What do you do if you are of noble stock, but impoverished, and living in London with a certain style to maintain?
One has to work... but One's relatives will be appalled when One turns One's hand to trade - and opens a hotel, The Poor Relation, offering employment to others of the same social standing and in the same awkward situation. This is precisely what Mrs Fortescue decides upon and, together with friend Colonel Sandhurst, transforms her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering guests the pleasure of being waited upon by the nobility.
So with the help of other down-and-out aristocrats they do just that - and London's newest, and most fashionable! - hotel is born... much to the dismay of the Duke of Rowcester, Lady Fortescue's nephew, who is convinced his aunt's foray into trade will denigrate the illustrious family name!
'Romance fans are in for a treat' - Booklist
'[M. C. Beaton] is the best of the Regency writers' - Kirkus Reviews
When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems.
The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?
The idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna is best known for the medieval church of St. Ethelred and its bells, which are the pride and glory of the whole community.
As the bell-ringers get ready for the visit of the dashing Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley, the whole village is thrown into a frenzy. Meanwhile, Agatha convinces one of the bell-ringers, the charming lawyer Julian Brody, to hire her to investigate the mystery of the Bishop’s ex-fiancée: a local heiress, Jennifer Toynby, who went missing years ago and whose body was never found...
Meanwhile, the bodies in the village just keep on piling up: the corpse of Larry Jensen, a local policeman, is discovered in the crypt. Millicent Dupin, one of a pair of bell-ringing identical twins, is murdered near the church. And Terry Fletcher, a journalist and (briefly) Agatha’s lover, is found dead in her sitting room! Agatha widens her investigation and very soon her main suspect is the handsome Bishop himself. But could he really be behind this series of violent killings, or is it someone who wants to bring him—and his reputation—down?