero un día ...
"Se acercó a Harvey’s, el colmado que era a la vez oficina de correos, y hurgó en el congelador grande preguntándose si podía repetir curry, cuando le llamó la atención un cartel clavado en la pared. «Gran concurso de quiches». Se celebraría el sábado en el salón de la escuela."

Entonces toma la decisión de participar en el concurso ...
"Los pensamientos de Agatha se dispararon mientras corría de vuelta a casa y metía el pollo estilo Korma en el microondas. ¿No era eso lo que importaba en los pueblos pequeños, ser la mejor en algo casero? Pues bien, si ella, Agatha Raisin, ganaba el concurso de quiches, la tomarían en serio. "

El problema es que Agatha no sabe cocinar, decidida coge el coche y se va a Londres ...
"Se dirigió a The Quicherie, una tienda de comida preparada especializada en quiches. Compró una quiche de espinacas grande, la metió en el maletero del coche.
De vuelta a Carsely ya con las luces del anochecer, entró en la cocina. Retiró de la quiche el envoltorio de la tienda, colocó su propia etiqueta recién impresa: Quiche de espinacas, señora Raisin. "

El día del concurso y después de que la ganadora sea elegida. La señora Cummings-Browne se lleva la quiche de Agatha a casa:
" Me traje a casa la quiche de esa espantosa señora Raisin. Se fue hecha una furia y dijo que la tiráramos. Pensé que te apetecería un poco para cenar. He dejado un par de trozos encima del mármol de la cocina. Esta tarde he comido un montón de pasteles y té. Con eso me basta."

Al día siguiente, el señor Cummings-Browne aparece muerto, y la policía se presenta en casa de Agatha:
"Hemos venido para preguntarle por su quiche, señora Raisin —empezó Wilkes—. Tengo entendido que los Cummings-Browne se la llevaron a casa. ¿Qué le había puesto?"

Es entonces cuando Agatha toma la decisión:
"Necesitaba un propósito en la vida, un objetivo, pensó. ¿No sería maravilloso que Cummings-Browne hubiera sido asesinado? ¿Y si ella, Agatha Raisin, resolvía el caso? Entonces la conocerían en todos los Cotswolds; la gente acudiría a ella, la respetaría."

Pd: este libro ha sido adaptado a película.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,394 reviews824 followers
June 12, 2021
What a surprise! I am not a fan of cosy mysteries and until the other day, had no desire to read an Agatha Raisin book. Then I read a synopsis describing the MC and for some reason it appealed. I really enjoyed this and will probably read the next one.
Profile Image for Amy.
2,556 reviews396 followers
November 22, 2018
3.5 stars
I feel like the author went, "Y'know Miss Marple? What if instead of a nice old woman, she was an unlikable divorcée career-woman with no friends and witchy personality who moves to a small British village and ends up solving a mystery 'cause she's bored?"
And you know what? I think it works.
I didn't love most of this book. In fact, I was often bored. But I kept reading because Agatha Raisin is truly an unlikable woman and that intrigued me. I like unlikable heroines. But she also experiences character change throughout the story. I can see how a series would continue to make her more likable.
I also enjoyed how she went about solving the mystery. The author does a good job hiding a crucial piece of evidence and then slipping it in. While it is predicable once that information comes, it isn't something the reader picks up on immediately and spends the rest of the book frustrated with the detective for not knowing.
The flicker of potential love interest there at the end bumped the book up half a star in my mind and invested me in the plot. I want more.
Profile Image for Sharon Barrow Wilfong.
1,117 reviews3,942 followers
November 5, 2020
I have really grown to like Agatha Raisin. She's so human, yet so likable. I have not read these books in order, but this is the first mystery. Agatha Raisin moves from London, her job in advertising, to the Cotswolds for a peaceful life.

It does not turn out as she expects. The people of the village are politely cordial, but nothing else. No one befriends her and soon Agatha is homesick and lonely. She decides to take the bull by the horns and get involved in village society. She begins to attend church, largely because the vicar's wife, Mrs. Bloxby has been the only person to show genuine friendship to her. She then becomes involved in several church functions.

This brings her to the Quiche competition. Agatha can't boil water, so she decides to cheat. She goes out and buys a quiche and presents it to the judges. It doesn't win, but the judge and his wife offer to take it home and finish it off. Agatha, disappointed and depressed, shruggingly lets them.

The next day, the judge is found dead. Poisoned by cowbane that was found in the quiche. Now what is Agatha to do? Admit she cheated, or be suspected of murder?

The mystery is fun, but so are all the characters as Agatha gets to know her neighbors and they get to know her. Many of the characters travel from book to book with Agatha, so they become like old friends to the reader.
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,006 followers
February 8, 2013
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 in mind between reads, and just removing the other ones from my books.
Profile Image for Mitticus.
986 reviews209 followers
March 11, 2019
Andaba buscando un título largo, después uno con fruta, y luego algo de cocina, y me encontré con este librito que después caí en cuenta tiene su propia serie de tv, aunque no la he visto más que al pasar haciendo zapping. Y por demás la prota (vaya sorpresa) no se parece para nada a como se describe en el libro; que para mí es lo mejor.

La protagonista es una mujer en los cincuenta y tres años que se acaba de jubilar de su propia pequeña empresa publicista, es una mujer dura , divorciada, sin amigos, que siempre luchó por todo y que ahora espera disfrutar de este paisaje de villa que una vez le trajo buenos recuerdos de niña en Carsely. Pero después de Londres y su trabajo se enfrenta a la soledad por primera vez. Decidida a hacerse conocida por la fuerza , como es su costumbre, se le ocurre entrar a un concurso de quiche (a pesar de que no tiene idea de cocina), compra uno para pasarle por uno hecho por ella y .... el juez termina envenenado. Como ven, no la mejor de las impresiones, jajaja. Bueno, luego uno de los mejores personajes es el policía joven. Y es entonces que Agatha decide (en el fondo porque no puede estar sin hacer nada) averiguar quién es el asesino. Cosas suceden, mientras va contando cosas del pueblo, los habitantes y de como fue su vida de publicista.

«En el negocio de las relaciones públicas conviene tener cierto encanto, y Agatha carecía por completo de él. Conseguía resultados por ser una especie de mujer polifacética que combinaba al poli bueno y al poli malo, alternando el acoso y el engatusamiento en nombre de sus clientes. Los periodistas a menudo concedían espacio a sus clientes sólo para quitársela de encima. También era una experta en chantaje emocional y cualquiera lo bastante insensato para aceptar un regalo o una invitación a comer de Agatha sería perseguido descaradamente hasta que la compensara en especie.»

Lo que más me gustó es que se sale del común de personaje, una persona mayor y gorda, con ojos peqeños, y antipática. Y que no sabe en realidad hacer amigos. La hace más real.

Me leería el siguiente.

Ah, no hay romance , por ahora.
Profile Image for Ellie.
1,458 reviews369 followers
August 2, 2011
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. Unfortunately, her culinary skills are limited to the microwave, a problem she solves by purchasing a quiche in a very upscale London store.

Of course, the quiche is poisoned, killing the contest's judge.

Agatha clumsily hunts down the murderer and, miraculously in light of her lack of skill or even aptitude for detection, solves the mystery.

But not before providing lots of laughs.

I loved Agatha as well as the rest of the entertaining cast of characters almost as much as I enjoy M.C. Beaton's other cozy series, set in a small village in Scotland and featuring Hamish Macbeth, another flawed (though more likable) hero.

The Quiche of Death is a mystery for people looking for offbeat, quirky, and personality-challenged characters.

I loved it.
Profile Image for Lucia Nieto Navarro .
702 reviews144 followers
May 5, 2021
No conocía la serie de Agatha Raisin y cuando he visto que la editorial iba a sacarla y he visto tan buenas criticas no dude en empezar a leerla.
La novela es la primera de una serie, en la que la protagonista, Agatha Raisin, es una mujer que decide jubilarse, aunque aun es pronto, y mudarse a un pueblo de Londres donde todo es tranquilo. Ha sido la propietaria de una empresa durante muchos años pero quiere cambiar de aires.
La personalidad de Agatha no deja indiferente a nadie, es una mujer directa, arrogante y que siempre consigue lo que quiere, y por eso le cuesta un poco adaptarse a su nuevo lugar con la gente de allí.
Para intentar encajar con los vecinos, se apunta a un concurso de quiches caseros, sin tener ni idea de cocinar, por lo que decide comprarlo en la ciudad y hacer como si nada. Pero el juez del concurso muere tras comer un trocito por envenenamiento. Agatha, decidirá investigar por su cuenta que ha pasado y quien ha sido el asesino, y así demostrar que ella es inocente.
Así empieza la historia que te engancha desde la primera página, una novela muy ligera y divertida, perfecta para leer entre libros mas pesados.
Asique lo recomiendo mucho, ya que también recuerda a las novelas policiacas de Agatha Cristie, autora que me encanta. Como he dicho es el primero de una serie, y aunque hay muchas ya en ingles, en español tengo entendido que solo están las siete primeras.
Profile Image for Lori.
846 reviews30 followers
December 4, 2013
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 public relations businesswoman from London decides to trade her hectic city life, for a "simpler" one in a picturesque village in the Cotswolds. However, life in a small community proves to be anything but peaceful after she arrives. You can read better summaries elsewhere but suffice it to say that Agatha becomes involved in helping to figure out what really happened when a local died after eating a quiche that she entered in the city fair.

It was an enjoyable read in a delightful setting. Pretty tame fare but a great option when you are looking for "light" enjoyable escape reading. Agatha is a fun character and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,706 reviews662 followers
November 13, 2012
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 comes to small talk and making friends she hasn't a clue as to how to go about it. Needing to make herself known (because she's egotist like that), she decides to enter a baking contest. But she can't cook. Instead she buys a quiche and enters it under her name. Unfortunately, the quiche is taken home by a local couple and the husband croaks after eating it. Uh oh. Someone, it seems, poisoned said quiche and may have it out for Agatha. She then finds her calling as an amateur sleuth which doesn't endear her to the locals.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I honestly didn't expect to.. It was on my Ipod and auto-played when I finished something else and I just went with it. Now I'll have to go out and find the sequels (and it looks like there are a lot of them). I was surprised to have loved the abrasive bordering on mean Agatha so much, probably because she just couldn't seem to help herself and made no apologies. She truly had zero people skills when the book begins and her nastiness made me laugh when not much else does. My friend hated this book after I "forced" her to read it so if you don't like sarcastic, rude characters you have been warned.
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