Crankier than ever, Agatha Raisin wants to forget that her husband left her to enter a monastery--a turn of affairs more humiliating than when she caught him with a mistress. She feels abandoned, fat, frumpy, and absolutely furious. What are her options? She takes an island vacation and joins a Pilates class. But what finally lifts her spirits is finding a corpse. The dead girl was a member of Agatha's exercise class, afloat in a rain-swollen river, dressed in a bridal gown, and clutching a wedding bouquet. Agatha's policeman friend Bill Wong suggests she leave this macabre murder to the Worcester CID. Pah! What do they know? Once she enlists the aid of the bachelor mystery writer next door, puts on a disguise, and interviews some likely suspects, Agatha will be her brash, redoubtable self again--unless she becomes the killer's next victim first ...
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.
As I live and breathe, that Agatha Raisin appears to be growing up. No longer is she endlessly chasing after James, or Charles or even the new man next door. Agatha is not doing anything as trite as trying to “find herself”, but she is starting to come to some new realizations and her old irritating self is starting to wear off those rough edges and slowly, but surely, turn into a tolerable woman.
In a deep slump after James joined the Monastery and Charles has run off and married a woman purported to be carrying twin; Agatha is left to her own depressed thoughts, that is, until a body is found floating down the river. Though the police call it a suicide - Agatha knows better and sets off to solve the mystery of the woman and why she was wearing a wedding dress and carrying a bouquet of flowers.
Mrs. Bloxby comes into her own in this book; she is a character that I have always enjoyed for her never-ending insight and patience when it comes to Agatha and her harebrained schemes. Police Chief Budge is still completely flabbergasted by Agatha and the regular characters make their usual appearance, including the reverend and his endless frustration with “that horrible Agatha woman”.
The overall story is not that fascinating, but the characters are what brings me back again and again to this series. If you are expecting a thrilling and fascinating read, you will not find that here, but start this series at the beginning and you will find a parade of characters that never cease to entertain.
All right, I've probably read too many Agatha Raisin books lately. She got a bit irritating this time at the end when she decided to just go ahead and search things at the end without notifying the police. I think her character made a bit of a regression there, while prior to this book, I'd been thinking that Beaton had done a pretty good job of maintaining some good character development over a long series.
Then again, I'm pretty disappointed with the direction her love life is taking as well and her complete lack of understanding of how people perceive her.
Also, these books are a good lesson in how our world would be if people just said what they were thinking all the time, no matter how mean or thoughtless. Interesting that it's only really the female characters acting in that way though which is also a bit of a problem. The women are bitchy and rude, the men are cold and heartless.
The endearing Agatha is at it again in that sleepy Cotswold village that she has retired to. "I am a real detective," declares Agatha truculently and then proceeds to hit a string of minor disasters while investigating the latest couple of murders that present themselves to her. The love interest abounds again, with new men on the horizon (and quickly off it when she realises what they are like), but amidst it all she leads the less than capable police to the perpetrator of the crime. However, as usual she gets little credit but there is no doubt she will be at it again ... I hope so!
Agatha and the Drowned Bride Review of the Blackstone Audio Inc. audiobook edition (January 2013) of the original St. Martin's Press Minotaur hardcover (July 2002)
The Day the Floods Came finds Agatha Raisin investigating the apparent accidental drowning of a bride before her wedding day. Most of the regular gang are on hand except that James Lacey's cottage is now occupied by a new tenant, a mystery writer named John Armitage. Agatha has her eye on him as well but for different reasons. Armitage becomes her main investigating partner for this book.
I'm continuing to enjoy the fun of these cozies which are somewhat different from the TV-series which I saw first. Sir Charles is much more of a recurring character and occasional love interest than he is in the screen adaptation and his cheap and chintzy manners are played up quite a bit. The narration by regular reader Penelope Keith is always excellent in all voices. Keith is as perfect a voice fit for the audiobooks as Ashley Jensen is to the TV role.
Most (28 of 32) of the Agatha Raisin audiobooks are free on Audible Plus. A posthumous Book 32 Down the Hatch is yet to be released, and is expected to be published in October 2021.
Trivia and Link The Day the Floods Came was adapted as Episode 6 of Series 1 for the currently ongoing Agatha Raisin TV series (2016-). A trailer can be seen on YouTube here.
I really enjoyed this Agatha Raisin mystery. Agatha is all alone - James has taken off to join a monastery, and Charles has taken off to France to marry some girl. So Agatha decides to take a mini-vacation. When she gets back, she finds a floating dead body of a woman in her wedding dress. She and her new neighbor John investigate and of course Agatha ends up catching the murderer but at a cost of her life (almost).
Agatha Raisin is secretly attracted to the new man in the revolving ownership house next door. She sees parallels in two deaths and investigates the local one. Although James has run off to join the monastery and Charles has married, it gives Mrs. Biloxby a chance to enter the fray.
Our Agatha just doesn’t listen to that voice in her head that tells her not to rush in where angels fear to tread. But she will don a wig and pretend to be from Television. Aggie also just doesn’t know what to do with men. How fragile our egos are. She is all of us middle aged women when we’re not at our best. But as we see, all humans are desperate for a moment to shine and get ahead.
Book #12 in the series. Another great little bit of escapism with Agatha Raisin and her merry little band. A gentle cosy mystery that I read in a flash. Great if you're after a quick read but I would recommend that you start at book #1.
Not the best in the series but still worth while. For me there were to many similar characters in this book and it was hard to keep track of them. The ending was also very predictable. Nevertheless a new neighbor and love interest for Agatha added a new twist to the story. I will be interested to see where it goes.
This is my third or fourth Agatha Raisin and she's beginning to grow on me. Agatha starts out on an island where she is drowning her sorrow over her marriage to James Lacy who has left her for a monastery.
She returns to England and new adventure. She goes to her pilates class, determined to get in shape, quit smoking and all round start fresh. In her class she overhears a pretty young woman talk about getting her legs waxed in preparation for her marriage. Nothing to remember.
Except that the next day there are torrential rains that flood the local village river and Agatha sees the woman from the pilates class floating down it in a wedding dress, holding a bouquet. She is frozen stiff.
What the heck happened? That is what Agatha Raisin is determined to find out.
In this book I see a very human side to Agatha. She is middle-aged, overweight and smokes too much. Her self-esteem is garbage because of her recent divorce. Then a famous author moves in next door. Hmmm....
He is a mystery writer and he is willing to help Agatha investigate this mystery of a frozen bride. He's her age....might he be interested in Agatha?
We learn a lot about Agatha, her vanities and her vulnerabilities as well as John the mystery writer. I enjoyed the interplay between the characters as much as the mystery.
James has moved out and John has moved in.... Where is Charles? Charles you are the guy I'm rooting for, where are you? Married? What??? Agatha once again is up to her Agatha self, there really isn't much growth and her from book 1 to Book 12.... she is always a bit insecure, overly obsessed with aging and her looks, and really unfortunate when It comes to men.... also she always seems to get herself in the middle of a murder... this book started off with her going to chili, and I thought OK the murder will happen here, but it was a short vacation and see soon was back home and there is where The murder takes place.... there is a flood and Agatha sees a girl she saw the day before at the beauty shop floating down the river Dead... of course she gets into the middle of it, now with the help of her new neighbor John, who just so happens to be a mystery writer.....
In this book, Agatha meets her new next door neighbor, a mystery writer. He seems to be interested in her, but her low self esteem won't allow her to see it. She is still jealous of almost every woman who passes her path, especially if they are younger. But, her grumpy attitude seems to endure her to me. When she goes on about the aggravations of middle age, I can relate. Creaky joints provide the background music to many of my days. Agatha finds the dead body of a bride floating in the river, and decides to investigate. She gets help from all her usual suspects, including the new neighbor, and almost gets killed a few times.
The story starts with Agatha running away to an island out in the Pacific. Her marriage to James Lacey had ended when he ran off to a monastery. While Agatha enjoys her stay, the wife of a newly wed couple is found dead and her new husband arrested for murder. Back in Evesham, Agatha discovers she has a new neighbor, a mystery writer John Armitage. After a few mishaps, they finally meet but Agatha doesn't take to the man. Starting a new healthy life, she takes a Pilates course in a neighboring town. While there she discovers a body floating in the flooding river.
Along with her ex-partner in the publishing business, Roy, she begins investigating the murder of the young lady. They pretend to be news reporters looking into clubbing activities of the local young people. Her new neighbor also ends up assisting Agatha in her investigation. The young lady was found in her wedding dress and suspects abound, especially her work mates and her fiance and old boyfriend.
It's a very shallow group of people for the most part. Agatha still struggles with personal issues; should she or shouldn't she get involved with John. Is she too old? All the old issues come back to haunt her. For such a successful business person, Agatha has many issues still unresolved. But she is trying to quit smoking finally which is something. Her friend Mrs. Bloxby is a steadying influence, trying to protect Agatha from getting involved in another heart-breaking relationship. Her friend Bill, the local cop, makes appearances but not in such a major role as normal because Agatha is dealing with the Worcester police department. Even Charles, her rich friend and sometime paramour makes an appearance. Only James Lacey is absent.
It's an interesting tale even if Agatha is wearing a bit thin. She needs something good to happen in her life, needs to regain her bounce and confidence. Still, there is enough action, an interesting mystery and a satisfying ending. (3.5 stars)
Avec plus de 450.000 exemplaires vendus, on ne présente plus Agatha Raisin, l'héritière très spirituelle de Miss Marple version rock. En trois ans seulement, l’héroïne de M.C. Beaton a su imposer sa personnalité loufoque et irrésistible sur les rayons des librairies de l’Hexagone et les lecteurs en redemandent ! Toujours plus nombreux et impatients de retrouver leur détective favorite dans des enquêtes rocambolesques, on peut désormais parler d'un véritable phénomène « Agatha Raisin ». Pourtant, il faut l’avouer, les enquêtes d'Agatha sont parfois décevantes : comme dans Vacances tous risques, lorsque notre quinqua sans scrupule était en vacances à Chypre ou plus récemment, dans L’enfer de l’amour, lorsqu’on la retrouvait en pleine déconfiture sentimentale, délaissée par un James Lacey, à qui elle avait pourtant réussi, envers et contre tout, à passer la bague au doigt. Sans qu'on se l'explique véritablement, on se surprend pourtant à retomber sous le charme d'Agatha au moment où on s'y attend le moins ! C’est exactement ce qui s’est passé pour moi avec Crime et déluge, que j’ai lu au plus fort de la canicule de l’été 2018. Peut-être est-ce justement cette pluie torrentielle qui s’abat sur le petit village de Carsley qui m’a rafraîchie ? J’ai beau réfléchir, je ne saurais trouver de raison précise justifiant que cette fois, entre Agatha et moi, l’alchimie s’est produite. Pourtant, le schéma narratif est toujours le même. On ne peut pas affirmer que M.C. Beaton ait cherché à innover ou à introduire dans son récit des éléments nouveaux visant à relancer une série en perte de vitesse. Toujours est-il que cette enquête les pieds dans l’eau fonctionne davantage que la précédente. Plus rythmée, plus incisive, elle m’a tout simplement tenue en haleine du début à la fin. Grâce à cette nouvelle comédie policière distrayante et réussie, M.C. Beaton, dont je craignais qu’elle n’ait finalement épuisé ses ressources, semble avoir retrouvé la forme ! J’ai déjà hâte de retrouver son héroïne dans les deux prochaines enquêtes à paraître en octobre prochain !
I finally had to give up on this book after reading about 70%. I found myself making excuses not to get back to it.
The writing style was good, the reading of it was good (audiobook), but the more I got to know the main character, the less I liked her. She was both vain and insecure, only worrying about her dress or her makeup and what the men around her thought of her. She was on the rebound after 2 failed love affairs and too anxious to have a man back in her life when, as she put it, her cats didn't even seem to like her. All this while snooping around a murder when she seemed to have no real motivation for doing so because, personality wise, it wasn't about her. She seemed to have nothing else in her life--no hobbies, no interests, no work (even volunteer work).
One writing thing that did bother me--once the male character was introduced, the author did a lot of switching points of view in the middle of scenes. Disconcerting.
This is the 12th book in the Agatha Raisin series. Agatha is fed up with life in the village after her husband leaves her to become a monk and her other paramour marries a much younger woman. So she takes a holiday to a remote tropical island where she has a surprisingly good time and meets some people who cheer her spirits. On returning, she joins a Pilates class and works on regaining her confidence. She is surprised to her in a letter that the odd honeymoon couple she observed on her trip ended up with the woman murdered by her husband. She has her own mystery to contend with when she discovers a body in the river when she is diverted by the flooding in the area. Agatha cannot resist working on finding out who killed the woman who was found in her wedding dress. She pulls out all of her tricks to find out the truth, and risks her own life and dignity in the process.
I can't say this was my favourite AR novel - but i certainly enjoyed cosying down with another slice of Agatha Raisin. James Lacey is now absent, and Charles only pops up briefly and I suppose I sort of missed them - as I think did Agatha. I didn't find the plot particularly absorbing, although there are plently of intruiging characters that we meet along the way. Agatha gets involved in the death of a prospective bride called Kylie - from Evesham just before her wedding. She dons a wig and some large glasses and posing as a telly researcher goes around asking everyone and anyone about Kylie and her fiance. There is still plenty of fun, and as ever the book is engaging, and it won't be long I don't suppose before I am reaching for the next installment.
Ideal escapism eavesdropping on the happy-go-lucky detecting and men-ising [well, we have womanising, after all] anti hero Agatha Raisin. She blunders about the Cotswolds, with brief interludes on Robinson Crusoe's island, witnessing drowned brides and fighting middle age indignities. A book by M.C. Beaton is always a life affirimng, imaginative and entertaining read.
Oh Agatha! You need to stop looking for men to fill your life. You need to raise your self-confidence, and know that you can do it on your own. I found myself missing the character of Bill a lot in this story. I think she needs a little more Bill and a little less love interest. But I still love the series.
Is Agatha finally growing up? She is still incredibly annoying and dependent upon the opinions of others, especially men, but there is a glimmer of hope. The rest of the regular cast of quirky characters are coming along well. There is still hope for Agatha!
PANNA MURPLE VS. OJCIEC MATEUSZ „Agatha Raisin” to nowa panna Murple” zostałam zachęcona na okładce. Oj, tych nowych panien Murple mamy ostatnio zatrzęsienie, i żadnej jeszcze nie udało się dorównać pierwowzorowi, ale może tym razem… A morze było szerokie i głębokie…
Takie sobie lekkie czytadełko pisane nieskomplikowanym językiem, z dość sympatyczną bohaterką, co chwila podpadającą w kłopoty sercowe. Intryga całkiem zgrabnie skonstruowana, bez dziur logicznych, wątków pobocznych niewiele, więc akcja szybko się toczy. Wydawnictwo Edipresse zaoszczędziło na tłumaczu (w polskim tekście występują kalki z angielskiego), ale też na redakcji i korekcie, co trochę irytuje.
Można przeczytać i zapomnieć, ale można też się wciągnąć w serię, jeśli ktoś lubi takie klimaty. Czyta się niezobowiązująco. Do panny Murple jednak pani Raisin daleko, bliżej do ojca Mateusza.