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"She was a stocky middle-aged woman with good legs, a round face and small bearlike eyes which looked suspiciously out at the world. Her hair had always been her pride, thick and brown and glossy."
That description, which could also fit Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, tells us almost everything we need to know about Agatha Raisin, M.C. Beaton's smartly updated Miss Marple, who does most of her amateur sleuthing amidst the glowing stone villages of England's Cotswold district. Cozy without being the least bit cute, Beaton's books about this tough little Raisin cookie are well-made and smoothly oiled entertainment machines, working unexpected changes on familiar turf.
It is indeed her prideful hair that leads Agatha onto the trail of murder in her eighth adventure, when a charming hairdresser called Mr. John repairs her disastrous home dye job, then makes what appear to be romantic overtures. Love will not blossom here though, as some time later Mr. John is discovered dead in his chair, the victim of a Christie-like rare poison. Was the hairdresser also a collector of dirty secrets? Or was his killer just having a bad hair day? Trust Agatha and Beaton to solve it all in style, complaining all the way of course.
Previous Agatha Raisin outings include Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage, and Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It doesn't take long for Agatha Raisin, the touchy heroine of the series of catty English cozies by the prolific Beaton (see Death of an Addict, above), to turn a bad hair day into a mini-crime wave. In an attempt to get rid of the gray, Agatha accidentally colors her hair purple. Soon she finds herself in the capable hands of Mr. John, a hairdresser with a devoted following in nearby Evesham. Tinting and styling aren't his only tricksAwith his deep blue eyes and sympathetic nature, he coaxes all sorts of confidences out of his clients. Even the tough Agatha half falls under his spell, although she has an excuse since she's heartsick over neighbor James Lacey, who's left her alone while he goes on holiday. But when several of Agatha's neighbors appear terrified of Mr. John, her fellow amateur sleuth Sir Charles suggestsAalmost hopefully, in his summer doldrumsAthat the hairdresser might be a blackmailer. Agatha agrees to set herself up to catch Mr. John in the act, but the suspect dies of poisoning before he can take the bait. Fearing she might be on a killer's shortlist herself, Agatha sets out to find the murderer. Beaton masterfully describes the annoyances and ego deflations suffered by the middle-aged Agatha, as well as the summertime blues caused by unusually hot weather. But the plot, which itself seems to suffer from heat exhaustion, isn't terribly plausible, and could have used a dose of the wide-eyed Detective Sergeant Bill Wong, who barely shows up here. Agatha's fans will take her any way they can get her, but they won't leave this one feeling fully satisfied.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A bit different but always enticing !! Agatha finds a hair magician to help her get back to her natural ?? shade and finds much more , as well as some romance.
M. C. Beaton is one of my favourite authors. Her Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries seem to go on and on and I can't wait for the next one. Read morePublished on July 1 2011 by Wol Curtis
I read this book in two sittings, and it's the first I've read in the series. Honestly, I love M.C. Beaton now. So, I went and bought a bunch of Raisin Novels. Read morePublished on April 30 2004
I enjoyed this installment of Agatha. If nothing else, we were spared the odious James this time round. I think Charles is better than him - at least he's true to a type! Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2003 by S. Schwartz
This book was really great and it seemed to loose something at the end.
I love all the characters Agatha Raisin is in contact with.
Ok, Agatha is not perfect. She is still too obsessed with James Lacey and keeps on getting together (for a night at least) with that idiot, Sir Charles Fraith. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2000
I was not impressed with this latest Agatha Raisin mystery. M.C. Beaton seemed to be writing to fulfill a contract. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 1999 by Lisa
Although this book was a tad more cohesively written than the "wellspring of death", and the reappearance of Charles is less numbing than James, I, too am eager for... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 1999