M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye

"..this is a marvelous addition to a series that will surely be able to hold its own for many years to come."


Agatha Raisin is dreaming about two things. Having a white Christmas is one of them - and it is only October! The other, of course, is James Lacey sharing that perfect white Christmas with her, his eyes looking into Agatha's, sparkling with love and admiration. Then Agatha wakes up and comes down to earth with a big bump! She has been sent a letter from Mrs. Tamsworthy who lives in a huge manor house and owns the rest of the local village, much to the chagrin of the local villagers. She thinks a member of her family wants her dead and she wants Agatha to investigate. Soon the old lady is dead and Agatha has the pick of a hateful family to choose from and find a murderer.

With her newest member of her detective agency, Toni Gilmour, in tow, Agatha starts to dig deep into the family history and finds that there are a few more skeletons to be discovered – and not all of them have been nicely put away in a wardrobe!

Purchase the book from Amazon.


This is the eighteenth Agatha Raisin adventure and it appears that the redoubtable Agatha is showing no signs of running out of steam. Nor has she lost any of her pleasant manner when telling people where to poke it! Agatha has a lot on her plate in this latest offering. Not only does she have what seems to be a strange old woman in a manor house feeling she is certain to be knocked off her perch, but she has taken a seventeen year-old under her wing in the form of Toni Gilmour. It is very pleasing to see the maternal side of Agatha. Not only is she busy, but, despite it being October, she is already dreaming about the huge Christmas dinner she is going to lay on for most of the villagers whom she has grown to like and love in her strange way. And, of course, James Lacey features largely in the proceedings…or does he? With the help of the wonderful Sir Charles Fraith, who I have to admit is my favourite because he is so incorrigible, self-centred and yet quite charming as well, despite his loathing to spend any of his own money, they set out to investigate. The characters of the book, especially the Tamsworthy family and the local villagers, are a real menagerie of monsters. The plot is even more convoluted than normal and is a real corker, but Agatha manages to bring everything to a conclusion with her usual bumbling ways. The book rounds off with the dinner and even Mrs. Bloxby, another of my favourites, stands up for herself and finally shows that there is more to the woman than simply supplying casseroles at the drop of a hat. She has always been a sort of a silent partner where Agatha is concerned, and I would love her to feature more heavily in a future novel. At the dinner Agatha gets her fondest wish by James being there with her. But what are her true feelings for the man she has always adored? Be prepared for yet another sharp turn of events in the relationship between Agatha and James. As always, Beaton supplies the laughs at Agatha's expense, but this is a marvelous addition to a series that will surely be able to hold its own for many years to come.

Reviewed By: