Thursday, July 18, 2013
Title: Hiss and Hers
By: M.C. Beaton
Hiss and Hers, the 23rd installment of the Agatha Raisin mysteries, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the creation of the series by M.C. Beaton. As she hunts for the murderer of her handsome gardener, George Marston, Agatha meets a stronger adversary for the first time in her career.
The character of Agatha Raisin is not for the faint of heart. Her detective abilities are controversial: “I haven’t the resources of the police, so I usually just blunder about until something breaks.” To promote her detective agency, Agatha always alerts the media prematurely when a case is in a sensitive stage, which has become a constant annoyance to the local police. As a person, Agatha does not seem likable at all, but is rather abrupt, blunt, pushy, and vain.
Behind her hard armored personality, however, there is an abused and lonely heart, and two failed marriages. Decades earlier, she’d left her slum background in Birmingham and marriage to an unemployed drunk and traveled to London with her eyes on two prizes: to be a successful businesswoman, and to settle down in the Cotswolds, a place she’d visited on a childhood family vacation. She’d met both of her goals by selling her successful public relations firm and retiring early to Carsely, a Costwolds village. But, bored with the quiet retirement, Agatha had discovered a dormant detective talent and established a booming little business, the Agatha Raisin Detective Agency.
Agatha can be intensely generous with her circle of friends and her employees. She is also immensely resourceful in her fundraising and her masterful control of the media and public opinion. This is perhaps where the charm of Agatha Raisin lies for her loyal fans.
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