Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer (Agatha Raisin, #29)
The latest Agatha Raisin mystery from bestselling author M. C. BeatonThe team of bells at St. Ethelred church is the pride and glory of the idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna, together with the most dedicated bell ringers in the whole of England: the twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin.As the village gets ready for the Bishop's visit, the twins get overly-excited at the prospect of ringing the special peal of bells created for the occasion and start bullying the other bell ringers, forcing them to rehearse and rehearse . . . so much so that Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer, yells at the sisters that he 'felt like killing them'!When the twins' home is broken into one night and Millicent is found dead, struck from a hammer blow, suspicion falls onto the lawyer.Will Agatha unmask the real killer and clear Joseph's name?

Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer (Agatha Raisin, #29) Details

TitleAgatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer (Agatha Raisin, #29)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 4th, 2018
PublisherConstable & Robinson
ISBN-139781472126962
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Audiobook, European Literature, British Literature, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Crime, Adult, Humor

Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer (Agatha Raisin, #29) Review

  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    In this 29th book in the 'Agatha Raisin' series, the private detective looks into multiple murders in the town of Thirk Magna. The book can be read as a standalone.*****The Cotwolds in England, which are a popular tourist destination, look picturesque and placid. However, they provide plenty of work for private detective Agatha Raisin, who lives in the village of Carsely. Agatha isn't a beauty, but she's a fashionable middle-aged woman with good legs and glossy hair. Thus she attracts a lot of m In this 29th book in the 'Agatha Raisin' series, the private detective looks into multiple murders in the town of Thirk Magna. The book can be read as a standalone.*****The Cotwolds in England, which are a popular tourist destination, look picturesque and placid. However, they provide plenty of work for private detective Agatha Raisin, who lives in the village of Carsely. Agatha isn't a beauty, but she's a fashionable middle-aged woman with good legs and glossy hair. Thus she attracts a lot of men, and would like to make one of them her third husband.In this book, Agatha gets drawn into nefarious occurrences in the nearby town of Thirk Magna. Thirk Magna's 'St. Ethelred's Church' has a dedicated group of bell-ringers, who have taken up campanology for a variety of reasons. For the fortyish identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin, it's a family legacy; for other bell-ringers, it's an opportunity to get out of the house, exercise, flirt, have fun, etc. Bell-ringersAs the book opens, twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin are in a dither because the sexy, handsome, unmarried Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley is coming to Thirk Magna for an extended visit. The Bishop is raising funds for an old-age home, and plans to attend a bell-ringing and a reception. The twins hope to ingratiate themselves with Salver-Hinkley.....and fall all over themselves to try to attract and hold his attention.Meanwhile, Agatha Raisin DOES catch the Bishop's eye, and even goes to dinner with him - but she loses interest quickly. The Dupin siblings, however, are jealous, and decide that Agatha Raisin - and all other women friendly with the Bishop - are their worst enemies. The twins don't realize it, but the Bishop is only interested in women for their money, and will cozy up to any lady with a big bank account. In fact, Salver-Hinkley once had wealthy young fiancé, but she disappeared in mysterious circumstances.Before long, Thirk Magna begins to be plagued with murders, some of which appear connected to the bell-ringers. Agatha starts to investigate the killings, but soon loses her focus because she's busy chasing men. Agatha's always been man-crazy, but in this book her pursuit of one paramour after another is over the top and desperate. Besides potential lovers, Agatha socializes with a cadre of men who are (for the most part) just friends, including: Sir Charles Fraith - a destitute aristocrat who's constantly cadging restaurant meals, money, and cigarettes; James Lacey - Agatha's ex-husband and next door neighbor, who always seems to be getting re-married; Bill Wong - a young cop Agatha took under her wing; Patrick - Agatha's gay former business associate; and others. Unfortunately, the book has parts that are almost incomprehensible. In fact, it feels like chunks of the story are missing. For instance, in one chapter Agatha is deeply agonized over a married lover that's gone back to his wife.....and it's all a big scandal. However, we NEVER got to see Agatha even speak to this man, much less fall in love and get involved in a brouhaha. I went back and forth trying to find this part, to no avail. And this kind of thing happens repeatedly. I listened to the audiobook version of the novel, and it's possible there was some mishap in its production, but - if so - that's on the publisher. Other than that, the mystery portion of the book follows the usual arc seen in Agatha Raisin books. The detective bumbles around, makes the perp (or perps) nervous, and endangers her own life as a result. Eventually, Agatha exposes the scoundrel(s). I'm a fan of Agatha Raisin but can't recommend this book. I hope future entries in the series are better.You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    **2.5-stars**Ugh, guys! This makes me SO SAD!!! I didn't like this one and I really wanted to...I read a lot of Agatha Raisin books in high school and during summer break for college. This was a long time ago, certainly before I was a member of Goodreads, so I don't even recall which ones that I read. From what I remember one of the things I really liked about the series was our protagonist, Agatha Raisin. In my memory, she was snarky, impulsive, man crazy, full of fun and daring. That was not t **2.5-stars**Ugh, guys! This makes me SO SAD!!! I didn't like this one and I really wanted to...I read a lot of Agatha Raisin books in high school and during summer break for college. This was a long time ago, certainly before I was a member of Goodreads, so I don't even recall which ones that I read. From what I remember one of the things I really liked about the series was our protagonist, Agatha Raisin. In my memory, she was snarky, impulsive, man crazy, full of fun and daring. That was not the Agatha I found in this story. This Agatha seemed miserable, desperate in her search for a man (CONSTANTLY) and down-right rude to pretty much everyone around her.The storyline itself was all over the place in my opinion. We were introduced too quickly to way to many side characters and as the story went on, I found myself confused pretty frequently. Now, having completed it, I couldn't tell you who the killer was or what their motivation was. I have already forgotten.I have so much respect for M.C. Beaton as an author. She has created some iconic characters with Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth but this just was not a solid story for me. I hope if this series continues on that Agatha gets some of her old fun-loving spark back.Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate every opportunity I receive to provide my feedback on a story even if it doesn't go 100% to my tastes.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    The usual ingredients of an Agatha Raisin novel were imbalanced with this volume in the series. Wit and humor were low, while mean-spiritedness and violence were high. There seemed to be an awful lot of face punching and expressive anger, and I don't remember Aggie crying quite so much. All in all, it wasn't the lighthearted fun read I was looking for.
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  • Lisa Morin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of Agatha Raisin but unfortunately this book was a disappointment.Agatha has turned into a grumpy woman who seems miserable. I missed the fun loving Agatha who was always fun and sharp tongued.This story seemed fractured, like I was missing some important information and it kept jumping all around, leaving me confused and really not caring how it ended.I think that all of the fans of this witty, colorful personality will be sorely disappointed with this installment of the series.I I'm a huge fan of Agatha Raisin but unfortunately this book was a disappointment.Agatha has turned into a grumpy woman who seems miserable. I missed the fun loving Agatha who was always fun and sharp tongued.This story seemed fractured, like I was missing some important information and it kept jumping all around, leaving me confused and really not caring how it ended.I think that all of the fans of this witty, colorful personality will be sorely disappointed with this installment of the series.I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a real disappointment to me. Instead of sharp tongued, competent Agatha we get this mess of a woman desperate for a man on any terms, whining, incompetent and just a mess. She spends her detecting time punching people in the noses and complaining. I just wanted to shake her by the shoulders. The story was incoherent and jumped around a lot. It was difficult to understand. A policeman is murdered and barely spoken of again. Women disappear and no real effort is made to find them. A This book was a real disappointment to me. Instead of sharp tongued, competent Agatha we get this mess of a woman desperate for a man on any terms, whining, incompetent and just a mess. She spends her detecting time punching people in the noses and complaining. I just wanted to shake her by the shoulders. The story was incoherent and jumped around a lot. It was difficult to understand. A policeman is murdered and barely spoken of again. Women disappear and no real effort is made to find them. A woman is abused by her husband and no real action is taken except to mock her for being wimpy. A suggestion is made she might even like it. Disgusting. This was a mess top to bottom. Agatha so desperate for a man and unable to do even the simplest work was a major disappointment. I wouldn't recommend this to any one. I am only giving it two stars because I have liked the books in the past and hope the next one is a big improvement because I don't want to spend any more time with this piece of work.Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book to review.
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  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars rounded up. The 29th in the series! Can you believe it? I enjoy these quick-reading funny mysteries set in the Cotswolds, with a smart, feisty, and sexy private detective named Agatha Raisin who always finds herself driven off track by her fierce desire to find true love. If she could just focus on the job at hand! In this latest entry in the series, the bishop comes to the pretty, peaceful village of Thirk Magna and manages to rile things up. He is quite a handsome man who is capable *3.5 stars rounded up. The 29th in the series! Can you believe it? I enjoy these quick-reading funny mysteries set in the Cotswolds, with a smart, feisty, and sexy private detective named Agatha Raisin who always finds herself driven off track by her fierce desire to find true love. If she could just focus on the job at hand! In this latest entry in the series, the bishop comes to the pretty, peaceful village of Thirk Magna and manages to rile things up. He is quite a handsome man who is capable of turning his sexual charms on and off to get money from rich women for his pet project. Agatha is not taken in by him and wants to find out just what happened to his young, beautiful and RICH fiancee who recently up and vanished. As the bodies pile up, she has to wonder if someone is killing off their competition. Agatha describes herself as "like a Victorian detective. I do not have access to forensics or autopsy reports so I have to rely on old-fashioned intuition and guesswork." But her good friends think she solves cases by "bumbling about and putting herself at risk until the murderer comes after her." Recommend if you are looking for a fun, quick mystery--but DO start at the beginning of the series. You don't want to miss any of the fun! I received an arc of this new mystery from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! I can't wait to read the next book and see if Agatha has finally found true love!
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    This book seems to have been written by someone else. Very disappointing.
  • Kerry
    January 1, 1970
    Number #29 in the Agatha Raisin series, readers by now have to come to know and hopefully love Agatha and her sharp tongue. But where is the Agatha we all know and love?? Not in this book. In this book, she is feeling old and depressed and quite honestly scared for most of it. As with other books in this series, our regular cast of characters and a real sense of place keep the book from losing too much of its iconic feel. I just wish Agatha would stop feeling so mopey and get back to being steel Number #29 in the Agatha Raisin series, readers by now have to come to know and hopefully love Agatha and her sharp tongue. But where is the Agatha we all know and love?? Not in this book. In this book, she is feeling old and depressed and quite honestly scared for most of it. As with other books in this series, our regular cast of characters and a real sense of place keep the book from losing too much of its iconic feel. I just wish Agatha would stop feeling so mopey and get back to being steely eyed and sharp. Do I wish she wouldn't feel the need to be with a man all the time, yes of course! But then it wouldn't be Agatha Raisin, would it? The usual cliffhanger ending with the promise of a new relationship will keep me coming back for Number #30.
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  • Mayda
    January 1, 1970
    Agatha Raisin has changed, and not for the better. She seems to be perpetually unhappy, and lacks the drive that had made her so delightful. Perhaps she is unhappy with her creator, because author M. C. Beaton seems to have lost her touch in writing Agatha’s stories. This book, like others late in the series, lacks focus. Bodies are dropping like flies, with little connection. Agatha’s and Charles’s relationship comes and goes with the wind. Aggie falls in love, but it’s over almost immediately Agatha Raisin has changed, and not for the better. She seems to be perpetually unhappy, and lacks the drive that had made her so delightful. Perhaps she is unhappy with her creator, because author M. C. Beaton seems to have lost her touch in writing Agatha’s stories. This book, like others late in the series, lacks focus. Bodies are dropping like flies, with little connection. Agatha’s and Charles’s relationship comes and goes with the wind. Aggie falls in love, but it’s over almost immediately when her lover turns up dead. There are so many twists and turns in this story, there should be a disclaimer warning those prone to motion sickness! Not one of Beaton’s best efforts by a long shot, this story was a disappointment. By the time I finished it, I could hardly remember why people died or who was suspected, and and I didn’t care.
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Agatha Raisin #29Publication Date: 10/2/18For me, this was a 2.5 star read, but I am rounding it up to 3 because I am normally a huge Agatha Raisin fan. I was really, really looking forward to reading this, but it just didn’t do it for me. Has the series run too long? I don’t know, but I do know that this book didn’t deliver the sharp-tongued, intuitive, self-possessed, abrasive Agatha that we normally get. Instead, we have an unfocused, grumpy, incompetent, whiny woman who is desperate Series: Agatha Raisin #29Publication Date: 10/2/18For me, this was a 2.5 star read, but I am rounding it up to 3 because I am normally a huge Agatha Raisin fan. I was really, really looking forward to reading this, but it just didn’t do it for me. Has the series run too long? I don’t know, but I do know that this book didn’t deliver the sharp-tongued, intuitive, self-possessed, abrasive Agatha that we normally get. Instead, we have an unfocused, grumpy, incompetent, whiny woman who is desperate for a man and marriage at any cost. Instead of investigating she was daydreaming or moping and her supporting cast of characters weren’t much better at investigating.The story was disjointed and almost incoherent – things popping up out of left field. These stories are always very, very busy, but they always make sense in the end. This one didn’t. There were murders that nobody seemed to care about. The first victim was actually a policeman but there didn’t seem to be any real action to find out who murdered him or why. There were two young women who went missing – one was missing for quite some time and the other just went missing. The resolution to that is just out of the blue and doesn’t make sense. Then, you have an abused wife that nobody seems to worry about except to basically criticize her for putting up with it. There was a surprise at the end of the book and I will read the next book to see what happens with that. However, if that book is like this one, it will be the last one I read in the series.Please check out my reviews at:Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages...Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRevTwitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    What I continue to enjoy about the Agatha Raisin mysteries is the sheer fun of them. Predictability is a good thing in these delightful stories about Agatha, a retired owner of a London public relations firm and now owner of a private detective agency in the Cotswolds. Agatha will always become involved in a murder mystery, always dress for the attractive man in the room, be dissatisfied with her friends' attentions, and be one of the most generous people in her world. The characters know their What I continue to enjoy about the Agatha Raisin mysteries is the sheer fun of them. Predictability is a good thing in these delightful stories about Agatha, a retired owner of a London public relations firm and now owner of a private detective agency in the Cotswolds. Agatha will always become involved in a murder mystery, always dress for the attractive man in the room, be dissatisfied with her friends' attentions, and be one of the most generous people in her world. The characters know their parts and play them well. Agatha's best female friend is Mrs. Bloxby, the wife of the vicar of her small Costswold village of Carsley, and this friend astutely sees beneath the somewhat annoying antics of Agatha to a well-meaning, loyal person of worth. There are the usual men from Agatha's past, her ex-husband James Lacey and sometimes lover, Sir Charles Fraith, and, of course Roy Silver, a past employee from her London days who shows up when the lime light is shining. Her detective agency is full of additional characters whose interactions with Agatha provide much entertainment. Toni is the bright, competent, beautiful young woman who seems to always overlook Agatha's jealousy of her to come through for Agatha when she needs someone. Patrick is the retired cop with some helpful connections. Simon is the young man who would love to impress Toni, but it's unlikely that will every happen. Through all of the seemingly wrong approaches and mishaps in solving the murders that Agatha is hired to investigate, she somehow comes out on top, although the police are always reluctant and stingy in giving her any credit. In Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer, the 29th in this series, it's the handsome Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley who is visiting the nearby village of Thirk Magna and its historical church of St. Ethelred that catches Agatha's interest. Attending the welcoming service for the bishop with Mrs. Bloxby, they come into contact with the bell ringers for the church and the vicar's wife, all who are a rather squirrelly bunch. Two of the ringers, middle-aged twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin, are especially enamored of the bishop, despite his shady history with women. Fiercely competitive, these two women let Agatha know that she is an unwelcome kink in their plans to woo the handsome, yet unpredictable priest. Agatha herself learns soon enough how Peter can turn the charm off and on, according to the woman with the most promising bank account. When one of the twins turns up dead at the belfry, romancing the bishop takes a sinister turn, and as Agatha digs deeper into the world of the self-serving man of the cloth, her own life becomes a danger zone.One of the aspects of this series I enjoy is Agatha's love life, her constant pursuit of the perfect man to complete her life. In spite of her immense success as a professional and providing for herself quite nicely, Agatha feels true happiness lies in finding a husband, a soul-mate. She does try to reason with herself at times, admonishing her need for a man when she has done so well for herself, but she always falls back into her old habits of zeroing in on a target and becoming obsessed. She once again falls in love in this story, and, once again, it's fraught with complications. Her antics when she is in the throes of this myopic vision can be some funny material, and there is always the hope that she will learn from this disaster, but will she. Sir Charles Fraith is the one constant man in her life, and they both have genuine affection for one another, but they are always out of step with their feelings, and Charles is always on the look-out for a young heiress to solve his money problems. There is a good amount of Agatha and Charles in this book, and I was pleased to see that.I do have one complaint about this book, and that is the almost constant bad mood of Agatha, which affects her likeability. She has always been capable of rude behavior and telling it like it is without filters, but in this story, Agatha seems to be a lot gumpier and careless with her words. Those around Agatha know she can be a difficult person, but she is usually able to redeem herself. Not so much in this book. To put it bluntly, I hope Beaton make Agatha less of a bitch in the next outing. Having stated this displeasure, I still recommend reading Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer, as her personal life may be taking a turn, and you won't want to miss that.
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    Agatha Raisin books normally make feel me thankful. So on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend l read book 29. This book was worse then a dried out turkey. Agatha was just bitchy through the whole book. Sir Charles was his normal waffling self. The ending of the book was just to predictable. My plea is marry off Agatha and Charles or break them up for good all ready. Because this plot line is getting old. Maybe book 30 would be a good place to wrap up the series.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Agatha Raisin books are always fun and engrossing reads. This book in the series is no exception. All of our favorite supporting characters are back to help and/or hinder Agatha's detecting. I'm glad Agatha and Patrick get a few scenes in this book as I've always enjoyed their dynamic. Same for Agatha and Toni. I was, however, happiest that Gustav had a few appearances in this book. He cracks me up. I'll never tire of the will they or won't they plot with Agatha and Charles, it is just ever so e Agatha Raisin books are always fun and engrossing reads. This book in the series is no exception. All of our favorite supporting characters are back to help and/or hinder Agatha's detecting. I'm glad Agatha and Patrick get a few scenes in this book as I've always enjoyed their dynamic. Same for Agatha and Toni. I was, however, happiest that Gustav had a few appearances in this book. He cracks me up. I'll never tire of the will they or won't they plot with Agatha and Charles, it is just ever so entertaining.
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  • Bertha
    January 1, 1970
    For years I have looked forward to the next Agatha Raisin adventure. This book was a disappointment. The stories and characters are there. However, the mistakes in basic grammar, the totally missing words, comments attributed to wrong people, and a story line all over the place (sometimes without continuity or completeness) were a huge aggravation. Was the editing and proofreading process completed ? It sure does not read as if the work needed was completed. I hope for a return to the much more For years I have looked forward to the next Agatha Raisin adventure. This book was a disappointment. The stories and characters are there. However, the mistakes in basic grammar, the totally missing words, comments attributed to wrong people, and a story line all over the place (sometimes without continuity or completeness) were a huge aggravation. Was the editing and proofreading process completed ? It sure does not read as if the work needed was completed. I hope for a return to the much more tightly produced mysteries of the past when the next Agatha Raisin book is published.
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    The Agatha Raisin series has been around for some time. The Dead Ringer is about the death/murder of a bell ringer and a few other characters (I don’t want to give a spoiler) in the quiet little town of Thirk Magnay England. This is book #29 in the series.It’s been a while since I read an Agatha Raisin mystery and by getting this publication, I realized I missed a few things going on in her life. The first book in the series depicts her as a cranky, middle-aged publicist, supposedly 53 years of The Agatha Raisin series has been around for some time. The Dead Ringer is about the death/murder of a bell ringer and a few other characters (I don’t want to give a spoiler) in the quiet little town of Thirk Magnay England. This is book #29 in the series.It’s been a while since I read an Agatha Raisin mystery and by getting this publication, I realized I missed a few things going on in her life. The first book in the series depicts her as a cranky, middle-aged publicist, supposedly 53 years of age. I’m guessing she doesn’t age in real time as years later, she’s still a middle-aged lady and described as attractive if not abrasive. My bookish friend Angry Grey Cat renewed my interest in the series.Agatha has her own detective agency set up now, a change from books in the past where she was more like a Jessica Fletcher character in Murder, She Wrote. What I liked about this book was the familiarity of the little town in the Cotswolds. The picturesque setting and scenery are inviting. Thirk Magna has an ancient church called St. Ethelred and it’s the pride and joy of the community.There are adult twin sisters who are part of the bell ringers group and very involved in the church. Apparently bell ringing is like no other type of music and isn’t written on a standard score. The six bell ringers change their order and each time they strike it’s done from memory. Quite an art of memory and dedication. It most certainly wouldn’t be for me.The twins are swooning on about the visit of a bishop who is reputed to be very handsome and they are determined to take charge of the visit, arranging which “song” they will play on bells and generally being pains in the butt. This bishop has some scandal following him as his rich ex-fiancé has disappeared. That’s what interests Agatha very much. Now the bodies start piling up, as you would expect from one of her novels.The mention of Detective Sargent Bill Wong was a familiar character as I remember him from all the previous books. I wondered why he hasn’t been promoted to a higher rank than D.S. in all the years (29 years!) of being on the police force. But I have to remind myself that this isn’t written in real time as DCI Alan Banks novels. Also, it has been well established that Bill is half Chinese and half British so when I read that again I thought – yeah, yeah…we all know Bill is half Chinese and Brit. That could have been left out.Food: There are mentions of Greek food, pub meals, gin and tonics, tea and cakes. I am on board with any of those things!Overall, this isn’t the edgy sort of mystery I usually read and love but a milder mystery, not quite a cozy. Clear as mud? It’s fun to follow a character through a long series so if you are looking for a light mystery series, you may want to give Agatha Raisin a chance.Much thanks to NetGalley for this advanced copy. Opinions are mine and I was not compensated for the review.
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  • JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
    January 1, 1970
    Agatha Raisin goes to the village of Thirk Magna with her friend Mrs. Bloxby and sees a magnificent figure of a man in the form of Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley and decides she'd like to know him better. She also makes the acquaintance of Julian Brody, who dislikes the Bishop and asks her to look into the disappearance of his ex-fiancee Jennifer Toynby, who disappeared without a trace. But as Agatha starts looking into the matter she discovers that the Bishop is unlikable (at least to her) and tha Agatha Raisin goes to the village of Thirk Magna with her friend Mrs. Bloxby and sees a magnificent figure of a man in the form of Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley and decides she'd like to know him better. She also makes the acquaintance of Julian Brody, who dislikes the Bishop and asks her to look into the disappearance of his ex-fiancée Jennifer Toynby, who disappeared without a trace. But as Agatha starts looking into the matter she discovers that the Bishop is unlikable (at least to her) and that not only is Jennifer's disappearance unsolved, but others in this village are soon found murdered: Larry Jensen, a local policeman; Millicent Dupin, half of a horrible pair of middle-aged twins; and Terry Fletcher, an Australian journalist that Agatha fell immediately in love with - but ended the affair, leaving her with a broken heart.But the newspapers aren't so kind and label her a home wrecker, and she can't find any trace of Jennifer; and these things, along with several others, lead her into a depression she isn't able to pull herself from. But it is when she decides that she must no longer feel sorry for herself and get back to the job of detecting that she is able to discover the truth...only in doing so, this time she may have gone too far and the killer might just want to silence her forever...I have always enjoyed the books of Ms. Beaton and this one is no different. Our Agatha, who considers herself a good detective relying on her intuition, is once again looking for a case that is more exciting than finding one's missing pet. But in doing so, she discovers that she doesn't care for the village of Thirk Magna nor any of its inhabitants, considering them all crazy. She may not be far from the truth, but still she has a job to do and tries her best - at least until she is once again disappointed in love.It doesn't last forever, but at least she has a staff that is reliable and can get things done while she is in her funk; and there is always Charles, faithful to her in his own way and his desire to snap her out of it and bring her back to reality heartens me each time. I truly like this man, with all his quirks and even his habit of "forgetting his wallet" at opportune times. This time out, he's more of a 'partner in crime' as it were, and while he's not happy about it, he's willing to help his Aggie along.We are given more to Charles in this book than I think we have seen in any of the others and his devotion to Agatha is at once apparent, even if she doesn't see it herself. It's probably because she spends her time wondering why she can't find her soul mate. I would expect more from Agatha.However, she does manage to get herself mired in a couple of harrowing situations (which we would expect no less of her) by not thinking things through completely; still, it is interesting to see how she extricates herself (with help) and quite fun to read about. In the end, the book came together quite nicely while still leaving me at odds, as I found that while the plot is decent as always and the writing is indeed good; I am torn by the ending, which, I am sure is not an ending at all; and I will have to wait (impatiently) for the next in the series.
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  • Shoshana
    January 1, 1970
    Who doesn’t love Agatha Raisin? I always look forward to the next Agatha story, and I greatly enjoyed her most recent outing in “The Dead Ringer.” This is the usual wonderful, funny, frothy mix, with all of the usual secondary characters, and the madcap goings-on in the Cotswolds.The story is about bell ringers in the village of Thirk Magna, a sexy bishop, his thuggish underling the Dean, murder, and our Agatha, complete with her cats, her insecurities, her intuition, and her friends. I don’t li Who doesn’t love Agatha Raisin? I always look forward to the next Agatha story, and I greatly enjoyed her most recent outing in “The Dead Ringer.” This is the usual wonderful, funny, frothy mix, with all of the usual secondary characters, and the madcap goings-on in the Cotswolds.The story is about bell ringers in the village of Thirk Magna, a sexy bishop, his thuggish underling the Dean, murder, and our Agatha, complete with her cats, her insecurities, her intuition, and her friends. I don’t like spoilers so I am not going to give any as I do not want to take any of the enjoyment away from the reader. You’ll thank me later when you are laughing out loud.The Agatha Raisin books, like the author’s other wonderful series, the Hamish MacBeth books, are not great literature. They are never going to win the sorts of prizes given out for ponderous tomes. But they don’t have to be anything but what they are, a bit of light entertainment, and totally enjoyable. I was out of sorts when I picked up “The Dead Ringer,” and Agatha provided me with just what I needed. Pick up a copy of “The Dead Ringer” and let Agatha work her magic on you.Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Melinda Anders
    January 1, 1970
    If you like mysteries then you must read Agatha Raisin books. This is the 29th in the series but you could start with this one and not be confused about what was happening. The series is about Agatha Raisin, she has moved to the Cotswolds to have a slower way of life. She becomes a detective because she runs into so many murders. In this book there is a murdered woman and Agatha decides to investigate because she does not trust the bishop. There is a lot of suspects which she must decide which o If you like mysteries then you must read Agatha Raisin books. This is the 29th in the series but you could start with this one and not be confused about what was happening. The series is about Agatha Raisin, she has moved to the Cotswolds to have a slower way of life. She becomes a detective because she runs into so many murders. In this book there is a murdered woman and Agatha decides to investigate because she does not trust the bishop. There is a lot of suspects which she must decide which one has killed the woman.
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  • Tripfiction
    January 1, 1970
    Murder mystery set in the COTSWOLDSThe small, picturesque Cotswold village of Thirk Magna is all of a twitter at the impending visit of the dishy Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley, and identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin are more of a twitter than most. Dedicated bell ringers and self-appointed leaders of the community (they can trace their lineage back to William the Conqueror after all) they decide that nothing short of the longest bell ringing will do as a welcome for the great man. According Murder mystery set in the COTSWOLDSThe small, picturesque Cotswold village of Thirk Magna is all of a twitter at the impending visit of the dishy Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley, and identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin are more of a twitter than most. Dedicated bell ringers and self-appointed leaders of the community (they can trace their lineage back to William the Conqueror after all) they decide that nothing short of the longest bell ringing will do as a welcome for the great man. Accordingly, they set about bullying the troupe of bell ringers into practice after practice. Meanwhile, heartthrob lawyer, Julian Brody, one of the bell ringers, has hired our heroine Agatha Raisin to investigate the disappearance of the bishop’s ex-fiancée. Confused already? Well, draw a deep breath – it’s about to get much more complicated.No sooner is super sleuth Agatha on the scene than the bodies start to pile up. First to cop it, is Larry Jensen, a local policeman whose body is found rotting fragrantly in the crypt. Next Millicent Dupin falls foul of the murderer close to her beloved St Ethelred’s. As murders continue around her, Agatha gets started on the work of investigation, but for Agatha Raisin the work of investigation always takes second place to her love of good food, booze, fags and pretty much anyone in trousers. Hence progress is slow.I don’t suppose anyone reads M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin books because they love detective fiction; the plots are far-fetched in the extreme and this one, 29thin the series, is particularly disjointed, with a host of characters flitting about from Cotswold villages to Thailand and Bulgaria at breakneck and very confusing speed. Rather, lovers of this particular series of novels – and they have become something of a cult – read them for their black humour and for the central character of Agatha, who must surely be one of the rudest characters ever created. I did enjoy the hideous twins, Mavis and Millicent Dupin, so proud of their heritage and so desperate to hook themselves a man, (preferably the delectable Bishop, described by one as “sex on legs”) that they will stop short of nothing including perpetrating violence on each other.All of the Agatha Raisin books are set in pretty Cotswold villages, home to the author herself, and they certainly give the reader a flavour of village life and an impression of the charming nature of these chocolate-box hamlets with their thatched cottages, well-tended gardens, quaint tea-shops and historic churches. It is hard not to think that the grotesque characters who populate Beaton’s novels must be distortions of the typical cast of inhabitants of any of these villages – quite enough to tempt the reader to visit and attempt spotting a few.
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    Barely 3 stars for this disappointment latest installment in the Agatha Raisin series. Wow, what a letdown. Too many characters and plot twists to be really enjoyable, and the ending was just ridiculous, even for Agatha. Charles is starting to annoy me as much as James now. Badly written as compared to the others, definitely felt like the pressure of a deadline was driving this one. It was painful to even write this review, as I really loved this series. Hoping for better next time. :(
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  • Tammy Reed
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first Agatha book I couldn’t finish. It was so simplistic and ridiculous. The story dumped around, the characters were flat, Agatha wasn’t herself, and it desperately needed editing. I was really disappointed.
  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    A handsome bishop who is less than holy has the women of Thirk Magna in a tizzy. A bell ring is killed, then a sleezy policeman, then Agatha meets the love of her life, a (married) reporter whom she finds dead in her home. Agatha's cats, Hodge and Boswell, are catnapped, and Agatha suspects the bishop of the deed. Trying to redeem herself, Agatha follows a suspect to Bulgaria, where she is joined by Charles. After more excitement, they fly home and a handsome stranger helps Agatha with her bagga A handsome bishop who is less than holy has the women of Thirk Magna in a tizzy. A bell ring is killed, then a sleezy policeman, then Agatha meets the love of her life, a (married) reporter whom she finds dead in her home. Agatha's cats, Hodge and Boswell, are catnapped, and Agatha suspects the bishop of the deed. Trying to redeem herself, Agatha follows a suspect to Bulgaria, where she is joined by Charles. After more excitement, they fly home and a handsome stranger helps Agatha with her baggage. When Charles finally goes to Agatha's cottage a few weeks later, he finds a party going on and Mrs. Bloxby tells him it is Agatha's engagement party. He catches Agatha's shining eyes through the window and turns sadly away.Although still an interesting read, I don't think this book is as well written or as humorous as her earlier books.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I do enjoy Agatha Raisin. She gets herself into some messes and the murders are always twisty. She's a favorite character and this did not disappoint. She and Charles are back and forth as usual and she gets into some tight some spots. No spoiler but I do hope the next one picks up where this left off.
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  • Kaijsa
    January 1, 1970
    This book seemed unfinished. I've read the whole Agatha Raisin series from the beginning, and the series did start to get a bit stale several years ago. However, I though books 27 and 28 were much improved and I really liked reading them, which made me look forward to this one. Unfortunately, it was bad. Like, really bad. It might be the worst entry in the whole series, which makes me sad. There were a surprising number of mean-spirited gay jokes, plus the story was just full of horrid people co This book seemed unfinished. I've read the whole Agatha Raisin series from the beginning, and the series did start to get a bit stale several years ago. However, I though books 27 and 28 were much improved and I really liked reading them, which made me look forward to this one. Unfortunately, it was bad. Like, really bad. It might be the worst entry in the whole series, which makes me sad. There were a surprising number of mean-spirited gay jokes, plus the story was just full of horrid people constantly punching each other in the face. And, as I mentioned, it didn't even feel complete. It read almost like Beaton was using as few words as possible in each sentence. Truly baffling.
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  • Charlene Roberson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital edition of this book in exchange for my review. Here is that review:I had never read an Agatha Raisin book, but I had watched the BBC series and THOUGHT I knew Agatha. NOT! This Agatha is very different from the tv one, and I like the tv one better. There were so many characters I had a terrible time keeping them straight. Between the Bishop, the Dean, two vicars, Harry Bury and Joseph Merrydown, I never knew who anyone was!! And all the people who Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital edition of this book in exchange for my review. Here is that review:I had never read an Agatha Raisin book, but I had watched the BBC series and THOUGHT I knew Agatha. NOT! This Agatha is very different from the tv one, and I like the tv one better. There were so many characters I had a terrible time keeping them straight. Between the Bishop, the Dean, two vicars, Harry Bury and Joseph Merrydown, I never knew who anyone was!! And all the people who seemed to work for Agatha. I really needed a spreadsheet. The story itself was somewhat confusing, too. Was the case to find the missing heiress? or solve the multiplying murders? or get Agatha a husband? In the end, all the problems were solved, but by that time I just wanted it to be over.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    I have dipped in and out of this incredibly long running series and this installment is typical of the ones that made me stop reading it. I get that characters like all of us age and can feel cranky and depressed but Agatha in this installment is not like the Agatha I remember. There are lots of characters, a mystery I couldn't quite sort out (not that it was complicated but I had trouble sorting out what was what), and a loss of spirit of sorts. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'm sorry to giv I have dipped in and out of this incredibly long running series and this installment is typical of the ones that made me stop reading it. I get that characters like all of us age and can feel cranky and depressed but Agatha in this installment is not like the Agatha I remember. There are lots of characters, a mystery I couldn't quite sort out (not that it was complicated but I had trouble sorting out what was what), and a loss of spirit of sorts. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'm sorry to give this a 3 star review but it didn't live up to the pleasures of those which preceded it.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 Stars rounded up because I have been a fan of this series. This installment however left me very disappointed. The story seemed to jump about without clear transition. Some parts seemed incredibly rushed. The prickly, but enjoyable Agatha has turned into a cursing harridan. It felt as if all the characters were one-dimensional....and that dimension consisted of their most obnoxious character flaw. I hope that this receives some editing and fleshing out. This series has a huge fan base and I 2.5 Stars rounded up because I have been a fan of this series. This installment however left me very disappointed. The story seemed to jump about without clear transition. Some parts seemed incredibly rushed. The prickly, but enjoyable Agatha has turned into a cursing harridan. It felt as if all the characters were one-dimensional....and that dimension consisted of their most obnoxious character flaw. I hope that this receives some editing and fleshing out. This series has a huge fan base and I fear this will be a let down.
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  • N Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Unsettling. Dark in so many ways.Agatha spends most of her time pining after one man after another. Falls for a married man, breaks it off, and then sort of reconsiders because she doesn't want to be alone. She wastes too much time lamenting that facts that she is unmarried, alone, and unhappy. She doesn't see the reason for this is because she is just too mean spirited. Too much back and forth of should I ask Charles to marry me. He spends too much time going back and forth considering whether Unsettling. Dark in so many ways.Agatha spends most of her time pining after one man after another. Falls for a married man, breaks it off, and then sort of reconsiders because she doesn't want to be alone. She wastes too much time lamenting that facts that she is unmarried, alone, and unhappy. She doesn't see the reason for this is because she is just too mean spirited. Too much back and forth of should I ask Charles to marry me. He spends too much time going back and forth considering whether he should ask Agatha to marry him.The most disturbing things about this book were the underlying violence that had never been present in the other Agatha Raisin books to this extent. Too many people were punching others in the nose with no provocation. And Agatha was just too aggressively nasty. She wasn't nice to anyone unless she needed something from them. She even sassed Mrs. Bloxby so much that the very reserved Mrs. Bloxby talked back.I'm not sure what the plot line was. She lamented over and over again that she was not being a thorough investigator, but then spent too much time investigating a murder she wasn't getting paid for. The rest of the staff was mostly missing in action, except for a few minor plot lines. Two missing girls? The dead ringer? Hmmmm.The plot was very disjointed. Big chunks of plot line were either missing or edited out. Case in point: at one point Roy Silver was headed back to London. What? When did he arrive? Why? How long had he been there? This was never addressed, as well as other small inconsistencies.This is clearly not the writing of M. C. Beaton. Her Agatha was sharp-tongued, fun-loving and confident. This Agatha is a mess, and ready for a nervous breakdown.If you have to read this one, get it through the Library. Don't waste your money.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    As many others have said, the magic seems to have gone out of Agatha Raisin. She's just mean and rude, and doesn't seem to have her old spice. I can relate. I'm 50 and feel like I've lost some of my magic and spice, too. I think the main issues with this book are that it jumps around too much. There are multiple murders, but no time is spent on any specific one. ALL of the old characters are in this one, and you start to lose track. Roy could have been left out of this one altogether. The last f As many others have said, the magic seems to have gone out of Agatha Raisin. She's just mean and rude, and doesn't seem to have her old spice. I can relate. I'm 50 and feel like I've lost some of my magic and spice, too. I think the main issues with this book are that it jumps around too much. There are multiple murders, but no time is spent on any specific one. ALL of the old characters are in this one, and you start to lose track. Roy could have been left out of this one altogether. The last few books, including this one, could use a good sharp editor. There are continuity errors. At one point, the same character is referred to by two different names in one paragraph. Sir Charles has met another character just few weeks past, then a few chapters later, he has known her and her history for years. Maybe just a good outline and keep it to one dead body instead of however many were in this book (I lost track) and let Agatha really do some sleuthing. The very last chapter was the best in the book. There are flashes of the old Aggie, and that keeps me coming back.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    The Dead Ringer by MC Beaton is the 29th book in the Agatha Raisin series. I have read all the books in this cozy mystery series. I love that Agatha is a strong woman, but can be whiny and has a low self esteem, she sees every man as a possible husband. She is outspoken and can be dominating, but she seems to be mellowing, at least a little, with age, maybe. As with all Agatha Raisin books, it has more twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. It feels like I dropped in for a visit The Dead Ringer by MC Beaton is the 29th book in the Agatha Raisin series. I have read all the books in this cozy mystery series. I love that Agatha is a strong woman, but can be whiny and has a low self esteem, she sees every man as a possible husband. She is outspoken and can be dominating, but she seems to be mellowing, at least a little, with age, maybe. As with all Agatha Raisin books, it has more twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. It feels like I dropped in for a visit and catching up on all the gossip. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries and I strongly recommend this book. To get the most out of this series, I would start book one and read them all in order. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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