Death of an Honest Man review

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Goodreads: Sergeant Hamish Macbeth–Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman–returns in M.C. Beaton’s new mystery in her New York Times bestselling series.
Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat.

He attended church in Lochdubh. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat and in these days of increasing obesity it was her duty to show a good example. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie–who repeated all the last words of her twin sister–that she needed psychiatric help.

“I speak as I find,” he bragged. Voices saying, “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.

Started this book a little after midnight and had it done at 7:30 a.m.  It was true to the other Hamish books and it was good to read one for it seems like it took forever to become available.  I kid you not, I was 148th on a list for this book at the library.  I went ahead and bought it rather than wait.
Some would think that, this being the 33rd book, the series would be getting old but, alas, it does not.  I enjoyed this book as much as the first one I read.  Hamish is such a character that it is hard not to love him.
The story line keeps a person interested and while we really don’t get much of a chance to get to know the self-declared “honest” man (who isn’t very honest) before he is done off, I still didn’t like him.  With Blair up to his usual tricks, Hamish has to stay on his toes.
The book does do one thing I found a bit anti-climatic and that was its constant referral to something evil coming but failed, I think, to deliver on it but it is a small thing.
The hardest thing about reading this book is that I will have to wait another year or longer before the next one comes out.  I give it an A.
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Death of a Ghost review

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Another Hamish Macbeth story. I enjoyed the story and following Hamish about again as he struggles to figure out the identity of the killer or killers. He is always a colorful character who tries to do what is right but has to dabble in the wrong now and then as well.

I found the ending rather vague – like a quick wrap up of information rather than storyline. But overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one in the series.

I give the book an A – it kind of covers old ground but still, it kept me reading till the end.

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist review

278555Goodreads: In this sixth delightful outing Agatha travels to the north of Cyprus, only to contend with her estranged fiance, an egregious group of truly terrible tourists, and a string of murders as scorching as the Greek sun.”

OK, I am taking a break from this series.  I didn’t like Agatha in this one at all.  Instead of endearing me to her, I found her unbearable.  All she did was complain, whine, pester and make a fool of herself.  It was difficult to get through.

I’m tired of her only reason for pursuing these murders is the chance to be near Lacey – who seems like a cold fish anyway.  He is always running away and Agatha can’t leave well enough alone.  This relationship has run its course – I hope the author moves on because the same old things book after book is getting old.

James goes abroad and Agatha has to go gallivanting around trying to find him in some inane hope of making him fall back in love with her.  I’ve never understood women who make a fool of themselves over a man who is obviously not interested.  Her jealousy and outbursts make me think she needs therapy and lots of it.

Perhaps it is just that I have read too many in a row but this one has virtually turned me off of the series.  Figure I will give it a month and then try the next one.  Have to read three more books to make my 2015 challenge so hope I can find something else to read in December.

I give this book a D.  I know that I am in the minority here – most people gave it four or five stars.

Walkers of Dembley and Murderous Marriage reviews

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Goodreads: Agatha Raisin joins Dembley hiking club to pursue handsome Cotswold neighbor James Lacey. Angry member Jessica targets wealthy landowner Charles Fraith, who retaliates with tea invitation, but her body is found dead on his grounds. Agatha and James investigate the crime, the group ready to kill.

Well, this one was pretty predictable and even a tad bit disappointing.  Not that it wasn’t well written and a decent read, but after the Hamish Macbeth series, I expected more than a middle-aged woman blundering about after some handsome neighbor.  Kind of thought Agatha would grow beyond this by now.

The story is alright – hopefully one will end sometime without Agatha almost being killed.  That is one of the reasons I stopped reading the Maggie O’Dell series – Maggie was always “recovering” from the last book’s assault on her life at the beginning and being shot, kidnapped, stabbed, etc., by the end of the next one.  No one would really have that happen – it was too far-fetched even for my pretty relaxed standards.

I give this one a C and hope the next will be better.

181665Goodreads: In her fifth outing, Agatha Raisin – the sometimes pushy, sometimes endearing heroine of Beaton’s Cotswold village mystery series – has her marriage to next-door neighbour James Lacey disrupted by the startling appearance of her undivorced, long-thought-dead first husband, Jimmy Raisin. Matters go quickly from bad to worse when Jimmy is found murdered – and Agatha and James are the prime suspects.

Well, I’m not to sure what to say about this one.  I didn’t want to read it because I knew the ex would blunder in and ruin the marriage.  Of course, if he hadn’t, the books wouldn’t be “Agatha Raisin” anymore as she was likely to take the last name of her husband.  The story was fun enough and while I thought I knew the murderer right off, there were enough red herrings to make me doubt myself until the end when I could exclaim, somewhat smugly, that I had known it all along.

Better than the last book but still not as good as Hamish.  Poor Agatha has the worst luck when it comes to men.  Well, she has worse luck when it comes to the murderer almost doing away with her, again.  Think she has used up five of her nine lives.

I could see less of myself in this story.  Agatha seemed so emotionally weak which I know she went through a lot in the story but I found myself wanting her to put on her big girl pants and quit wallowing in self-pity.  Maybe she will emerge through all of this a stronger character.

The countryside sounds wonderful – I find myself wishing I could live in a small town with beautiful countryside.  Then I remember that I grew up in a small town out in the middle of nowhere – it really wasn’t that pleasant.

I give the book an A and look forward to the next one.  If you haven’t given the series a try but like cozy mysteries, you should.  🙂

 

 

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener review

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Goodreads: Agatha Raisin 50s returns from a lonely holiday to find James Lacey having an affair with newcomer Mary Fortune. She sees green – jealous, Mary’s favorite color, and the Garden Open Day competition. A body planted head first brings Mary’s estranged daughter Beth and her violent boyfriend. Agatha investigates with Roy, Bill, and other pals.

I have to say, I find that Beaton’s characters are starting to run together.  It is a bit like reading a soap opera.  LOL

So here we are on the next book ~ they read so quickly and easily! This one was better than the last by far but I had the murder picked out before there even was a murder so guess it wasn’t that suspenseful. Still, it was fun and poor Agatha reminds me so much of myself that I have to shake my head sometimes in wonder.

Agatha is funny, blunt and overwrought all at the same time.  Poor James, the confirmed bachelor, seems totally inept when it comes to women.  He regrets getting himself on the “outs” with Agatha and then regrets getting himself on the “ins” with her too.  I’m afraid I would find such a man rather droll but Agatha seems to think otherwise.

Agatha, herself, can be wishy washy in that first she hates village life, then she loves it, and then she hates it again.  It gets a bit repetitive – I hope it doesn’t continue throughout the entire series.  She seems so sure of herself and strong-willed at times and then a weak, silly old woman at others.

When Mary sets her eyes on James, she has no idea what she is going to encounter with the jealous Agatha who will fight for him out of pure competitiveness.  Poor James wants neither woman but he brings it all on himself.  Then poor Mary gets “potted” and all the sordid details of her affairs comes to light with James getting caught in the crosshairs.

Well, on to the next one.  I don’t have as much time to read now as I did but I will squeeze in one now and then.  These are quick, light reads that give one a sense of accomplishment when they turn the last page.  I give it an A.

Quiche of Death review

139176Goodreads: 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

Have to say, the way I feel about this story mirrors how I felt about the first Hamish Macbeth – it was alright but I wasn’t overly impressed.  However, I decided to give him a second chance which set the hook so deep that I didn’t stop until I had read every one.  Unfortunately for you, I am going to give this series another chance as well so be prepared to possibly have a lot of Agatha Raisin reviews over the next few months.

The story is decent enough but Agatha makes so many mistakes that one wonders how she could finally pull it off.  Her neighbors think she is a bit odd and I would have to say she is.  However, she is charming enough that I found myself liking her.

So yes, on to the next story – though I imagine it will have to wait till Sunday as I expect work to be busy tomorrow.  Decent story, I give it a B.  🙂