The Dead Ringer
The Dead Ringer An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 02 Oct 2018
M C Beaton’s newest Agatha Raisin novel is loads of fun for fans and newcomers alike. Filled with sharp eyed portraits of quirky locals, as well as honest and amusing takes on series favorites, The Dead Ringer is a hilarious depiction of village life in the Cotswolds - as well as a mystery with several confounding turns. As always the villains are rather easy for the reader to ferret out, but it is simply much too fun watching Agatha strive and struggle - mainly with her desire for a man, and her tempestuous but vulnerable ego. Agatha is the perennial fish out of water in the Cotswolds, but she has made it her home and has numerous friends looking out for her - a necessity since she has a tendency to get into trouble.
The trouble here begins with the visit of the local bishop to Thirk Magna. Considered a celebrity because of his gorgeous visage, the bishop sets all ages of hearts a flutter. Jealousy can be a powerful motive, but is it the reason why bodies start appearing in Thirk Magna - including that of a reporter who sets Agatha’s heart a flutter.
In sum there are quirky characters, hilarious hijinks, chaotic reprisals and more than a few bodies turning up in The Dead Ringer. Oh and Agatha falls in love. That is really worth a read. I highly recommend The Dead Ringer.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Dead Ringer from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Description New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again in The Dead Ringer. The idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna is best known for the medieval church of St. Ethelred and its bells, which are the pride and glory of the whole community. As the bell-ringers get ready for the visit of the dashing Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley, the whole village is thrown into a frenzy. Meanwhile, Agatha convinces one of the bell-ringers, the charming lawyer Julian Brody, to hire her to investigate the mystery of the Bishop’s ex-fiancée: a local heiress, Jennifer Toynby, who went missing years ago and whose body was never found... Meanwhile, the bodies in the village just keep on piling up: the corpse of Larry Jensen, a local policeman, is discovered in the crypt. Millicent Dupin, one of a pair of bell-ringing identical twins, is murdered near the church. And Terry Fletcher, a journalist and (briefly) Agatha’s lover, is found dead in her sitting room! Agatha widens her investigation and very soon her main suspect is the handsome Bishop himself. But could he really be behind this series of violent killings, or is it someone who wants to bring him—and his reputation—down?