cover image The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

M.C. Beaton. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-61626-7

Bestseller Beaton’s 25th Agatha Raisin cozy (after 2013’s Something Borrowed, Something Dead) opens stronger than it finishes. During a performance of an embarrassingly amateurish pantomime in the small English town of Winter Parva, the local baker, Bert Simple, is impaled on a spike set up on the bottom of an elevator platform under a stage trap door. Gareth Craven, the show’s producer, hires PI Agatha to find Bert’s killer, who later strikes again. Agatha, who seems at least as interested in finding a new husband as in locating evidence, has a penchant for repeatedly getting herself into dangerous situations. The by-the-book conversations she has with people display no insight or cleverness, and chance plays a big part in the solution. Still, readers will enjoy the flashes of wit (e.g., “Agatha reflected that Marie was wearing so much make-up, you could skate on it”). Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Associates. (Sept.)