M.C. Beaton

Pushing Up Daisies

"Another case solved by Agatha Raisin… in her heavy hobnail boots!"


Agatha Raisin is feeling unloved… again. She always seems to plump for the wrong man and so dives in to a case she should leave well alone. Lord Bellington owns the land where the local allotments are located – and Bellington wants to sell off the land to developers for a big wad of cash. The locals are outraged. Agatha decides she is the voice of reason and so visits the large, hairy Lord Bellington whose manners match is physique. That night someone despatches the Lord by poisoning his very sweet wine. Agatha is employed by Bellington's crazy family to catch the culprit. Then something else is discovered buried on the allotments… and it isn't Harry Perry's stolen gargantuan marrow!

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As always, Agatha blunders from one disaster to another without any compass, moral or otherwise, rubbing people up the wrong way and being downright rude! I don't know what it is about Beaton's books that make me pick them up. It could be the political incorrectness of Agatha herself, saying things we'd love to voice out loud. Or the fact that Agatha is living the life we secretly wish we had with lots of danger and excitement. Whatever 'it' is, they always leave a smile on my face. Here, as always Agatha is feeling lonely, but I get the sense that Agatha would feel alone in a crowded room. It is clever of Beaton to give Agatha who is forthright and dominant such an Achilles heel when it comes to men and that Agatha likes the idea of deferring to the man of her dreams… well, maybe for a while anyway! I am pleased that James has stepped in to the background, making way for one of my favourite characters in this series, Sir Chales Fraith. Here, Beaton seems to be promising more between this couple – it's just that they don't know it themselves, yet! Beaton's structure, (if there is one), lies more in the chaotic plotting of Gladys Mitchell whose books could also be classed as 'bonkers'… but wonderfully so. There were a few too many descriptions of autumnal leaves falling and dancing about, but apart from that this is a jolly fun read for a summer afternoon. Another case solved by Agatha Raisin… in her heavy hobnail boots!

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