Panico in sala (Agatha Raisin #25) By M.C. Beaton

Received this from Goodreads giveaway.

The characters are annoying thin, merely names on paper with little substance to carry the plot. Yet, my main issue is with Agatha herself. She's a detective with a reputation, judging as to how this book is #25 in the series. However, Agatha is ready to throw herself at any man who comes into contact with her. She's quick to create marriage fantasies with anyone she comes across.

Furthermore, this story started off as a mystery, but towards the middle, we're suddenly in the middle of romance (driven primarily by Agatha and her weird fantasies). The point of view is from Agatha, but there was a moment where the middle switched to John Hale, and how he wanted to marry her for money. Perhaps this startling switch of viewpoints was to give us a possible suspect, but all it did was yank me out of the story.

No, I have not read the first 24 books. I would assume such background is unnecessary. If I ever come across another Agatha Raisin mystery, I would certainly peruse it, just to see if she is really how she's portrayed in this book. Other than that, I'd believe your time would unfortunately be better spent reading something else. M.C. Beaton Oh Agatha, Agatha - will you never learn? Apparently not, and perhaps that's why we love her, but it would be nice to see some emotional growth in our beloved Agatha Raisin.

This is a typical Agatha Raisin novel - mildly amusing narrative, outrageous plot, Agatha on the prowl for a husband and jealous of young Toni. This book requires no effort to read. For the die-hard Agatha Raisin fan. Not for someone new to the series.

I read a Netgalley advance copy of The Blood of an Englishman. M.C. Beaton I liked it, it was nice to see the regular characters. In the first third, old nasty Agatha is back. Then the book shifts into a formulaic disappointment. Conflicts start and are resolved in two sentences.
Agatha has a sense of danger now, and it is overused. She has become high tech with a constant companion of her iPad and a mention of her kindle. Her described looks seem to have greatly improved and she thinks every man she meets wants to get married. She wears silk clothing at all times, it is impractical.
Overall this book is an improvement over the last ten or so. It is Agatha Raisin's 25th story. I didn't guess the killer. M.C. Beaton If you have not read any of the Agatha Raisin Mysteries yet, up to and including this one, you need to get caught up!

I loved this book. There is a healthy dose of humour all the way through it and the characters are not only memorable, but a lot of fun. I love unique mysteries where you feel as though you haven't read it all before in one form or another. M.C. Beaton has a way of making everything that happens feel like it is original.

If you are a fan of the cozy mystery, this will satisfy you without being overly 'precious' or silly. I enjoyed watching the events unfold as the story was told and going through the process with the main character. The story takes plenty of unexpected turns and will leave you wanting the next book right now!

This is a fun book that will keep you guessing. I like characters with big personalities and Agatha Raisin is certainly one to fit in that category.

**Having an actual Englishman read this book aloud to you may also increase your chances of loving it, but is not necessary for enjoyment:)

Highly recommended, five stars well deserved.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own. M.C. Beaton Repeat after me, Gentle Readers: mystery novel protagonists are NOT role models! We aren't reading the novels of the esteemed Glenn Beck, right? GOOD.

The Blood of an Englishman provided me with several hours of reading bliss. The pacing is lickety-split. The plot is just complicated enough, although it did seem to have one small hole. Agatha is hilariously awful, and insecure in a way that is at once offensive and touching. The murder suspects are total jerks. Heck, even most of Agatha's friends (and certainly all of her love interests) are total jerks. So I can understand why some readers, especially those new to the series, wonder, what the heck is there to love about a book starring a jerk and brimming with a bunch of other jerks?

The answer for me is, Beaton's writing is slightly cartoonish--the descriptions of people, the absurd events--so the unpleasantness of humanity is brought into relief. Slightly exaggerated, we can laugh at problems that are in fact familiar. Which is what real humor always does. Yes, it IS ridiculous that Agatha Raisin has attained middle age without shedding her immature, romantic fantasies about men, or her need to wear makeup and high heels to feel confident. The readers who love this character can relate to that, as well as to Agatha's struggles with jealousy and the need for attention. I know one person who really doesn't like Agatha, and she happens to be one of the nicest, kindest women I know. In a nutshell, she's too nice to get Agatha. And to the rest of you Agatha Raisin fans out there--I'll see you in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. With gin and tonics. M.C. Beaton

Uno spettacolo teatrale messo in scena da una compagnia amatoriale: quella sera Agatha, seduta in platea nella sala comunale di Winter Parva, avrebbe voluto essere da qualsiasi altra parte al mondo.
A un certo punto il panettiere locale, Bert Simple, impegnato nel ruolo dell’orco, precipita in una botola che si apre d’improvviso ai suoi piedi. Sembra un mero effetto scenico, che però si rivelerà essere un omicidio in diretta e davanti a un folto pubblico: Bert viene ritrovato impalato sotto il palco.
Agatha viene ingaggiata dal produttore per investigare, e scopre incredibili (e pericolosi) altarini nel mondo dei teatranti amatoriali. Panico in sala (Agatha Raisin #25)

There’s some clever plotting and thematic echoes in this one that seem obvious in hindsight, yet I didn’t see them coming while I was reading. This is probably my favourite Agatha Raisin book so far... and I’m not just saying that because the author died last month. M.C. Beaton I've read all your novels, so I'm sorry Mrs Beaton, but this latest novel reads like a first draft that needs to be re-read and edited at least twice! Some characters, like Roy Silver and James Lacey for example, are so obviously just used as devices to introduce disasterous episodes and there are several inconsistencies and repetitions. If the writing had been more meticulous, it could have been a good story.

M.C. Beaton

I saw this book and thought it would be a sure-fire get-me-in-the-mood-for-Christmas read. As I said in last week's Friday Reads, 'What could be more festive than murder at a pantomime?'

I knew I was wrong when my wife read the book earlier this week and didn't seem enthused. She said it was rambling and unfocused. That there were too many characters and too many under-worked ideas. That the plot took so long to unwind that you'd almost forgotten about the pantomime by the end and that, just when you thought it was all over, M. C. Beaton added a new character, clearly meant to be a baddy in a future book and did absolutely nothing with her.

I read the book anyway because we don't always see the same thing in a book but all the way through, a small voice in my head was going: 'You brought this on yourself. You were warned.'

I was very disappointed. I'd enjoyed an earlier Christmas Agatha Raisin, 'Agatha Raisin And Kissing Christmas Goodbye' so I thought this one would work. Except it wasn't really a Christmas book. It started with a murder at the 'Babes in the Woods' amateur Panto that would make any man cross his legs and cringe just to think about. It was swiftly followed by a 'Mikado'-related death that was equally spectacular. We were on a roll. Then reality raised its unwanted head and it took Agatha months and months to figure out who had killed whom and how and why. While that may be true to life, it meant that the Christmas theme evaporated very early.

There were multiple bloody murders, carried out with great theatricality and yet they made no impact on me. I wasn't invested in any of the dead people and the focus of the live people seemed to be mostly on whether Agatha should marry for the third time and if so, who should the future ex-husband be?

The plot meandered. The dialogue didn't sparkle. By the end, I was just glad that the whole book only took six hours to listen to.

Can I think of anything more positive to say?


M.C. Beaton Murderous Fun!

Back when I used to buy a lot of paperbacks, the publishers would sometimes put a stamp on one saying 'Guaranteed Good Read'. They were so convinced that the book was great, that they promised money back if you don't like it.

While publishers don't tend to do that anymore, anything by M.C. Beaton should really come with that stamp. She is a guaranteed good read.

In The Blood of An Englishman, Beaton brings us Agatha Raisin in all her glory. For those of you who haven't read an Agatha Raisin book before, you're in for a treat. This is no Miss Marple. Agatha is vain, man-mad, cigarette smoking, snarky, yet funny, sweet, and absolutely loveable. While I wouldn't want to be Agatha, I'd sure love to know her.

Note: Every Agatha Raisin book stands on its own. Don't worry if you haven't read the series before. You'll be just fine and you'll likely want to go back and read the other books!

For those of you who, like me, are Agatha fans, this is the consummate Agatha Raisin book. In no particular order, we have murder, mayhem, love, lust, betrayal, and objects hurled at great speed. There are old loves - and new ones - and some very new murder techniques! Beaton had fun with this one.

The book is lively, funny, and, yes, a Guaranteed Good Read.

Absolutely recommended.

*ARC provided by Netgalley for review purposes.
M.C. Beaton Another awesome story with Agatha and her assortment of chums. This time trying to solve the horrific mystery of how a leading man in a Christmas play ends up being impaled on a spike under a trap door! I love Agatha's wit, her intelligence and her fierce loyalty to those closest to you (in a begrudging way...) M.C. Beaton

download Panico in sala (Agatha Raisin #25)