cover image A Spoonful of Poison: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

A Spoonful of Poison: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

M. C. Beaton, . . St. Martin?s Minotaur, $24.95 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34912-7

When elderly Mrs. Andrews blithely jumps to her death off the tower of Saint Odo the Severe during a church charity event in the Cotswolds village of Comfrey Magna, LSD-laced jam proves to be the cause in bestseller Beaton’s saucy 19th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2007’s Kissing Christmas Goodbye ). Agatha joins the local authorities in the investigation, which focuses on the six women who contributed jam to the church fete, including wealthy Sybilla Triast-Perkins. Agatha and Toni Gilmour, her young detective-in-training, soon find unmasking the lethal jam poisoner complicated by Sybilla’s sudden suicide and a murder connected to the theft of the fete’s proceeds. Beaton’s sly humor enhances the cozy-style plotting, while updates on Agatha’s and Toni’s respective romantic travails are delightful as ever. The open-ended resolution points to more madcap mayhem to come. (Oct.)