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Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death [Mass Market Paperback]

M. C. Beaton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15 1999 Agatha Raisin Mysteries (Book 7)
This time, the feisty sleuth stumbles upon the victim of an unnatural death in Cotswold village's famous natural spring. Who was the unlucky corpse? The Ancombe Parish Council chairman-and the only uncommitted member voting on whether to allow the Ancombe Water Company to tap into the town's spring. Add ex-fiance James, watery politicians, and slippery entrepreneurs to the mix, and you have Agatha Raisin up to her neck in a murky murder mystery.

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From Amazon

Agatha Raisin, the crusty, yet perversely self-conscious Londoner who has resettled in the ostensible calm of a Cotswold village stars in her seventh adventure by M.C. Beaton. In this episode, Agatha has agreed to come out of retirement to manage the publicity for the launch of water bottled from a village spring--much to the chagrin of some of her neighbors. Worried that the commodification of at least part of the village's charm might wreak havoc on their peaceful existence, some of the community try to stop it once and for all. Still, killing off a member of the village council and leaving the corpse in the spring itself seems a little extreme, especially as it makes Agatha's paying job a bit more difficult. Believing that a dead body might destroy the chances for a successful campaign to market her product, Agatha begins an investigation into who might have wanted the victim dead.

Agatha Raisin continues to be an engaging and slightly puzzling heroine in The Wellspring of Death. She careens around the Cotswolds asking impertinent questions regarding the personal lives of her neighbors, all the while wondering why so many of them are unpleasant to her. She manages to muddle her own romantic affairs to such an extent that she finds herself in bed with her young and handsome employer--to the dismay of her former fiancée. Yet, in spite of all this, she engages in the occasional humorous assessment of what life among charming façades and lovely vistas is really like (crowded shopping in too small stores) and has a peculiarly British obsession with class and accent. There is much to appreciate here and little that is daunting or dismal. --K.A. Crouch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Cotswolds snoop Agatha Raisin (Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, 1997, etc.), still smarting from her broken engagement to neighbor James Lacey, returns in yet another cozy featuring backbiting provincial villagers. The Ancombe Water Company is trying to negotiate a deal with the parish council to bottle water from a historic village spring, a move that has sharply divided the council. When the body of Robert Struthers, the council chairman who had not yet committed on the issue, is found head-down in the spring, Agatha, who's doing PR for the water company, and James each decide to investigate. Bitterness keeps them apart, and 50-something Agatha is romanced by the much younger Guy Freemont, a company director. Beaton performs deftly, with Agatha pining for James while weighing the pros and cons of village life. Particularly entertaining elements include James's undercover stint in a militant environment group and, in a finale that follows a second murder, the introduction of a new side to Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's usually plodding wife.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At the end of Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, Agatha realizes that James Lacey is probably not going to become her husband in this lifetime. That realization leaves her feeling flat and depressed. When her former assistant, Roy Silver, calls to offer a job doing PR for a local water company, she's mildly interested. That flicker of intrigue is soon fanned into a bonfire when a trip to the water company's source causes Agatha to find the dead body of Mr. Robert Struthers, chairman of the Ancombe Parish Council, a group that was about to hold a key vote on allowing the new water company to use the spring. What better way to sleuth than to have the chance to use PR as a cover?

Agatha is soon attracted to one of the owners of the new company, Guy Freemont, who is "tall and slim, with jet-black hair and very blue eyes, a tanned skin and an athlete's body." Guy takes her out and they end up spending the night. This becomes a routine that keeps Agatha worrying about her appearance while others tell her she's making a fool of herself.

Agatha's suspicions soon focus on the parish council, whose members are a particularly nasty and unfriendly lot. Motives and bad behavior abound. James Lacey chooses to investigate without Agatha and turns up even more motives for murder.

One of the hilarious events of the book builds around Agatha trying to make a local fete into a large PR event, as circumstances and villains conspire against her.

The resolution of the mystery includes some good drama that will delight Agatha's fans.

I found that the reduced emphasis on James Lacey in this book gave this series a new shot of adrenaline and brought back the awkwardness and earnestness of Agatha Raisin into center stage where she reigns so well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who Wants to Buy This Water? July 1 2003
By L Smith
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this 7th book in the Agatha Raisin series, Agatha is asked to come out of retirement to help a local firm promote its spring water, bottled from a historic village spring. The parish council members are divided on whether to agree to the deal, and one of the members soon turns up dead...in the spring! Agatha must put a spin on this P.R. disaster, and in the process once again steps in to blunder her way to solving the case.
The Agatha Raisin series is one of my favorite cozy mystery series on the market, and I have enjoyed the character development of Agatha throughout the series. I like that Agatha was able to use some of her P.R. skills in this book, and the fact that the premise to the case was fresh and interesting. After reading several books in the series I began to wonder how Ms. Beaton would develop new cases for Agatha since it would be odd to have a village where everyone went around killing one another. (Who would want to live there?) However, I think that each case Agatha stumbles across (she always happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!) is entertaining and somewhat believable. Agatha is a rich character that is not at all what she seems on the outside, and I believe that it takes several books to get to know the true goodness of this character. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you will find that this series is a humorous delight.
The first book in the series is "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death". Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mineral Water Can Be Deadly May 15 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The village of Ancombe is in an uproar. A mineral water company has requested the right to bottle part of its spring every day. Part of the town thinks this is just what their economy needs, but the other part doesn't want the increase of people this would bring. Agatha Raisin agrees to come out of retirement to handle the public relations for the company. But then a body is found. What side of the issue was the victim on? Will this help or hurt Agatha's new job? And can she find the killer before the launch of the label is ruined?
This book was my introduction to Agatha and her friends. While she is a gruff woman with some vices I don't like, I found myself liking the character. The sub-plots in her personal life seemed a bit immature, but I found them funny and the insecurity they brought out made me like the character. My only real complaint was the plot. While it did eventually pick up speed, much of the first half seemed slow to me, with not much advancement in the story. But once things got moving, I was hooked and completely surprised by the ending.
This won't be my last case with Ms. Raisin. I look forward to catching up on the back-story of this lovable crank and seeing where she goes from here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best in this series yet June 22 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The Cotswold Village council is acrimoniously split as to allowing a company to bottle water from the town's historically famous spring. Acrimonious turns out to be not a sharp enough description as the corpse of the uncommitted council president is found inside the spring. Agatha Raisin, who has been hired by the Anacombe Water Company to provide public relations for the firm, decides to investigate. Her former fiancé, James Lacey also begins to inquire as to what happened to the president.
James and Agatha are irate with one another and refuse to help each other on their independent investigations. Although James has hurt her deeply, Agatha misses James, but she is seeing a much younger man. At the same time, her investigation seems to be going nowhere as everyone has an alibi. When a second murder occurs, Agatha realizes that she needs to uncover the identity of a killer, who will do anything to win the argument over the spring.
In the seventh Agatha raisin mystery, M.C. Beaton continues to keep her characters and their village fresh, especially as they struggle with the influx of major outside capitalism on a historical item. The story line is intriguing as the investigation by amateur sleuth extraodinaire Agatha is adroitly developed. This collection continues to be one of the best English cozy series on the market.

Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Raisin always meets my expectations. She a smoker ...
Agatha Raisin always meets my expectations. She a smoker, a drinker, hopelessly romantic, a hard-fisted woman who get what she comes for. Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. M. Clifton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cozy read
Another in the Agatha series that illuminates the true nature of Agatha and her on-going quest for her heart's desire, James. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Scott Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars BOTTLED WATER IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU...
In this seventh book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. Read more
Published on March 11 2012 by Lawyeraau
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite The Title!!
This is a good Agatha Raisin story. I found myself enjoying it immensely. Of course it helped that James Lacey was not in it as much as he is in some of the other stories. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2003 by S. Schwartz
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, But Doesn't Cover Much New Ground
This is a good addition to the Agatha Raisin series. The most interesting thing here, without giving much away, is that this novel has a surprisingly active ending, and Mrs. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002 by Martha E. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another satisfying Agatha and James mystery.
Reading an Agatha book like AGATHA RAISIN AND THE WELLSPRING OF DEATH is like eating chocolate-covered jalapeno peppers while drinking grapefruit juice, followed by a nice, hot cup... Read more
Published on May 10 2002 by MLPlayfair
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Agatha
it was the name "Agatha" that drew me to this book: my first Agatha Raisin and being a crime fan it is no puzzle to see how this came about. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2000 by David Spanswick
3.0 out of 5 stars Femme fatale
I cannot understand why the young male characters in the Agatha Raisin series are so fascinated with this stocky, rude, overeating, heavy-drinking, middle-aged, promiscuous,... Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Less James and more Agatha
I do enjoy feisty Agatha and her self-doubts, but I am tired of James, though I do find Roy, who is transparent, amusing. Read more
Published on March 11 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
I like the character "Agitha Raisin", I thought she lost some of her independance in this story. However, she still is entertaining.
Published on March 9 1999
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