Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener

M. C. Beaton, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-312-10927-1
Stocky, middle-aged Agatha Raisin returns from a long vacation abroad to find the other residents of her Cotswolds village dazzled by a beautiful newcomer. The divorced Mary Fortune has particularly captivated Agatha's neighbor and love interest, James Lacey, sharing, it seems, his passion for gardening. Not to be outdone, Agatha takes up a trowel and, in her determined fashion, wastes no time in buying seedlings while digging for information about Mary. Against Mary's advice, Agatha plants too early; a late frost leaves her with no prospects for the upcoming garden show. A former associate in her London PR firm, desperate to have her back, promises to have her garden secretly replanted if she'll agree to return to work for six months in the fall. As the time for the garden show approaches, malicious pranks wreck the gardens of neighbors who have had run-ins with Mary. Then Agatha finds the newcomer strung up by her heels, her head ``planted'' in a large pot, and she and James are plunged into another murder investigation. Beaton's dry sense of humor and her unflattering but affectionate portrait of gruff, often adolescent-acting Agatha, make this third tale, following Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet , a bloom worth plucking. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994
Release date: 08/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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