Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death Mass Market Paperback – Mar 15 1999
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
In this book, Agatha volunteers to handle the publicity for bottled water from a village spring, a venture that proves to be somewhat controversial, as some of the villagers are totally against this new enterprise, fearing that it could change their peaceful way of life. Tempers run high, and Agnes finds herself with a potential public relations disaster, when a body turns up in those same spring waters.
Agatha is engaging as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Of course, the on-again, off-again love of her life and neighbor, James Lacey, goes his separate way in his investigatory efforts, as they are off-again, Agatha, as always looking for love in all the wrong places, ends up with a brief romantic fling that she quickly regrets. Moreover, her investigatory efforts land her in a bit of a pickle, and her best friend, Mrs. Bloxy, steps up to home plate and comes to the rescue, when Agatha finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Book arrived when promised and enjoyed reading this book that is part of a murder mystery seriesPublished 4 months ago by Katherine O'Connell
Agatha Raisin always meets my expectations. She a smoker, a drinker, hopelessly romantic, a hard-fisted woman who get what she comes for. Read morePublished on July 27 2014 by D. M. Clifton
Another in the Agatha series that illuminates the true nature of Agatha and her on-going quest for her heart's desire, James. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2013 by Scott Brown
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 morePublished on Feb. 15 2003 by Shirley Schwartz
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 morePublished on Dec 11 2002 by Martha E. Nelson
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 morePublished on May 10 2002 by MLPlayfair
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 morePublished on Oct. 29 2000 by David Spanswick
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 morePublished on Feb. 19 2000