As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Constable, 13 April 2017. ISBN: 978-1-4721-1734-2 (PB)
In the latest book in the
long-running series, Agatha Raisin is still more successful in detection than
she is in love. All the same, she is astonished to find that she is jealous of
her best friend, Mrs Bloxby, the vicar’s wife. Agatha had set out to fascinate
Gerald Devere, a retired detective who has just moved to the village, but
Gerald seems more interested in Mrs Bloxby, who has abandoned her usual dreary
style of dressing and become very attractive. Nevertheless, Agatha fights back
her jealousy and, accompanied by her friend Sir Charles Fraith, obliges Mrs
Bloxby by visiting Lord Bellington, Carsley’s biggest landholder, to reason
with him about his plans to turn the village allotments into a housing
development. Lord Bellington is a very unpleasant man and rejects her arguments
in a rude and aggressive manner.
Lord Bellington dies suddenly, Agatha annoys Inspector Wilkes, head of the
local CID when her suspicions about the cause of his death prove to be correct.
Wilkes insists on treating Agatha as a suspect and discounts her explanation
that her diagnosis was based on intuition and through watching a lot of real
life crime on television.
local crime wave continues when the body of Peta Currie, a newcomer to the
village, is discovered buried in the allotments. Lord Bellington’s son employs
Agatha’s detective agency to discover the truth about his father’s death but
Agatha decides the two crimes are linked and investigates both.
story continues with the usual mix of romantic disasters and investigative
triumphs. Agatha’s village friends and her employees at the detective agency
remain loyal and it is good to see the protective affection they feel for
Agatha and she feels for them. These relationships are a very different matter
to the hasty and unbalanced obsessions she has for the ‘loser and user’ type
men that, as always, spark her dreams of a great romance.
had a problem with the time in which Pushing
Up Daisies was set. I had assumed that the book was contemporary,
especially as there were several references to e-cigarettes, however, one of
the pivotal scenes involved a fox hunt, which has been illegal in England since
Pushing Up Daisies is the 27th
in the Agatha Raisin series and is great fun, with its characteristic mixture
of zany black comedy and outrageous characters.
Beaton was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936 and started her
first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith
& Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the
Scottish Daily Mail
to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left
Smith’s to join Scottish Field
magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or
typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved
to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was
followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became
chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son,
Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job
of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to
Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson
Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on
Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York. Anxious to spend
more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to
write Regency romances. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden
name of Marion Chesney and getting fed up with 1811 to 1820, she began to write
detectives stories. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a
course at a fishing school inspired the first Hamish Macbeth story.
They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where
Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so
when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland,
they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.
Carol Westronis a successful short
story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly
Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary
and Victorian times.The Terminal
Velocity of Cats the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published