Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #54: Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage by M.C. Beaton

Number of pages: 197

The murder mystery in the fifth Agatha Raisin book hits a bit too close to home for the heroine, as she and on and off lover James Lacey end up as murder suspects.

Full disclosure is SPOILERY, so...

[Spoiler (click to open)]

At the end of the previous book, Agatha got engaged to James; it seemed a bit too abrupt after just four books, but then it was revealed that Agatha's vindictive former assistant Roy was attempting to locate her supposedly dead husband, Jimmy Raisin, who it turns out is very much alive.

This book starts with Roy finding Jimmy and telling him all about Agatha's wedding plans, before having a change of heard and telling Jimmy he should forget they ever met. Inevitably, this doesn't happen and Jimmy shows up in Carsely on the wedding day, resulting in James calling off the engagement. Shortly after, Jimmy is found murdered.

There isn't just one death in this book, but several, as Agatha and James start playing detective and interviewing suspects; there's also a subplot with Agatha trying to buy back her house, after she sold it in anticipation of moving in with James.

Although there was the usual cliche of Agatha interfering with police business and ignoring instructions to back off, I enjoyed this a lot more than the previous title, mostly through overall better writing and some good plot twists that kept me guessing throughout.

I plan on reading the next book, Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist soon, particularly as, to my recollection, it hasn't yet been adapted by Sky One.

Next book: Us (David Nicholls)
Tags: book review, british, humor, murder mystery, mystery, period fiction (20th century), television

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