cover image Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist

M. C. Beaton. St. Martin's Press, $20.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-312-16761-5

Picking up where Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage left off, lovesick Agatha leaves her cozy Cotswolds cottage to follow her neighbor and ex-fiance, James Lacey (ex, because Agatha's long-AWOL husband, whom she had thought dead, turned out--albeit only briefly--to be alive), to Cyprus, where they were to have honeymooned. While searching for the elusive James, Agatha meets a dreary band of British tourists, including the upper-crust Olivia and George Debenham and the lowlier Trevor Wilcox and his garish wife, Rose. Once Agatha tracks down James, the uncomfortably and still platonically reunited lovers embark on an evening out with the Debenhams, the Wilcoxes and several others, only to have Rose's murder mar the fun. Agatha's sleuthing instincts surface, as she is determined to solve the murder and win back James. Beaton's lively prose see-saws between the investigation and Agatha's entertaining love life, as she finds comfort in the arms of a friendly baronet, Sir Charles Fraith, while sorting her feelings for Lacey. After several attempts on her life and a second murder, Agatha uncovers a web of deceit behind the snobby British facade. Beaton has the Agatha formula down pat. Her imperfect heroine is an absolute gem and, since these stories never take themselves too seriously, readers can relax and enjoy them with a clean conscience. (Oct.)