Review - Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, M.C. Beaton
Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry--but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…
I've spent a lot of time driving recently, and these really work as a background to the endless kilometres.
Having kind of liked the TV Agatha Raisin series, I thought trying one of these as an audiobook for one of the recent long drives would be worth a go. I personally prefer things on the lighter side when I should be concentrating on driving, and a change of options was required after having spent a lot of hours with Phryne Fisher.
Obviously the Agatha Raisin of the books is nothing much like the TV version - so if you're hoping for a direct match you may be disappointed. Here the unpleasant aspects of Raisin's personality are more stark, and there's no way she looks anything like the TV blonde bombshell. But in this example, Penelope Keith does a wonderful job of the narration, the story is obviously from the cosier side of crime fiction, Agatha fluctuates between annoying and endearing and Roy ... well Roy is Roy.
There is a nice plot with lots of village shenanigans and enough smiles to keep you interested, if not out and out laughing, which is probably just as well as it was a perfect background to a lot of Australian country drive.