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Kissing Christmas Goodbye Hardcover – Oct 2 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (Oct. 2 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312349114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312349110
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.4 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,073,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The indestructible Agatha Raisin, still at the top of her game in her darkly droll 17th whodunit (after Love, Lies and Liquor), is feeling woefully middle-aged after hiring Toni Gilmour, an endearing U.K.-style Nancy Drew full of teen energy and charm. As Toni takes over the pet recovery end of the sleuthing business, Agatha looks into a mysterious letter from Phyllis Tamworthy, the rich matriarch of the Manor House in the idyllic Cotswolds, who suspects family members of plotting to kill her before she can change her will to disinherit them. Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attend Phyllis's 80th birthday party, only to see the lady keel over, poisoned by hemlock in her salad. Digging into Phyllis's past yields an even darker mystery. Bestseller Beaton's dry wit enhances Agatha's struggles with aging, men and her most challenging case yet. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Acclaim for M. C. Beaton and the Agatha Raisin Series
 
 "Beaton's Agatha Raisin series just about defines the British cozy."
---Booklist
 
"Few things in life are more satisfying than to discover a brand-new Agatha Raisin mystery."
---The Tampa Tribune
 
"Anyone interested in...intelligent, amusing reading will want to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Agatha Raisin."
---The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
 
"[Beaton's] imperfect heroine is an absolute gem!"
---Publishers Weekly
 
"Outwardly bossy and vain, inwardly insecure and vulnerable, Agatha grows more endearing with each installment."
---The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
 
"[M. C. Beaton] is Britain's successor to Dame Agatha Christie. If you've never read an Agatha Raisin novel, it's time to start.... All of them are cunningly plotted, beautifully written, and more fun than you can imagine."
---The Globe and Mail
 
"[Agatha] is a glorious cross between Miss Marple, Auntie Mame, and Lucille Ball, with a tad of pit bull tossed in. She's wonderful."
---St. Petersburg Times

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 12 2007
Format: Hardcover
The suspense in Kissing Christmas Goodbye is mostly focused on whether Agatha Raisin will be able to pull off a splendid Christmas party with James Lacey at her side: That's one of her dreams as the book opens. Having grown up as the daughter of two alcoholics in the Birmingham slums, Agatha has always craved a classic Christmas dinner. Her previous attempt hit a major snag when she burned her turkey and had to be bailed out by a last-minute caterer, but everyone had fun.

The detective agency is doing well because Agatha has overcome her scruples about taking on divorce cases, even if everyone on the staff finds them distasteful. But without the fantasy of a man to fall in love with, Agatha finds herself bored by it all. With her Christmas fantasy, she finds a substitute for romantic fantasies.

Life becomes more interesting when Agatha decides to check out an invitation from Phyllis Tamworthy, an elderly woman who claims that her family is about to kill her. Agatha takes on the assignment of preventing the murder and ends up having one of the worst country weekends imaginable. Mrs. Tamworthy is right about one thing: Someone is out to get her. The detecting trail leads Agatha to learn a great deal about this unpleasant woman and her undesirable family.

For me, the best part of the book came in the introduction of a new character, Toni Gilmour, a 17-year-old woman who seems to be a young Agatha Raisin in the making. Toni is hired to do the pet detecting that Harry Beam used to do before he headed off to Cambridge for his university studies. Toni is soon promoted into the front ranks as a detective due to her remarkable insights and good luck. But it's Agatha's reaction to Toni that makes this a good story: Agatha turns maternal, something we haven't seen before.
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By Sally Black on April 25 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poor dear with all that goes on in the kitchen-- excluding the microwave !!
Christmas & Agatha are great to read about but you really would not wish to join her for a home cooked meal of any kind.
We all have one area about us that needs improving,and she is so good in every other department, she is always forgiven for her lack of cooking skills.
Read and enjoy !!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NBV on Jan. 31 2008
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to like this book, but M.C.Beaton really is a rather poor writer. Her sentences are so choppy that reading this book is like stumbling on wet cobblestones - there's no smooth flow, and the writing gets in the way of the story.

She's never been a really good writer, but I think she's gone downhill since her better Hamish MacBeth efforts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 54 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
a paticularly satisfying Agatha Raisin installment Oct. 14 2007
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I wholeheartedly concur with the previous reviewers: this particular Agatha Raisin installment is a good one.

It's beginning to look as if the bloom has fallen off Agatha Raisin's obsessive love for her handsome ex-husband, James Lacey. Not that Agatha is about to admit to this. No. she's decided that her feelings if ennui are down to the lack of a really good investigation that she can sink her teeth into. So that when Agatha receives a letter from Phyllis Tamworthy who claims that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Agatha thinks that Phyllis Tamworthy may be a nutter, but something about the letter gives her pause. What if it is authentic? What if Phyllis Tamworthy is in real danger? With visions of Agatha Christie's "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" in mind (Christmas is after all round the corner), Agatha decides to take on the case. Isn't just typical then that all of Agatha's Christie-like visions would come to nothing? Phyllis turns out to be penny-pinching bully to comes her children firmly under her thumb, while Phyllis' children seem to be so colourless and spineless a bunch, that Agatha has a hard time seeing any of them as potential killers. But when Phyllis drops dead after a truly awful tea, Agatha is sure that a very cunning murderer has struck. Quickly Agatha springs into action, determined to discover who murdered Phyllis, and no one, not the hostile police officers in charge of the case or Phyllis' equally hostile relatives or the twinge in her hip are going to stop her...

While the last few Agatha Raisin installments have not been exactly topnotch, "Kissing Christmas Goodbye" will remind fans of the Agatha Raisin installments that shone. Our prickly and acerbic Agatha is in top form as she juggles trying to figure out who murdered Phyllis, sorting out her latest employee's domestic problems and obsessing about giving her friends a truly spectacular Christmas dinner. I enjoyed every single moment of "Kissing Christmas Goodbye," and am truly delighted at being able to recommend it as a good read not only to fervent fans of the series but to anyone looking for a nice British cozy to curl up with. As to the perennial question: how will things pan out for James and Agatha? This installment moves neither backwards nor forwards in answering the question. There are intimations that Agatha may no longer be in love with James; but can we believe this? I'm not too sure and will look to the next Agatha Raisin installment for answers!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Best yet in the series--and by no means strictly a "holiday" book Oct. 11 2007
By BC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm only giving an opinion, not a review per se, the book jacket says it all. There is a new character that adds a lot of life to the series, very little James (thank goodness) and a dash of Roy, the vicar's wife and Bill Wong all combined with a mystery that for once I didn't figure out before the big reveal. It's light, it's fluffy & it's all Agatha. I loved it so much that I wish M.C. Beaton would slow down on the Hamish McBeth series for a bit & dedicate more time to Agatha Raisin.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Will Agatha Enjoy a White Christmas with James Lacey? Oct. 12 2007
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The suspense in Kissing Christmas Goodbye is mostly focused on whether Agatha Raisin will be able to pull off a splendid Christmas party with James Lacey at her side: That's one of her dreams as the book opens. Having grown up as the daughter of two alcoholics in the Birmingham slums, Agatha has always craved a classic Christmas dinner. Her previous attempt hit a major snag when she burned her turkey and had to be bailed out by a last-minute caterer, but everyone had fun.

The detective agency is doing well because Agatha has overcome her scruples about taking on divorce cases, even if everyone on the staff finds them distasteful. But without the fantasy of a man to fall in love with, Agatha finds herself bored by it all. With her Christmas fantasy, she finds a substitute for romantic fantasies.

Life becomes more interesting when Agatha decides to check out an invitation from Phyllis Tamworthy, an elderly woman who claims that her family is about to kill her. Agatha takes on the assignment of preventing the murder and ends up having one of the worst country weekends imaginable. Mrs. Tamworthy is right about one thing: Someone is out to get her. The detecting trail leads Agatha to learn a great deal about this unpleasant woman and her undesirable family.

For me, the best part of the book came in the introduction of a new character, Toni Gilmour, a 17-year-old woman who seems to be a young Agatha Raisin in the making. Toni is hired to do the pet detecting that Harry Beam used to do before he headed off to Cambridge for his university studies. Toni is soon promoted into the front ranks as a detective due to her remarkable insights and good luck. But it's Agatha's reaction to Toni that makes this a good story: Agatha turns maternal, something we haven't seen before. I hope we will see and hear a lot more of Toni in future books in the series.

The story is fun and I would have graded the book higher except that this is a most transparent mystery in terms of who did what to whom. How could I grade a book above average if the mystery is child's play?

But I know this book will bring many smiles to your face.

Merry Christmas!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Agatha Has Perfected Imperfection Dec 20 2007
By Antoinette Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The feisty and ferocious Agatha Raisin is back in her 17th adventure with all the charm of a snappy pit bull. Jealous and cranky, yet incredibly kind and generous, Agatha's vulnerability has won her legions of fan who will enjoy this, one of the best in the series. Not only is there a country house mystery, but the Christmas setting adds charm as Agatha prepares to celebrate her best Christmas ever with friends, snow, yuletide decorations, and hopefully, James Lacey at her side.

The brightest spot in the novel may be the addition of a new character, teenage Toni Gilmour, whose background is eerily akin to that of Agatha. Toni may be the anti-Agatha: young, beautiful, vivacious, charming and clever. Despite Agatha's occasional bursts of jealousy, the two women are friends as well as fellow detectives and Agatha's incredible generosity in helping Toni softens the many hard edges she still exhibits.

Mrs. Tamworthy, matriarch of a highly dysfunctional family, hires Agatha to find the person who is attempting to kill her. More murders follow as Agatha is both friend and enemy to the Tamworthy heirs. There are red herrings aplenty before she finally cracks the case and can enjoy hosting her Christmas party. Will she get the snow she longs for and will James Lacey be the man she dreams he can be?

Long-time readers will enjoy visits from Bill Wong, Roy Silver, Sir Charles Fraith, Mrs. Bloxby (and even a deeper look at Alf Bloxby) and another cameo appearance by James Lacey. Two big questions remain to tease readers at the end: is Agatha really over James and has Bill Wong found the girl of his dreams at last? Can't wait for the next installment!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
-----Agatha dreams of a perfect white Christmas----- Nov. 4 2007
By Judith Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With KISSING CHRISTMAS GOODBYE, M.C. Beaton gives us an exceptionally good story that is not only filled with details of Agatha's life, but also contains an interesting mystery!

Agatha Raisin has a rich dream life. In most of her dreams she does wonderful things and her friends admire and love her. She especially relishes the love of her former husband, James Lacey. This time Agatha is planning on having a wonderful Christmas dinner party where the food and decorations are excellent and her guests are full of admiration and love for her.

In the mean time, she has her detective agency to run. She needs another employee to work on the missing pet problems and hires a teenage girl named Toni. Toni proves to be even better than Agatha could have imagined. The young woman is smart and has a great deal of incentive. Agatha is, of course, jealous of Toni's youth, beauty and brains, but knows she's hired a good detective.

The agency's biggest case involves a very wealthy woman who is murdered before she could cut all of her children out of her will. All of Agatha's detectives get involved in the investigation including her friends Sir Charles Firth and Roy Silver

Judith Miller


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