Down the Hatch
by Beaton, M. C.; Green, R. W.






"Beloved New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin-the star of her own hit T.V. series-is back on the case again in Down the Hatch. Private detective Agatha Raisin, having recently taken up power-walking, is striding along a path in Mircester Park during her lunch break when she hears a cry for help. Rushing over, she finds an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Swinburn, in the middle of the green-with the body of an old man lying at their feet. The man, who the coroner determines died by poisoning, was known as "the Admiral," a gardener notorious for his heavy drinking, and Chief Inspector Wilkes writes the death off as an accident caused by the consumption of weedkiller stored in a rum bottle. Agatha is not convinced that anyone would mistake weedkiller for rum but carries on with her work at Raisin Investigations, until she receives an anonymous tip that the Admiral's death was no accident. Local gossip points to the Swinburns themselves as the killers, spurred by a feud at the club where they, as well as the Admiral, were members. Distraught at this accusation, they turn to Agatha to clear their name, and she takes the case-despite the warnings of Chief Inspector Wilkes. Agatha encounters one suspicious character after another, becoming further enmeshed in the Admiral's own dark and shady past. And when she's run off the road, narrowly escaping with her life, and then another attack occurs, it becomes clear that someone doesn't want the case closed-and will stop at nothing to prevent Agatha from solving it"-





M. C. BEATON (1936-2019), the "Queen of Crime" (The Globe and Mail), was the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Agatha Raisin novels-the basis for the hit show on Acorn TV and public television-as well as the Hamish Macbeth series and the Edwardian Murder Mysteries featuring Lady Rose Summer. Born in Scotland, she started her career writing historical romances under several pseudonyms and her maiden name, Marion Chesney.

A long-time friend of M. C. Beaton, R.W. GREEN has written numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. He lives in Surrey with his family and a black Labrador called Flynn.





*Starred Review* The thirty-second Agatha Raisin novel is the last Cotswolds cozy written by Beaton, who died in 2019. It's trademark Beaton, with the acerbic owner of Raisin Investigations discovering a murder and pursuing the case in the teeth of constabulary resistance. On a lunchtime break, Agatha comes across the freshly dead body of an elderly man on the bowling green outside his sporting club. Agatha instantly suspects the man died from guzzling poison in his flask of rum. The victim had many enemies, including his ungrieving widow and members of his own club. Beaton presents Agatha as a flawed, self-involved woman (she checks out her reflection in a shop window as she bends over the body), but, somehow, that just adds to her charm. A nice feature of Agatha Raisin mysteries is Beaton's inclusion of other cases Agatha and her team are working on, including, this time, the matter of a woman who claims a man stands in her sitting room every evening. Author R. W. Green, who collaborated with Beaton on this mystery, will continue the series. As Green writes in the foreword: "There will always be a murderer on the loose somewhere in the vicinity and Agatha Raisin will always be snooping around to track them down." Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





Quick-tempered private detective Agatha Raisin gets involved in several cases that prove dangerous to her health. Out for a lunchtime walk, Agatha hears screams and comes upon a distressed elderly couple and a dead body. She's quite certain the man known as the Admiral was poisoned, but her nemesis, the incompetent DCI Wilkes, dismisses his death as an accident. As usual, Agatha's love life is a bit of a mess. She's on the outs with Sir Charles Fraith after a series of misunderstandings. Her former husband, James Lacey, is back to wooing her. And she makes an enemy of the new coroner after refusing his crude advances. When Raisin Investigations gets a phone call from a Mr. Collins, who insists that "strange creatures keep appearing" in his garden, including "three small wizards dressed all in black, with orange hats and long white beards," James insists that she investigate; they discover that Collins' seemingly unbelievable descriptions are actually of rare animals that have escaped from traffickers of exotic species. After she calls the police in, Agatha makes a bad enemy in the one man who gets away. The Admiral's less than loving widow begs her to find his killer; one of the dead man's former loves is killed in a hit-and-run; and a friend of Charles' hires her in a paternity case that will require all her staff and longtime friends to solve. This second posthumous adventure contains plenty of mystery plus all the usual quota of trouble for the colorful heroine. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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