Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry—but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth...
Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner's tag on her toe...
The Quiche of Death is the first installment in the beloved Agatha Raisin mystery series by bestselling author M.C. Beaton.
James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer's behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner. On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits. Gloria never shows up. Four days later, Gloria's body washes up on the beach near Braikie. Now without a date and without his former policeman Dick Fraser (who left the force to buy a bakery), Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again....
Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn't re-appear at final curtain.
Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha's 25th adventure, and you'd think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha's flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again "manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery" (Bookreporter.com).
At home alone for the holidays, Agatha Raisin decides to host a dinner party for the elder residents in her Cotswold village of Winter Parva. Agatha's never been much of a homemaker, but she's dead-set on making this the perfect holiday for the "crumblies," as she affectionately calls them. She's decorated a tree while fending off her cats Hodge and Boswell, and even made a (lumpy) Christmas pudding in between swigs of rum. But when Agatha dumps the pudding on the head of the local self-proclaimed lothario—an eighty-five year old with a beer belly and fingers like sausages—his death by dessert proves more than a trifle as mysteries mount higher than the season's snowfall. So much for trying to do good by her neighbors. Now Agatha needs no less than a Christmas miracle to get herself out of this one...
Deck the halls with boughs of folly this Christmas with Agatha Raisin, a modern-day Miss Marple, who Publishers Weekly calls "an absolute gem!"
When Agatha learns that Jill had hired a private detective to investigate her background, she barges into Jill's office and gives her a piece of her mind, yelling "I could kill you!" So when Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days later, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. But Agatha, along with her team of private detectives, is determined to prove her innocence and find the real culprit. This time Agatha must use her skills to save her own skin.
With Dishing the Dirt, MC Beaton proves that "once you meet Agatha Raisin, you'll keep coming back."(New York Journal of Books)
Freddy Pomfret, a silly and vacuous young man, was almost certainly up to no good before he was shot dead in his London flat. When Rose discovers incriminating evidence pointing to several members of her class, she returns to London high society in order to investigate properly. With the help of Captain Harry Cathcart and Superintendent Kerridge of Scotland Yard, Rose prepares to do the social rounds—uncovering a devious blackmail plot and an unexpected killer.
Set in Britain during the Edwardian world of parties, servants, and scandal, M. C. Beaton's Hasty Death is a delightful combination of murderous intrigue and high society.
There Goes the Bride shows bestselling mystery author M.C. Beaton at the top of her game.
But in M.C. Beaton's Pushing Up Daisies, things are about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. And when Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans, he scoffs, “Do you think I give a damn about what a lot of pesky villagers want?” So it’s no surprise that some in the town are feeling celebratory when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later.
The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. Except the death was apparently murder, and the police see Damian as suspect number one--though Agatha finds plenty of others when he hires her to find the real killer. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer...
Soon, another murder further entangles Gerald and Agatha in a growing web of intrigue as they work with her team of detectives work to uncover the killer’s identity.
In Love, Lies and Liquor, Agatha Raisin is lonely. Busy as she is with her detective agency and the meetings of the Carsely Ladies' Society, she still misses her ex-husband, James Lacey, so she welcomes his return to the cottage next door with her usual triumph of optimism over experience---especially when he invites her on holiday at a surprise location that was once very dear to him. With visions of a romantic hideaway in Italy or the Pacific dancing in her head, Agatha goes off happily with James to...Snoth-on-Sea, in Sussex.
While James may have fond memories of boyhood holidays there, Snoth-on-Sea has seen better days, as has the once-grand Palace Hotel, now run-down and tacky and freezing cold. Nor do the other guests have much to recommend them, especially the brassy honeymoon couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jankers, who pick a fight with Agatha in the dining room. But trouble has a way of following Agatha even if romance does not: Just as she and James are preparing to flee to warmer climes, Geraldine Jankers is found dead on the beach---strangled with Agatha's scarf. So much for Agatha's holiday fantasies: Not only is it time to put her detective skills to work, but the police are not even sure that she'll be allowed to leave town.
Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate is the thirteenth book in this bestselling series by veteran mystery author M.C. Beaton.
Bossy, impulsive, and unlucky in love, the all-too-human Agatha Raisin has proved to be a surprisingly effective---and endearing---amateur sleuth. But can Agatha make it as a private investigator? After getting mugged on vacation, in what she will always think of as the Paris Incident, she decides to find out.
Agatha soon learns that running her own detective agency in the Cotswolds is not quite like starring in a Raymond Chandler movie. Instead of dames in distress with big shoulder pads, her clients are ladies with missing cats and a man whose son has run off with his car. Agatha even worries that she might be outclassed by her sixty-seven-year-old secretary, Emma Comfrey.
But then wealthy divorcée Catherine Laggat-Brown walks in with their first "real" case. Mrs. Laggat-Brown's daughter has received a death threat, and when Agatha thwarts an attack on the girl at a dinner dance, she recognizes an opportunity to show what Raisin Investigations can do. Even better, the case gives her a chance to reunite with her long-absent friend, Sir Charles Fraith. As they scour the Cotswolds in search of leads, Charles' insights prove invaluable and his charms irresistible, leading poor Emma to fall madly in love with him.
As ever, in The Deadly Dance, Agatha bumbles her way through the case, trying her friends' patience and flirting shamelessly with the chief suspect. Will she put her tiny agency on the map, or has even the outrageous Agatha finally bitten off more than she can chew?
Agatha Raisin is bored. Her detective agency in the Cotswolds is thriving, but she'll scream if she has to deal with another missing cat or dog. Only two things seem to offer potential excitement: the upcoming Christmas festivities and her ex, James Lacey. This year she is sure that if she invites James to a really splendid, old-fashioned Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log.
When a wealthy widow hires Agatha because she's convinced a member of her family is trying to kill her, Agatha is intrigued---especially when the widow drops dead after high tea at the manor house. Who in this rather sterile house, complete with fake family portraits, could have hated the old lady enough to poison her?
Agatha sets out to find the murderer, all the while managing a pretty, teenage trainee who makes her feel old and planning for a picture-perfect Christmas, with James, all the trimmings, and perhaps even snow.
Cranky but lovable sleuth Agatha Raisin's detective agency has become so successful that she wants nothing more than to take quality time for rest and relaxation. But as soon as she begins closing the agency on weekends, she remembers that when she has plenty of quality time, she doesn't know what to do with it. So it doesn't take much for the vicar of a nearby village to persuade her to help publicize the church fete---especially when the fair's organizer, George Selby, turns out to be a gorgeous widower.
Agatha brings out the crowds for the fete, all right, but there's more going on than innocent village fun. Several of the offerings in the jam-tasting booth turn out to be poisoned, and the festive family event becomes the scene of two murders.
Along with her young and (much to her dismay) pretty sidekick, Toni, Agatha must uncover the truth behind the jam tampering, keep the church funds safe from theft, and expose the nasty secrets lurking in the village---all while falling for handsome George, who may have secrets of his own.
A Spoonful of Poison is sure to delight fans of the bestselling Agatha Raisin mystery series by M.C. Beaton.
After six months in London, Agatha Raisin returns to her beloved Cotswold village—and her dashing neighbor, James Lacey. Well, sort of. James might not be so interested in Agatha. But soon enough, Agatha becomes consumed by her other passion: crime-solving. A woman has been found dead in a lonely field nearby. Her name is Jessica Tartinck, a hiker who infuriated wealthy landowners by insisting on her hiking club's right to trek across their properties.
Now it's up to Agatha, with James's help, to launch an investigation. Together, they will follow no shortage of leads; many of Jessica's fellow Dembley walkers seem all too willing and able to commit murder. But the trail of a killer is as easy to lose as your heart—and your life. So Agatha and James had better watch their every step. . . in The Walkers of Dembley, the fourth book in M.C. Beaton's bestselling series.
Gloria French was a jolly widow with bottle-blonde hair, a raucous laugh, and rosy cheeks. When she first moved from London to the charming Cotswold hills, she was heartily welcomed. She seemed a do-gooder par excellence, raising funds for the church and caring for the elderly. But she had a nasty habit of borrowing things and not giving them back-a teapot here, a set of silverware there. So it's quite the shock when she is found dead, murdered by a poisoned bottle of elderberry wine. Afraid the murder will be a blight on the small town, the Parish councilor hires private detective Agatha Raisin to lead the murder investigation. But the village is secretive...and no one's talking. Of course that doesn't stop the ever-persistent Agatha from sticking her nose where no one wants it-especially as the suspect list grows. And if it isn't enough that Agatha's own ex has reentered the picture, the killer is now targeting Agatha! With Something Borrowed, Someone Dead, M. C. Beaton delivers more of the Agatha Raisin readers can't get enough of.
"M. C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery."-The New York Times Book Review
"In [this] lively mystery...Agatha displays a wit and sharp tongue that will continue to please her many fans."-Publishers Weekly
"Beaton has a winner in the irrepressible, romance-hungry Agatha."-Chicago Sun-Times
Is it really possible Fell's father was involved in a long-ago train robbery? Who's the mysterious woman in the portrait hidden in his mother's wardrobe? As Maggie and Fell poke around the village for answers, they find themselves on a surprise-filled path to danger and adventure, and--just possibly--love. But Fell's sudden good fortune could come to an abrupt end if he doesn't stay one step ahead of a cunning killer... from beloved novelist M.C. Beaton comes this thrilling stand-alone mystery, The Skeleton in the Closet.
DEATH OF A LIAR: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery
Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is alarmed to receive a report from a woman in the small village of Cronish in the Scottish Highlands. She has been brutally attacked and the criminal is on the loose. But upon further investigation, Hamish discovers that she was lying about the crime. So when the same woman calls him back about an intruder, he simply marvels at her compulsion to lie. This time, though, she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must sort through all of her lies to solve the crime.
Especially not Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is hard put to glean any information from Trent's unappealing nearest and dearest. And when the lanky constable's former flame, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, inserts her beautiful self into the case, Hamish must muster all his native guile to carry him through. Fortunately, he has a few clever tricks up his own sleeve, which enable this most endearing of crime fighters to get the best, and last, laugh.
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever-armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on. Agatha has fallen head over heels in love-again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man-including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.
Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime. With Hiss & Hers, once again, "M. C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery" (The New York Times Book Review) in the irresistible adventures of the irrepressible Agatha.
Captain Harry Cathcart and Lady Rose Summer have entered into an engagement of convenience-convenient for Rose, who wants to avoid being sent to India with all the other failed debutantes. Despite her considerable good looks, Rose's sharp intellect and radical ideas have served to repel her would be suitors. Rose's parents, unaware of the deception, are hardly thrilled that their only child is marrying a man in trade, but Harry comes from a good family, and at the very least, they hope he will keep their troublesome daughter out of mischief.
Unfortunately, even a pretend engagement cannot save Rose from trouble. Bored with endless parties, teas, and balls, she befriends Dolly Tremaine, a beautiful young girl newly arrived from the country and overwhelmed by the demands of the Season. Rose is delighted to have a protégée but their friendship is cut tragically short when Dolly is found floating in a river. Harry is summoned immediately to help solve the mystery of Dolly's death, and to keep Rose from being the murderer's next victim.
Sick of Shadows is the exciting third book in M.C. Beaton's sparkling Edwardian Murder Mysteries Series.
As the Pig Turns
This little piggy went to investigate...
After a disappointing Christmas season, the touristy Cotswold town of Winter Parva is upping the stakes with an old-fashioned pig roast, complete with music, merriment, and medieval Morris-dancing. Always one for a good roasting, Agatha Raisin is looking forward to the event, especially after a heated dispute over a traffic ticket has her picturing a certain boorish cop turning on the spit. But when the big night arrives—and the smoke clears—Agatha notices that the slow-roasting "pig" has a tattoo with the name Amy on it. It's the body of the policeman who had Agatha all fired up. And now his ex-wife Amy wants her to find the butcher who did the deed—and solve a murder that's disturbingly well done...
KNOCK KNOCK, YOU'RE DEAD!
A Hamish Macbeth Short Story
Mrs. Morag McPhie hits upon the idea of selling some of her old furniture to raise money to visit her daughter in Australia. But when a dead body turns up, Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wonders if the antique business is even more cutthroat than he thought...
With the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe away in London, Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth pines for company during the long Scottish winter. He gets his wish -- and more -- when a troupe of flashy, urbane filmmakers clamors into the nearby town of Drim. Before long bedlam erupts around their make-believe mystery ...and culminates in the sudden appearance of one very real corpse.
The initial suspect in the killing is one Patricia Martyn-Broyd, the aging mystery writer furious that her musty old cozies are getting a risque face-lift in their TV reincarnation. Yet, going behind the scenes, Hamish soon finds a town full of locals bitten by the movie bug and a cast of quarreling show business types, all harboring their own secrets, lies, and hidden agendas. And as the culprit strikes again, Hamish must quickly find the right killer -- or script the wrong finale to a show gone murderously awry.
Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…
“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces---and this series---with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.
They Came to Baghdad is one of Agatha Christie's highly successful forays into the spy thriller genre. In this novel, Baghdad is the chosen location for a secret superpower summit. But the word is out, and an underground organisation is plotting to sabotage the talks.
Into this explosive situation stumbles Victoria Jones, a young woman with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded secret agent dies in her hotel room. Now, if only she could make sense of his final words: 'Lucifer ... Basrah ... Lefarge ...'
It’s the most anticipated reality television event of the season: three spiritualists gathered together in one house to raise the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. For celebrity medium Jaime Vegas, it is to be her swan song—one last publicity blast for a celebrity on the wrong side of forty. But unlike her colleagues, who are more show than substance, Jaime is the real thing.
Reluctant to upstage her fellow spiritualists, Jaime tries to suppress her talents, as she has done her entire life. But there is something lurking in the maze of gardens behind the house: a spirit without a voice. And it won’t let go until somehow Jaime hears its terrible story. For the first time in her life, Jaime Vegas understands what humans mean when they say they are haunted. Distraught, Jaime looks to fellow supernatural Jeremy Danvers for help.
As the touches and whispers from the garden grow more frantic, Jaime and Jeremy embark on an investigation into a Los Angeles underworld of black magic and ritual sacrifice. When events culminate in a psychic showdown, Jaime must use the darkest power she has to defeat a shocking enemy—one whose malicious force comes from the last realm she expected. . . .
In a world whose surface resembles our own, Kelley Armstrong delivers a stunning alternate reality, one where beings of the imagination live, love, and fight a never-ending battle between good and evil.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd
Village rumor hints that Mrs. Ferrars poisoned her husband, but no one is sure. Then there's another victim in a chain of death. Unfortunately for the killer, master sleuth Hercule Poirot takes over the investigation.
Determined to clear her name and find her husband, Agatha begins her investigation. But her sleuthing is thwarted when James's suspected mistress, Melissa, is found murdered. Joined by her old friend Sir Charles, Agatha digs into Melissa's past and uncovers two ex-husbands, an angry sister, and dubious relations with bikers. Are Melissa's death and James's disappearance connected? Will Agatha reunite with her husband or will she find herself alone once again? Find out in M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell.
But when a prominent village resident is found murdered, and some suspicion falls on her and her friend Sir Charles Fraith, Agatha decides she's had enough of this fairy nonsense and steps up her sleuthing for a human killer.
The prickly yet endearing Agatha will have fans dangling in suspense: Will she catch her crook--and a husband? ...in M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam.
The Khao San Road, Bangkok -- first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard's first night there, in a low-budget guest house, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to "the Beach."
The Beach, as Richard has come to learn, is the subject of a legend among young travelers in Asia: a lagoon hidden from the sea, with white sand and coral gardens, freshwater falls surrounded by jungle, plants untouched for a thousand years. There, it is rumored, a carefully selected international few have settled in a communal Eden.
Haunted by the figure of Mr. Duck -- the name by which the Thai police have identified the dead man -- and his own obsession with Vietnam movies, Richard sets off with a young French couple to an island hidden away in an archipelago forbidden to tourists. They discover the Beach, and it is as beautiful and idyllic as it is reputed to be. Yet over time it becomes clear that Beach culture, as Richard calls it, has troubling, even deadly, undercurrents.
Spellbinding and hallucinogenic, The Beach by Alex Garland -- both a national bestseller and his debut -- is a highly accomplished and suspenseful novel that fixates on a generation in their twenties, who, burdened with the legacy of the preceding generation and saturated by popular culture, long for an unruined landscape, but find it difficult to experience the world firsthand.