My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Summary: 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.
I picked this up because I wanted to read it before watching the television series. As an intro into a cozy mystery series I must admit this one leaves a lot of room for the main character to improve & grow on a reader. I didn't find Agatha and her brusque personality charming or endearing. What propelled me to the end of this book was the search to find something admirable in her at all. She had a pitbull's tenacity, so that's something. Honestly, if Roy had a series spinoff of books, I'd rather follow him as I liked him more. Also, and this is a big one, why is the murder victim given away before we've even got in here? I read another cozy that does that but it's revealed in such a way that the mystery of who/why is better obscured so the reader enjoys solving they mystery (is there any other reason to read these things?). Anyway, I think I'd read another in this series but as it's a very long one running (20 something installments so far, I believe), I can assure that I won't be reading them all and I won't be grabbing another in the immediate future. And one more thing reader, this didn't put me off the television series and I'm here to tell you, it's better than the book. So. That happened.
Not really recommended unless you, like me, are in it to pre-game the television series. And even then, if you don't read it, you'll be fine. Probably better off.
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