Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin #25) by M.C. Beaton

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Sept. 16 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

"Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman..."Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens...followed by a scream and then silence.

Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha's 25th adventure, and you'd think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha's flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in   M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again "manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery".

About the Author

 Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 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 historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable 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.

My Review

Ok, I must confess...Agatha Raisin is the aunt that I wish I had. She is so funny. She would be so amazing to have around. And an incredibly clever woman as well.

The Blood of an Englishman is the 25th Agatha Raisin mystery and yes I have read all 25. Why...because they are entertaining! Not only does M.C. Beaton transport the reader to a Cotswold English village in all its glory, she does so in an incredibly amusing fashion.

Agatha would not be Agatha if her head was not been turned by a handsome man. Of course the handsome man is an amateur actor in a local production of a pantomime where murder occurs in front right in front of the audience..including Agatha of course. The story takes plenty of twists and turns before our Agatha is in danger and the murderer is exposed. Beaton has a fast-paced writing style that allows for a speedy read. Highly recommend this entire series and definitely recommend The Blood of an Englishman. It can be read as a standalone but to get the full Agatha experience, I recommend you read them all. sure to follow M.C. Beaton on Facebook...she is continually amusing and clever. 


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