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The Deadly Dance (Agatha Raisin Mysteries, No. 15) Mass Market Paperback – December 22, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


“It's been 40 years since Dame Agatha Christie's death, and in that time, reviewers have often bestowed her mantle on new authors. M.C. Beaton is one of those so honored, and she deserves it. When it comes to artfully constructed puzzle plots and charming settings, Beaton serves it up…this is a classic British cozy plot, and a setting done with panache. Maybe M.C. Beaton really is the new ‘Queen of Crime.'” ―The Globe & Mail

“It is always fun to read an Agatha Raisin mystery, but the latest installment freshens up a delightful series by converting the heroine from amateur sleuth to professional without changing her caustic wit. Agatha remains crude and rude even to clients, but also retains that vulnerability that endears her to readers.” ―Midwest Book Review

“A very satisfying change for the smart woman of mystery with a new cast of colorfully realized characters blending with a few old favorites.” ―Mystery Lovers Bookshop

“The story was first-rate and moved along with many twists and turns that kept me always guessing…I read this book in one sitting, which I think speaks for itself.” ―I Love a Mystery

“Fans of Agatha Raisin will be absolutely delighted at this latest addition to the series. Ms. Beaton has surpassed herself in The Deadly Dance.” ―Reviewing the Evidence

From the Inside Flap

Praise for M.C. Beaton and the Agatha Raisin series:

"Outwardly bossy and vain, inwardly insecure and vulnerable, Agatha grows more endearing with each installment." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem." - Publishers Weekly

"Agatha Raisin, a cranky, crude and raunchy woman, somehow manages to warm her way into the reader's heart and elicit their sympathy." - Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031298474X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312984748
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,980 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,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on November 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In her 15th outing, the irascible Agatha Raisin continues to attract murder and mayhem. After being mugged in France, she decides to open her own detective agency. She's no Sam Spade, however, and what people are hiring her for is mainly to find missing cats and runaway teens. That is, until the very wealthy Mrs. Laggatt-Brown enters her office. Raisin Investigations is off and running in a slightly madcap, slightly convoluted, but always entertaining story. Discovering who wants to murder Mrs. Laggatt-Brown's daughter and preventing the murder consumes Agatha and her staff.

Agatha still retains her biting humor but does appear to be softening a bit. She not only worries over losing friends, but she actually breaks down and cries in this one.

As always, there is a love interest. But devoted followers of the series will be relieved to know that finally a woman, and not a potential lover, has moved into the cottage next door. Will Agatha bond with new neighbor Emma Comfrey or will the cottage be up for sale yet again?

All the series favorites are in this one---Ron Silver is down from London and more flamboyant than ever, Mrs. Bloxby is there with her always comforting shoulder to cry on, and Bill Wong aids and abets Agatha's antics once again. Most interesting of all, we are finally given an inside look at the home life of Sir Charles Fraith and his aunt and manservant provide a lot of the biting humor.

All in all, an excellent addition to a most enjoyable series. One that leaves us wanting more, more, more of the wacky Agatha.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bigmommabird on January 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a long-time Agatha Raisin fan, I opened "Deadly Dance" with eager anticipation. What a disappointment! Although the story itself has all the elements of another excellent Agatha Raisin novel, Ms. Beaton's usually entertaining writing style has here turned choppy and abrupt. "Deadly Dance" reads like a story outline that an over-eager publisher accidentally printed instead of the finished product. If you're a dedicated reader of the series and can overlook the awkward writing style, you'll probably enjoy the latest adventures of Agatha Raisin. But let's all hope that Ms. Beaton's literary skill returns before the next installment.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Agatha Raisin has decided to become a private detective -- years of enthusiastically involving herself in police investigations and solving them ahead of the police has convinced her that she should turn professional. And so she rents an office in Mircester, hires a freelance photographer as well as retired police technician to do the electronic work, and her new neighbour, Emma Comfrey, as secretary-receptionist, and sits back, prepared to be overwhelmed with serious, perplexing cases. Except that the first few cases seem rather uninspiring: missing pets, teenagers and infidelity cases. And then rich divorce Mrs. Laggart-Brown walks into the office. Mrs. Laggart-Brown is about to host a dinner party where her daughter's (Cassandra) engagement to a stockbroker (Jason Peterson) will be announced. But just days before the party, Mrs. Laggart-Brown receives a letter threatening Cassandra's life. Mrs. Laggart-Brown want to hire Agatha to come to the party, mingle with the guests and keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour. And at the party, Agatha successfully thwarts an attempt on Cassandra's life. Now, Agatha and her team must begin the hunt for the would-be killer in earnest. Their suspects are practically non existent. For who would want to kill a young lady who's led a sheltered, quite life? And if that's not bad enough, Agatha must battle with her feelings of jealousy for her new secretary, Emma, who seems to be proving to be a rather good detective...

While not written in a wacky-zany vein, the Agatha Raisin mysteries are written with biting humour, and feature a heroine who seems to have the unhappy knack of creating farcical situations wherever she goes (a strange knack given that Agatha was once owned a successful PR company).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Crammer VINE VOICE on April 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Parts of it are very very funny -- the chapter at the end about Agatha's Christmas party (and her cats!) is so funny I was laughing out loud as I read it. But I found myself having trouble following the plot -- you needed to keep a genealogical chart and notes to figure out who everyone is and what is their relationship to other characters ("let me see, this is the second husband of this character's stepson...") Proper editing could have solved this problem (with a few deft reminders). You don't expect to have to work so hard to follow the plot in one of the Agatha Raisin series. The end result felt choppy.

For those not familiar with this series, you really should go back to the first, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (a very funny book), and begin reading the series in sequence. Agatha is a middle aged, semi-retired PR professional who buys a cottage in a Cotswald village and attempts to become a country woman -- with funny results. She ends up solving mysteries and getting into trouble in the process. And she has a habit of falling in love with unsuitable men.

In this book, she decides to open her own detective agency and hires the new woman in the village -- the current householder of the infamous cottage next door -- as her secretary. After a slow start, Agatha is hired to investigate a death threat against a young woman who lives in a manor house. The investigation requires some trips back and forth to Paris with long-time friend and sometimes lover Charles, the tight-fisted baronet who appears to be Agatha's match. Agatha's character is starting to change in this book -- she occasionally is noticing other people's reactions and feelings -- but the book is still very funny with its insensitive but very funny and fighting middle age Agatha Raisin.
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