Saturday, June 15, 2013

M. C. Beaton Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (1993)

     M. C. Beaton Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (1993) It looks like Dr Bladen killed himself by accident while attending to a horse, but a second murder changes that interpretation, and Agatha and James Lacey (the handsome but gun-shy ex-colonel neighbour whom she fancies) turn up clues that Detective Bill Wong has overlooked. Seems money and jealousy came together to provoke murder. The book is light-weight fluff, but entertaining enough. I read it almost at one go in about 2½  hours.
     Agatha’s on-going, somewhat over-coy not-quite-courtship of James Lacey can be a bit tiresome. Other sub-plots, such as Bill Wong’s life story, miscellaneous neighbours’ joys and sorrows, etc, are sketched rather than narrated. It looks very much as if Beaton wanted to write a more complex book, but a ruthless editor pruned her manuscript down to the little that’s needed to make the puzzle and its solution plausible, with just enough hints to make Agatha’s world believable while you read about her. She’s a decent sort, really. I’ve read some of the later books, and unfortunately they don’t get better. This is the 2nd book in the series, later on they do get married, but their little ship of love encounters some very rough waters. **

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