cover image Love, Lies and Liquor: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

Love, Lies and Liquor: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

M. C. Beaton, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $22.95 (231pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34910-3

In bestseller Beaton's mildly entertaining 17th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2005's The Perfect Paragon ), Agatha still carries a torch for her ex-husband, James Lacey, who invites her on holiday after moving back to the cottage next door to hers in the small English village of Carsely. Unfortunately, the surprise destination is a rundown British seaside town, Snoth-on-Sea, where a fellow guest at their hotel is murdered, strangled with Agatha's scarf. Before Agatha can make much headway in her investigation, two more guests are killed. More engaging than the crime solving—the underdeveloped victims and suspects are hard to tell apart, let alone care about—is the back-and-forth between Agatha and James. Driven by Agatha's strong personality, this predictable cozy will please devoted fans, but is unlikely to win new readers. (Sept.)