In this eighth book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as her insecurities still often get the best of her. Agatha is a menopausal woman in her fifties who is trying to look her best and, despite the encroachment of the aging process, still wants men to find her attractive. This can often lead to missteps by our feisty heroine, as when she tries to wash the gray right out of her hair and ends up with purple hair.
What is a girl to do? Well, Agatha turns to Mr. John, the much in demand hairdresser in the nearby village of Eversham, to rectify the situation. When she meets Mr. John, he actually succeeds in fixing her hair problem, and she, too, falls under the spell of his blue eyes and his charmingly, reassuring manner that inspires cozy confidences. Poor Agatha, she always seems to be looking for love in all the wrong places.
When some clients seem to be afraid of this hair wizard, Agatha's friend, Sir Charles Fraith, suggests that perhaps that those cozy confidences are simply the basis for some sort of blackmail by Mr. John. A concerned Agatha then decides to look into these allegations of blackmail, but before it bears fruit, the hair wizard of Eversham dies under mysterious circumstances, poisoned.
What follows is typical Agatha Raisin. There are many twists and turns, as Agatha, our ever engaging heroine, bumbles along as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Her investigatory efforts, however, land her and Sir Charles Fraith in a bit of a pickle, as they themselves suspects in the murder of the wizard of Eversham. Moreover, just when Agatha thinks that her hair trouble is behind her, insult is added to injury when the actual murderer catches up with her.
As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.