cover image The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

M.C. Beaton. Minotaur, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-15769-0

In Beaton’s disjointed, implausible 28th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2017’s The Witches’ Tree), the visit of charismatic Anglican bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley to the Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna sets hearts aflutter, including those of the female bell ringers of the Norman church of St. Ethelred. But local investigator Agatha, initially dazzled by the bishop, begins to question why the well-off women romanced by him tend to disappear or, in the case of bell ringer Millicent Dupin, wind up dead. In the course of Agatha’s inquiries, she encounters a clergyman who abuses his wife, a lawyer in love with the battered spouse, a shifty Scottish waiter, and a thuggish associate of the bishop. The killing of Agatha’s latest flame and the kidnapping of her cats add further complications. Only the most diehard fans will appreciate the ongoing soap opera of Agatha’s love life. [em]Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Assoc. (Oct.) [/em]