Kris's Reviews > Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton
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's review
Jan 13, 2009

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bookshelves: mystery
Read in April, 2004

** spoiler alert ** Agatha Raisin returns in a third adventure that's even more cozy, charming, and witty than her previous two. With a name like Agatha Raisin and a tendency toward pugnacious pudginess, Agatha may not seem a likely sort of detective, but when a crime is committed in her adopted village of Carsley, she's first on the scene. Mary Fortune, an attractive divorcée newly arrived in Carseley, has raised local eyebrows with her on-again, off-again friendliness, nasty remarks, sharp tongue, and--worst of all--her very public affair with the love of Agatha's life, James Lacey. When several local gardens are destroyed, the villagers believe Mary is involved--until she's found murdered in a particularly nasty manner. The local coppers move too slowly for Agatha's taste, so she dons her detective hat and, through a combination of tenaciousness and curiosity, discovers the identity of the killer.

An interesting mystery, though not one that, as a reader, one could really figure out. In this episode, Agatha returns from vacation to find the villagers of Carsley affected by a new-comer, Mary Fortune. And what's worse, James Lacey is infatuated with her. After she is found murdered, planted in her own greenhouse, we find out James Lacey had an affair with Mary and when he went to break it off with her, she was insulting and cruel. Agatha digs deeper to discover other townsfolk were treated the same way. Mary was rude and cruel. Then the next day, she would act like nothing ever happened. Agatha decides to plant a garden but plants too soon and they die in a frost. She uses her ex-coworker Roy and he brings in fencing and all new plants with the understanding that she will have to work for the ad agency for 6 months. She agrees. As this goes on, someone is systematically destroying everyone's gardens, is it Mary? Yes, Mary trampled plants, chopped up flowers, and killed poor Mr. ?. Yes, Mr. someoneelse killed her. Mary killed his fish , his only friends. And she had flirted with him and when he made a play for her, she laughed in his face calling him an old man.


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