Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review: Love, Lies and Liquor by M.C. Beaton (Agatha Raisin #17)

Agatha Raisin is lonely. Busy as she is with her detective agency and the meetings of the Carsely Ladies' Society, she still misses her ex-husband James Lacey, so she welcomes his return to the cottage next door with her usual triumph of optimism over experience - especially when he invites her on holiday at a surprise location that was once very dear to him. With visions of a romantic hideaway in Italy or the Pacific dancing in her head, Agatha goes off happily with James to ... Smoth-on-Sea in Sussex.

While James may have fond memories of boyhood holidays then, Smoth-on-Sea has seen better days, as has the once-grand Palace Hotel, now run-down and tacky and freezing cold. Nor do the other guests have much to recommend them, especially the brassy honeymoon couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jankers who pick a fight with Agatha in the dining room. But trouble has a way of following Agatha even if romance does not: just as she and James are preparing to flee to warmer climes, Geraldine Jankers is found dead on the beach - strangled with Agatha's scarf. So much for Agatha's holiday fantasies! Not only is it time to put her detective skills to work, but the police are not even sure that she'll be allowed to leave town.

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (5 CDs/5.75 hours).

I really cannot believe that James had the nerve to return to Carsely! He really is just something else. I suppose I was just waiting on it to happen since he'd just disappeared and not died or anything, but still! Ugh!

Charles was his usual fickle self, but his plucky aunt is growing on me. I missed Bill though. Mrs. Bloxby's larger part was lovely. She's so thoughtful and, to her friends, sweet. She'd be a wonderful person to know in real life. Harry is just lovely and I'm really enjoying his addition to the cast.

This one gets seven stars. It really renewed my love of Agatha and the series and I can't wait to read the next in the series. Donada Peters did a lovely job with the reading, as always.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


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