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Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener [Mass Market Paperback]

M.C. Beaton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 29 1995 Agatha Raisin Mysteries
"From the author's sure-fire plot comes this fail-safe moral: It takes an outsider to open people's eyes to the beauty--and the evil--within."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Beaton has a winner in the irrepressible, romance-hungry Agatha."
--Chicago Sun Times
Never say die. That's the philosophy Agatha Raisin clings to when she comes home to cozy Carsely and finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbor, James Lacey. The beautiful newcomer, Mary Fortune, is superior in every way, especially when it comes to gardening. And Agatha, that rose with many thorns, hasn't a green thumb to her name.
With garden Open Day approaching, she longs for a nice juicy murder to remind James of her genius for investigation. And sure enough, a series of destructive assaults on the finest gardens is followed by an appalling murder. Agatha seizes the moment and immediately starts yanking up village secrets by their roots and digging up all the dirt on the victim. Problem is, Agatha has an awkward secret of her own . . . .
"Compare this one to lemon meringue pie: light. . .with a delicious hint of tartness at its heart."
--The Washington Times
"Delightful . . . Hilarious . . . Warning: Once you read one of Beaton's books, you're hooked. No one does the English cozy better."
--Romantic Times

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Stocky, middle-aged Agatha Raisin returns from a long vacation abroad to find the other residents of her Cotswolds village dazzled by a beautiful newcomer. The divorced Mary Fortune has particularly captivated Agatha's neighbor and love interest, James Lacey, sharing, it seems, his passion for gardening. Not to be outdone, Agatha takes up a trowel and, in her determined fashion, wastes no time in buying seedlings while digging for information about Mary. Against Mary's advice, Agatha plants too early; a late frost leaves her with no prospects for the upcoming garden show. A former associate in her London PR firm, desperate to have her back, promises to have her garden secretly replanted if she'll agree to return to work for six months in the fall. As the time for the garden show approaches, malicious pranks wreck the gardens of neighbors who have had run-ins with Mary. Then Agatha finds the newcomer strung up by her heels, her head "planted" in a large pot, and she and James are plunged into another murder investigation. Beaton's dry sense of humor and her unflattering but affectionate portrait of gruff, often adolescent-acting Agatha, make this third tale, following Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet , a bloom worth plucking.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Agatha (Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet, LJ 7/93) returns to quiet Carsely after a lengthy tour to find that a newcomer has supplanted her in the affections of James Lacey, her sleuthing partner and next-door neighbor. This newcomer, a very attractive woman of means, has wriggled her way into the good graces of the villagers. But an upcoming gardening competition reveals hidden animosities and leads to the woman's murder. A simple plot embellished with horticultural manipulations provides the perfect background for the lovelorn Agatha and her unique brand of humor. For series fans and others.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Takes Her Place as a Village Character June 21 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Like many readers, I found Agatha Raisin to be irresistible as a character when she first appeared in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. Here was a blunt, high-powered, but lonely, woman who wanted to start a new life amid her fantasy of what life is like in a Cotswold village. Her pushy instincts in that book worked well (when employed to raise funds for charity) and backfired when aimed at self-promotion (entering a store-bought quiche in a baking contest). Where would M. C. Beaton take this fascinating character?

In Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet, Agatha began to overcome her tendency to pursue James Lacey, her handsome bachelor neighbor, enough to attract him as a sleuthing partner. With Bill Wong as her advisor in the pursuit of the proper male, can she learn to be more reserved?

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener combines both perspectives into one story. Agatha returns from an extended trip to find that James Lacey seems totally taken with a beautiful incomer, Mary Fortune, who has looks, money, and the same gardening interests as James. Agatha is stirred into action and decides to become a horticulturalist. Naturally, she doesn't know the first thing about what she's doing. Despite a warning from Mary that a frost is coming, Agatha puts out her seedlings. The result is a bare garden. Will Agatha cheat again to get her way?

Before the story is over, there's another murder in Carsely and Agatha is immediately in hot pursuit . . . with James Lacey soon enticed into joining her investigation. Before she's done, Agatha even braves the Boggles (the hard-to-satisfy older couple who like free trips from Quiche of Death) to get information.

This story is a more complex character development than either of the first two books in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The sleuth's a winner, the plot is fluffy Dec 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this at someone else's urging, not being a regular devotee to the mystery genre, and I was pleasantly surprised. Agatha Raisin is delightful, sort of a middle-aged Bridget Jones with brains and business acumen. She rises above cute kookiness--her feelings and motivations are quite honestly rendered, though one would wish for her sake she would think before she opens her mouth or acts on some occasions. Most of the pickles she gets herself into are based in her crush on her neighbor, James Lacey, who compares to Mark Darcy of the Bridget Jones books. When the inevitable murder comes due, she and Lacey manage to work together until they solve the whodunit.
Beaton is a witty writer who turns a nice sentence. She makes satirical hay of the village murder mystery genre and the age-old theme of fish out of water (Agatha has taken early retirement in a Cotswold village, escaping momentarily from a high-powered London job.) The actual mystery is kind of poofy; James quietly nails it early on, but his observation is thrown away. It is obvious from the getgo who will be murdered, a rather inscrutable character who the author has set up with a variety of conflicting behaviors but never imbues with the psychological resonance that would explain or reconcile the behaviors. In other words, a cartoon. The obligatory red herrings don't fare much better. The villagers more than make up for this lapse in character definition, however.
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4.0 out of 5 stars --A viper in the Carsely gardens-- Nov. 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Feisty Agatha Raisin returns from a holiday to her cozy home in the Cotswolds. The vacation was interesting, but lonely and she missed her home and her friends in Carsely. While she was away, a lovely blond named Mary Fortune had moved to the village and become very popular. Mary had also captured James Lacey's heart and that was too much for our Agatha who was mad about James. Mary and James share a love of gardening which leads Agatha to take it up herself, but her attempts only lead to disaster.
The villagers are all excited and getting their gardens prepared for the contest which is the the talk of Carsely. As the date for the horticultural contest gets near, something very unexpected happens as various gardens are destroyed in a malicious fashion. The police are called to investigate and then the prime suspect is found murdered. Of course, Agatha must and does get involved with solving the murder case.
This is the third book in this fascinating series and a most enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cheaters Never Prosper! June 19 2003
By L Smith
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Raisin returns in the 3rd book in this series. In this book, Agatha returns from a lengthy vacation only to find that a beautiful newcomer, Mary Fortune, threatens to snare James Lacey's affections. It seems that the perfect Ms. Fortune shares James' love of gardening and she plans to enter her property into the local garden show. Agatha's black thumb does not prevent her from entering the garden show herself, but she soon finds herself having to cheat when all of her seedlings are destroyed in a early frost. Agatha turns to the help of Roy Silver, P.R. cohort, to replant her garden with fully grown nursery plants. However, someone in Carsley is destroying all of the neighbor's gardens, and then Ms. Fortune is found "planted" in a pot...dead. It is up to Agatha to solve the murder before the murderer plants her too.
The Agatha Raisin mysteries are a delight from start to finish! I loved Agatha's gruff exterior but warm heart. It is heartening to see a character that has flaws, but that can make you laugh too. Agatha gets more loveable in each book, and really draws readers into her life. With both of M.C. Beaton's series (she also writes the Hamish MacBeth series), she makes the reader want to take a trip to the Cotswolds to meet the characters she has so vividly created.
The first book in the series is "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death". Enjoy!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last entry
Having been very disappointed in the last entry in this series (it was a complete rehash of the first book), I had almost decided not to buy this one, the third in the series, but... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by Louis M. Perdue
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin, grouch extraordinaire
Agatha Raisin is a fifty something independant woman who finds, after years of not giving a [darn] that all she wants now is a man- badly. Agatha is moody, rude, and fantastic. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by charlotte simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin Triumphs Again
Agatha is becoming much more likeable with each book. Here we see quite a bit of her vulnerable side. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2002 by S. Schwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I'm hooked.
It's a great pleasure to read Agatha's adventure again. Reading along the book, I thought I became Agatha herself. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by kel
5.0 out of 5 stars AGATHA IS GOOD AGAIN!!!
Have read several of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books. Have liked them all. Agatha is now trying to get into the flower business to impress her, want to be sweetie, James... Read more
Published on March 9 2001 by Mac Blair
4.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Agatha Raisins so far.
It's the third in the series, and Agatha's becoming a little more likable. Or I'm just getting more used to her. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2000 by MLPlayfair
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it.
I'm sorry. I have tried to read M.C. Beaton's Agatha series, but after three attempts I can honestly say I do not like them. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Departure
I enjoyed this book more than anything I've read recently. The setting is the classic English country village, where doors go unlocked and gardening, tea, and the Ladies Society... Read more
Published on July 16 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin is really a delight and great fun to know!
I am very infatuated with Agatha Raisin and am so glad to get acquainted with her. This book was a super way to escape from the cares of housework. Read more
Published on June 9 1997
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