Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body Paperback
by M. C. Beaton
Part of the Agatha Raisin series
Agatha Raisin has never been one for enforced holiday cheer, but her friendly little village of Carsely has always prided itself on its traditional Christmas festivities.
But this year the bells will not be ringing out Silent Night as Mr John Sunday, an officer with the Cotswold Health and Safety Board, has chosen Christmas as the time to crack down what he sees as gross misconduct by every man, woman, and child in the vicinity.
The village shop is told it can no longer have wooden shelves which have been there since the time of Queen Victoria 'in case someone is inflicted with a splinter.' The village school is ordered to leave lights on at night 'to prevent unauthorized intruders from tripping in the dark.' And children are warned to not play with "counterfeit banknotes" after passing around toy money in the playground.
But finally Mr Sunday goes too far when he rules that there cannot be a Christmas tree atop the church tower this year.
Soon after the decree and just before Christmas, Agatha is sipping a cup of tea and trying to stay awake as minute by minute of the Carsely Ladies Society meeting at the vicarage drones on when a sudden scream wakes her from her stupor. The ladies rush out of the building and into the garden to find Sunday lying face down in the petunias, very much dead.
Agatha is instantly on the case, but with so many people having threatened the life of the victim, it's almost impossible to know where to start! Praise for the Agatha Raisin series: 'M C Beaton has created a national treasure...Agatha Raisin is the strongest link' Anne Robinson 'M C Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly 'Clever red herrings and some wicked unfinished business guarantees that the listener will pant for a sequel' The Times audiobook review 'The Miss Marple-like Agatha is a refreshingly sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine' Booklist
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 304 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 21/04/2011
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9781849015998
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by riverwillow
Its Christmas but Carsley is strangely subdued as a result of the tyrannical approach of the local Health and Safety Officer, John Sunday. When John Sunday is murdered the list of potential suspects is lengthy. One the prime suspect employs Agatha to find the real murderer, but when she's killed Agatha is determined to discover the identity of the murder. Along the way the usual shenanigans occur, some hilarious some quite dark and things possibly, maybe, develop in Agatha's relationships with Charles and James. An interesting and entertaining instalment to the series.
Review by devenish
Could also have been entitled 'Death of a Health & Safety Inspector'. A bit same old, same old with a couple of murders and our Agatha hot on the trail of the culprits. All right but not one of Beaton's better efforts.