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The Quiche of Death

(Agatha Raisin #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  18,741 ratings  ·  1,994 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, 246 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published December 1992)
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Erin Kasper They changed the characters slightly from the books. Although, I think the show does a better job of making the characters pop better than the…moreThey changed the characters slightly from the books. Although, I think the show does a better job of making the characters pop better than the books...Hmm...that might be the first time I thought the show one-upped the books. :)(less)
Dorathy I think it maybe in book one - chapter 5 and page 88
“She bought three detective stories—one Ruth Rendell, one Colin Dexter, and one Colin…more
I think it maybe in book one - chapter 5 and page 88
“She bought three detective stories—one Ruth Rendell, one Colin Dexter, and one Colin Watson—“(less)

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Cathryn Ferrara
Aug 03, 2012 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
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

"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 envisionin
✨ Gramy ✨
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 he
Mar 20, 2012 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
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 04, 2012 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 is, the anchexample:
Feb 29, 2012 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 ide
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Mar 14, 2011 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. Unfortunately, her culina ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 expe
Bark the Overwrought Keyboard Warrior
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
Apr 28, 2012 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
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Years ago my F2F book club read one of the Agatha Raisin books, and I remember liking it and planning on getting back to reading more. Finally, I have. This is the introduction to Agatha, who is not exactly a cuddly, lovable person. She has strong opinions and isn't afraid to voice them. I'm really looking forward to many more hours reading of Agatha's exploits.
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
I have really enjoyed the PBS Mystery series based on theses books so I decided to read the series. I find that Agatha Raisin is just a tad to abrasive for my taste. I enjoy a good self-possessed female central character, but this is a little much for me. The plot was what you would expect from a modern English mystery and I loved the view of rural England presented, I just don't think I'll continue the series.

Agatha Raisin has sold her successful London PR firm to retire to the country. Only o
♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥
Thoughts to follow
Local book club read
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
3.5 stars. I avoided this book for years because of the title. I thought it would be all about food or way too light and silly, but it wasn't. First of all, it takes place for the most part in the Cotswolds, making it hard to resist for that reason alone. And second, the main character isn't a sweet old lady. She's a snarky woman in midlife who sells her PR firm in London to retire to the Cotswolds, which has been her dream since she was young. She's brash and sassy and I really like her.

I'll d
Jan 06, 2012 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 d
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.
Blaine DeSantis
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every year I seem to get hooked on new mystery novels. When I cut the cord on the TV and went to internet TV and specifically Acorn TV, I watched the Agatha Raisin series, along with Hamish McBeth - both of which are adaptations of the authors books. I had been unaware of Beaton as a writer and was disappointed when the Agatha Raisin series ended after only 9 episodes. So, much to my delight, as I was looking for a new audiobook I came upon all of MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin series. I immediately ...more
Apr 24, 2015 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 31, 2009 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 t
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in the Agatha Raisin series and what a start! Loved this book so much I made my first spinach quiche in honor of Agatha. A lovely British cozy mystery!
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well that was just delightful! A lighthearted, fun mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously. Perfect for a holiday read.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Almost everyone has an Agatha Raisin in his or her life. She's the middle-aged, overreaching, and blunt relative, friend, nextdoor neighbor, or co-worker that you sometimes find refreshing, more often find presumptuous. This Agatha Raisin has taken an early retirement and has moved to a cottage in the Cotswolds but finds it unsettling that the villagers don't immediately welcome her into their closest circles. She assumes the best way to get their respect is to win the local quiche contest, but ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, audio
I've spent a lot of time driving recently, and these really work as a background to the endless kilometres.

Having kind of liked the TV Agatha Raisin series, I thought trying one of these as an audiobook for one of the recent long drives would be worth a go. I personally prefer things on the lighter side when I should be concentrating on driving, and a change of options was required after having spent a lot of hours with Phryne Fisher.

Obviously the Agatha Raisin of the boo
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
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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 quickl/>Learn

Other books in the series

Agatha Raisin (1 - 10 of 30 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)
“The other diners studied him with the polite frozen smiles the English use for threatening behaviour.” 3 likes
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