Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Deadly Dance by M. C. Beaton

There are 20 books in the Agatha Raisin mystery series by M. C. Beaton (Marion Chesney). With The Deadly Dance, I now have read five--not in order. A double volume of the first two (Agatha Raisin and the Quice of Death and Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Pet) just arrived, and will be next up in my education on the life and times of Ms. Raisin.

What can we say about Agatha? You may like her, you may dislike her--either way, she's a bit addictive as a character. You want to know more about her and her men. You want to zero in on those characteristics that make her so very unlikeable--the same characteristics that keep her loyal friends close to her despite constant rebuffs and slights.

In The Deadly Dance, there is this one sentence that portrays Agatha to a fine point: "Dripping with sweat and bad temper, Agatha erupted into the entrance hall." Erupted: Yes, that's Agatha!

This fall, The Agatha Raisin Companion will be published in the UK. Early blurbs promise a celebration of all things Agatha--recipes, biographies, the Cotswolds, and, of course, Agatha's men. I'm just wondering about those recipes...those of you know know Agatha know that if it can't be microwaved, she doesn't cook it--not to mention the disasterous results when she does try to cook. How many kitchens have fallen prey to her attempts to cook a turkey?

The Deadly Dance--a quick, easy read and an enjoyable hour spent in the Cotswolds.

Rating: 3/5 (Mystery Scale)

Dedication: For Richard Rasdall of Stow-on-the-Wold, his wife, Lyn, and children, Luke, Samuel and Bethany, and with many thanks to Richard for freeing up Agatha's brain.

First line: The thing that finally nudged Agatha Raisin into opening her own detective agency was what she always thought of as the Paris Incident.

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