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Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (Agatha Raisin Mysteries, No. 7) Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Agatha Raisin, the crusty, yet perversely self-conscious Londoner who has resettled in the ostensible calm of a Cotswold village stars in her seventh adventure by M.C. Beaton. In this episode, Agatha has agreed to come out of retirement to manage the publicity for the launch of water bottled from a village spring--much to the chagrin of some of her neighbors. Worried that the commodification of at least part of the village's charm might wreak havoc on their peaceful existence, some of the community try to stop it once and for all. Still, killing off a member of the village council and leaving the corpse in the spring itself seems a little extreme, especially as it makes Agatha's paying job a bit more difficult. Believing that a dead body might destroy the chances for a successful campaign to market her product, Agatha begins an investigation into who might have wanted the victim dead.

Agatha Raisin continues to be an engaging and slightly puzzling heroine in The Wellspring of Death. She careens around the Cotswolds asking impertinent questions regarding the personal lives of her neighbors, all the while wondering why so many of them are unpleasant to her. She manages to muddle her own romantic affairs to such an extent that she finds herself in bed with her young and handsome employer--to the dismay of her former fiancée. Yet, in spite of all this, she engages in the occasional humorous assessment of what life among charming façades and lovely vistas is really like (crowded shopping in too small stores) and has a peculiarly British obsession with class and accent. There is much to appreciate here and little that is daunting or dismal. --K.A. Crouch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Cotswolds snoop Agatha Raisin (Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, 1997, etc.), still smarting from her broken engagement to neighbor James Lacey, returns in yet another cozy featuring backbiting provincial villagers. The Ancombe Water Company is trying to negotiate a deal with the parish council to bottle water from a historic village spring, a move that has sharply divided the council. When the body of Robert Struthers, the council chairman who had not yet committed on the issue, is found head-down in the spring, Agatha, who's doing PR for the water company, and James each decide to investigate. Bitterness keeps them apart, and 50-something Agatha is romanced by the much younger Guy Freemont, a company director. Beaton performs deftly, with Agatha pining for James while weighing the pros and cons of village life. Particularly entertaining elements include James's undercover stint in a militant environment group and, in a finale that follows a second murder, the introduction of a new side to Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's usually plodding wife.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Dead Letter (March 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312966954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312966959
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Other reviewers have already stated my opinions on this book so I won't repeat. I found this series late in the game, started with the first book, and have just finished The Wellspring of Death. Mrs. Bloxby is my favorite secondary character and I look forward to every scene that includes her. I wish the author would use her more. I also like Sir Charles and am growing to like him even better in The Wizard of Evesham which I'm currently reading. I never hesitate to buy one of M.C. Beaton's books because she has earned my trust that I won't be disappointed. She satisfies my need for English cozies very well.
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The village of Ancombe is in an uproar. A mineral water company has requested the right to bottle part of its spring every day. Part of the town thinks this is just what their economy needs, but the other part doesn't want the increase of people this would bring. Agatha Raisin agrees to come out of retirement to handle the public relations for the company. But then a body is found. What side of the issue was the victim on? Will this help or hurt Agatha's new job? And can she find the killer before the launch of the label is ruined?
This book was my introduction to Agatha and her friends. While she is a gruff woman with some vices I don't like, I found myself liking the character. The sub-plots in her personal life seemed a bit immature, but I found them funny and the insecurity they brought out made me like the character. My only real complaint was the plot. While it did eventually pick up speed, much of the first half seemed slow to me, with not much advancement in the story. But once things got moving, I was hooked and completely surprised by the ending.
This won't be my last case with Ms. Raisin. I look forward to catching up on the back-story of this lovable crank and seeing where she goes from here.
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In this seventh book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as she sometimes just doesn't quite get it that a London outsider such as herself may never be a perfect fit for quiet village life.

In this book, Agatha volunteers to handle the publicity for bottled water from a village spring, a venture that proves to be somewhat controversial, as some of the villagers are totally against this new enterprise, fearing that it could change their peaceful way of life. Tempers run high, and Agnes finds herself with a potential public relations disaster, when a body turns up in those same spring waters.

Agatha is engaging as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Of course, the on-again, off-again love of her life and neighbor, James Lacey, goes his separate way in his investigatory efforts, as they are off-again, Agatha, as always looking for love in all the wrong places, ends up with a brief romantic fling that she quickly regrets. Moreover, her investigatory efforts land her in a bit of a pickle, and her best friend, Mrs. Bloxy, steps up to home plate and comes to the rescue, when Agatha finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place.

As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.
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In this 7th book in the Agatha Raisin series, Agatha is asked to come out of retirement to help a local firm promote its spring water, bottled from a historic village spring. The parish council members are divided on whether to agree to the deal, and one of the members soon turns up dead...in the spring! Agatha must put a spin on this P.R. disaster, and in the process once again steps in to blunder her way to solving the case.
The Agatha Raisin series is one of my favorite cozy mystery series on the market, and I have enjoyed the character development of Agatha throughout the series. I like that Agatha was able to use some of her P.R. skills in this book, and the fact that the premise to the case was fresh and interesting. After reading several books in the series I began to wonder how Ms. Beaton would develop new cases for Agatha since it would be odd to have a village where everyone went around killing one another. (Who would want to live there?) However, I think that each case Agatha stumbles across (she always happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!) is entertaining and somewhat believable. Agatha is a rich character that is not at all what she seems on the outside, and I believe that it takes several books to get to know the true goodness of this character. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you will find that this series is a humorous delight.
The first book in the series is "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death". Enjoy!
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I usually give Agatha Raisin mysteries 5 stars but I didn't like this one quite as well. It didn't hold my interest so that I could hardly put it down like the others do. What I enjoy most about these mysteries I guess is Agatha's interaction with her friends. I'm amused but understanding of her willingness to get drunk and fall into bed with almost any handsome man. She waited too long for love and now she is trying like mad to find it. In doing so she makes a lot of mistakes and this is what I like about her. She is so human. I wasn't too surprised at who the guilty party was but thought the story was a bit more dark than usual. But, if you are reading the series, don't leave this one out.
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