If you read me, you know I love M.C Beaton and her characters of cranky, intelligent Agatha Raisin (also found on Acorn TV!) and the independent and sometimes sullen Hamish MacBeth (also seen on the BBC). I was so sad when she passed away recently and I assumed her stories would die with her. I was delighted to see a new Agatha Raisin story appear and to get a chance to read it, thanks to St. Martin’s Press (one of my favorite publishers for cozies!). Working through a collaborator, R. W. Green, Ms. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin lives on!
Now I will admit that I was skeptical. How many of us have read the sequel to Gone with the Wind and was disappointed? Time and again, who finds the writing of those megastars who collaborate to be not quite as good as their original novels which they did on their own? (I am raising my hand over here). So – it was with great pleasure that I read this Agatha Raisin story and found it to be “true Agatha” and a joy at that. I’m so thrilled to think that more stories of this less-than-perfect protagonist will be forthcoming.
Here’s the overview:
Beloved New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton’s cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again in Hot to Trot.
When Private Detective Agatha Raisin learns that her friend and one-time lover Charles Fraith is to be married to a mysterious socialite, Miss Mary Brown-Field, she sees it as her duty to find out what she can about the woman. Coming up empty, Agatha—out of selfless concern for Charles, of course—does the only sensible thing she can think of: she crashes their wedding, which ends in a public altercation. Nursing a hangover the next morning, she gets a phone call from Charles, with even more disturbing news: Mary has been murdered.
Agatha takes on the case, and quickly becomes entrenched in the competitive equestrian world, in which Mary had been enmeshed—as well as the victim’s surprisingly violent past. Agatha finds no shortage of motives among a wide range of characters, from Mary’s old riding competitors, to enemies from her schoolgirl days, to her surly father, who threatens Agatha to mind her own business. Meanwhile, the police department has its money on another suspect: Agatha. Will she track down the criminal in time, or end up behind bars herself?
Thank you for my copy through Net Galley!