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Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin Mysteries) Hardcover – October 12, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In bestseller Beaton's terrific 21st Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2009's There Goes the Bride), the fiercely formidable private detective and her perky young protégé, Toni Gilmour, look into the stabbing murder of John "Grudge" Sunday, a Mircester health and safety board officer, outside a joint meeting of two Cotswolds ladies' societies. The unpopular Sunday had put a pall on the holidays by stopping the annual custom of erecting a Christmas tree atop the Carsely church tower. Millionaire and prime suspect Miriam Courtney, who threatened to kill Sunday, hires Agatha to clear her name. Complications ensue after someone strikes Miriam a fatal blow to the head. Beaton, the pen name for Marion Chesney, does a brilliant job of depicting Agatha's struggles with aging and keeping her detective agency afloat. Her romantic upheavals (will she ever marry close friend Sir Charles Fraith?) continue to tantalize.
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Review

"Beaton ... does a brilliant job of depicting Agatha's struggles with aging and keeping her detective agency afloat. Her romantic upheavals (will she ever marry close friend Sir Charles Fraith?) continue to tantalize."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 
"Testy Agatha, continuing her habit of falling for unsuitable men, scores again with a cunning mixture of satire and mystery."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Beaton is a master of the cozy formula — there are plenty of red herrings, a large cast of suspects and an eagle-eye view of village life."
--RT Book Reviews
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Product Details

  • Series: Agatha Raisin Mysteries (Book 21)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312387016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312387013
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,193,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M.C. BEATON has won international acclaim for her bestselling Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries. She is also the author of over 100 romance titles and a series of romantic suspense, The Edwardian Mystery Series. M. C. Beaton lives in a Cotswold cottage with her husband.

Marion is active on Facebook using her most popular pen name, M.C. Beaton. You can find complete book lists, information on events, and sign up for news updates at her website, www.MCBeaton.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
M. C. Beaton is a wonderfully creative and prolific writer. The old Aggie is back in her latest book Busy Body. There are so many twists and turns that I had a hard time putting it down. A very engaging book. I disagree with one of the reviewers who said there were too many characters and it was confusing. That is one thing I love about most British mysteries, like Inspector Lewis and Morse, they are intricate and that keeps the story exciting. Of course, Beaton, throws in that touch of humor that makes all of us love Agatha and her escapades. I've come to love Beaton's cast of returning characters --- the wise and ever dependable Mrs. Bloxby; stingy but charming Sir Charles; flamboyant and flaky Roy Silver, and the list goes on. Now I'm left longing for Beaton's next Agatha Raisin mystery. Guess I'll have to wait another year. As Agatha would say, "Snakes and bastards!" Ms. Beaton, please keep writing those wonderful Agatha Raisin books.
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Format: Hardcover
M.C. Beaton has been proclaimed the new Agatha Christie, and there is some merit to that, particularly in her earlier work. Of late, though, the well seems to be, if not running dry, whirling around and around like an eddy. "Busy Body" starring the redoubtable Agatha Raisin soars off in every direction and rapidly spins out of control. It reads less like a novel than three or four novellas carelessly pasted together. Characters come, characters go, characters get killed (even a hero); some characters pop up out of nowhere, others vanish without a trace, some are no more than extras; there is some country hopping, and an awful lot of time seems to pass over the course of the book. Potentially intriguing subplots are introduced and then left hanging (presumably for a future book), as though the author just didn't want to take the time to let them play out. Despite all this activity, none of the characters are particularly well drawn, even Agatha herself (if you don't already know what makes her tick from earlier books, she will be pretty enigmatic here). The denouement of one of the central murders is shockingly thrown away in "oh-by-the-way-I-heard-this-is-who-did-it" fashion. While an awful lot happens over the course of 278 pages, none of it gels into a cohesive story. For Beaton's fans, the book has to count as a disappointment, and those for whom "Busy Body" is their introduction to Beaton will no doubt wonder what all the shouting is about.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't know where to begin with the latest Agatha Raisin book, it was a confusing and bumbling read (then listen) from beginning to end. I started reading the book and in the first two chapters I knew it was going to be a hard book to complete from the random topics in the paragraphs to lack of flow from one sentence to the next. I have read or listen to all the books in this series and while I didn't love all of them I can honestly say I DID NOT LIKE this one at all. It was so much of the same - Agatha worrying about getting old, Agatha getting her hopes up about a young man, Agatha just plain old not growing up.

All that being said I did finish the book, which is a plus, and in the rare areas where the book reminded me of past books I enjoyed it but those areas were far and few between. After finishing the book, I think it may be time to say good-bye to Agatha and her bumbling ways.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love Agatha Raisin, but this one was not that great.
Thought the plot and other details, seemed as if this
was written in a hurry. But will still read any other of this series.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read all of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books, most more than once. I love them.

When reading this book, however, I felt like I was playing the old Sesame Street game "One of these things is not like the other". Yes, it stars Agatha Raisin and the cover says it was written by M.C. Beaton, but something was just different. And off. I can't totally put my finger on it. One thing that initially threw me off was the fact that you barely hear anything about the title character before he's killed off. In fact, does Agatha even meet him? Then the rest of the book just seemed sort of choppy - lots of things happened that didn't really seem connected.

I'm giving it three stars because it's still better than most of the other similar stuff out there, but it's just not up to par.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really have thorougly enjoyed reading all of the Agatha Raisin mysteries which are set in the lovely Cotswolds of England. Busy Body was another good one. I finished the book in a day and by the time I read the last sentence I was wishing there was another one to continue the story. I find all the characters in the book enjoyable and of course, Agatha is simply fantastic! Very entertaining.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't believe M.C.BEATON wrote this junk. It is so unlike her earlier books, it had to be done by a stand-in. YUK. I was so disappoined.
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Format: Hardcover
A bad Agatha Raisin novel is better than many authors' best effort, and "Busy Body" -- while not the best in M.C. Beaton's delightful series of a blustering but beloved P.R. woman-turned-detective -- isn't one of the worst, either. At one point, scaredy-cat Roy Silver takes a chance that's completely out of character, and one of the murders is a bit overly complicated; however, I really like this novel, as Agatha, her self-confidence at low ebb, begins to mature enough to deal with her obsessions and neuroses. Agatha, always likable despite herself, really turns into a wiser woman in "Busy Body." It's nice to see. And there's very little of that dreadful James Lacey, Agatha's ex-husband and a giant drip. It makes me want to break out the champagne!
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