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Topic: Agatha Raisin

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Subject: Agatha Raisin
Date Posted: 5/28/2013 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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A neighbor just recommended the Agatha Raisin books to me.  Where should I start?  Should I start with book 1?  Reviews make it look like it is not the best one.  Thoughts?

Date Posted: 5/29/2013 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Start at the beginning. That's always my recommendation. :P Agatha Raisin is....well, I have read probably 14 or 15 of them. I probably will go back to the series at some point, but my advice is not to read them one after the other, or even more than one a month, or you will want to murder HER before too long. She's not everyone's cup of tea. I have mixed feelings about her...I think because she's like two people rolled into one and the author can never quite decide which she is--the confident, independent career woman, or the desperate single woman obsessed with her looks and doing anything to catch a man...which always gets her into trouble. That sounds terrible, and the books aren't that bad...LOL Give them a try, but as I say...space them out. :)

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/29/2013 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,556
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I'd start at the beginning as Agatha's life evolves and changes throughout. She is a hard character to like and many people can't stand her, but I stuck with the series and have come to tolerate her and sometimes feel sorry for her. I agree, though, that you probably should take her small doses at a time.

Date Posted: 5/29/2013 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Hmmm....  Should I try the other books by Beaton first?

Subject: Should I try the other books by Beaton first?
Date Posted: 6/2/2013 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2013
Posts: 1
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Beaton and Chesney are the same person. I enjoy her Hamisch Macbeth series the best. I think there is more depth to the series about the Scotish Policeman. I happen to enjoy Scotland and the Cotswolds and know them well. I enjoy the plots and also where the stories are located. For instance, I know and visit Evesham regularly and so like Agatha Raisin's The Wizard of Evesham. I also grow and enjoy heather and heath and belong to the British Heather Society. Where else can you read about crime among the heathers but in M.C.Beatons novels.  They are simple stories and after reading one or two you get to know the characters and locations the stories are set in. Just be careful when you look for them in bookstores as they are often filed under Beaton &/or Chesney. Just enjoy them....

Date Posted: 6/2/2013 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Agatha has "beady little bearlike eyes."  I always look for this descriptive phrase in each book, and without fail--it's there!

Just be aware that Agatha, when provoked (which is most of the time), can cuss a blue streak.

Date Posted: 6/16/2013 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 184
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I agree with Walter about the Hamish MacBeth series being the better of Beaton's two series, but they are both definitely readable and I'm on my local library's lending list each time a new one is released.  There was a British TV series made on Hamish Macbeth in the mid to late 1990s with Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold in OUAT) in the title role.  It deviated quite a bit from the books, but it is worth watching if you like British shows.

You do need to start with both series at book 1 and work your way down the list.  There are some subplots that you will not appreciate otherwise.