By: M.C. Beaton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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Agatha Raisin, snug and warm in her Carsley cottage, has that same old feeling-boredom-until a report of a haunted house sends her and new neighbor, handsome Paul Chatterton, to investigate. Suddenly, middle-aged Agatha is aglow with romance and excitement.Agatha Raisin and the the Haunted House is the 14th novel in this cozy mystery series featuring a cranky, eccentric amateur sleuth that is both likable and unique. With enjoyable locals, gossip and all the intrigue of the bustling metropolis of London, this small town mystery holds an a full size serving of fun.
But the glow fades fast. It turns out Paul is a cad. The victim of the haunting is a universally disliked old biddy. And the ghost is most likely someone playing a dirty trick. Then an old lady is soon found murdered. But never fear! For Agatha, solving a homicide is more fun than hunting a ghost. She quickly has a theory and a risky scheme. And she is about to make a startling discovery which can be her greatest triumph ... or leave her heartbroken, in trouble with the police, and in danger of losing her reputation - or her life.
Agatha Raisin and the the Haunted House is a quaint British cozy that utilizes a host of characters and interactions that can range from the droll to the maddening with all of the gossip and intrigue of a small English village. While the mystery often takes a back seat to some of the relationship dynamics, this novel presents a great character analysis that is easy to read and entertaining. Full of back-biting, in-fighting and yes, even a little bit of romance, this makes for an interesting "who-done-it". However, while I did greatly enjoy the novel, there were some aspects that may be a little irksome to the avid mystery fan. For instance, the mystery at times can take a back seat the the man-hungry Agatha's pursuit of her neighbor, but overall, this doesn't detract from the fun and colorful characters, nor the persnickety nature of Agatha herself.
Cleverly written with tidbits of British humor, this is one series that I recommend for some light reading while at work or on a rainy day. I will definitely be picking up more of this series as I find them! Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars