In May CJ stayed with me and read some of the books on my shelves. One of these was Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton. Naturally he wrote a blog entry on A Book Every Six Days. I couldn't remember what he had written (although I knew that he had enjoyed it) and had deliberately not re-visited the entry until I had read the book myself. Which I have done over the last few days.
This is the first of a series of Agatha Raisin murder mysteries. Agatha sells up her public relations firm and takes early retirement to a quiet village in the Cotswolds. She is the antithesis of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Booklist described her as 'A refreshing, sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine'. Which book, I wondered, had they been reading. Doubtless we will come to love her as we love Miss Marple but to describe her as any of those things is, in my view, palpably incorrect. She doesn't even have the virtue of being eccentric. She's friendless, boorish, rude, selfish and rather pathetic figure of an anti-heroine. Or was I reading a different book?
That may sound as though I didn't enjoy the character or the book. In fact I enjoyed both. And I will read another one. That will be the test for me. Will the next book continue to provide interest or will the novelty wear off very quickly?
QuotesNot for the first time , Agatha wondered about British Rail's use of the word 'terminate'. One just expected the train to blow apart. Why not just sat 'stops here'?'If you want to make your mark on the village, Mrs Raisin, you could try becoming popular.' Agatha looked at him in amazement. Fame, money and power were surely the only things needed to make one's mark on the world. 'It comes slowly,' he said 'All you have to do is start to like people. If they like you back, that is a bonus.'