Library Journal Review
This 29th entry in the series feels like it was written for the TV show it spawned. Beaton's expertly conceived Agatha Raisin is an unusual detective. A London PR agent retired to the Cotswold village of Thirk Magna, she's jealous of almost everyone. She also once purchased her entry into the local baking contest and repeatedly turns her "bear-like little eyes" on eligible bachelors. As people in the villages keep dying, Agatha bumbles her way to a solution of each murder. The story line here is jam-packed, featuring four quick engagements, one wedding, one divorce along with three murders, and one close escape. The author also dallies with Agatha's romances as well as a series of murders in the village. And while the mystery is engaging and the love interest facile, the humor is less evident than in previous books. VERDICT This will be a must-purchase for libraries with readers following the books or the television series. [See Prepub Alert, 4/19/18.]-Cheryl Bryan, Orleans, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In Beaton's disjointed, implausible 28th Agatha Raisin mystery (after 2017's The Witches' Tree), the visit of charismatic Anglican bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley to the Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna sets hearts aflutter, including those of the female bell ringers of the Norman church of St. Ethelred. But local investigator Agatha, initially dazzled by the bishop, begins to question why the well-off women romanced by him tend to disappear or, in the case of bell ringer Millicent Dupin, wind up dead. In the course of Agatha's inquiries, she encounters a clergyman who abuses his wife, a lawyer in love with the battered spouse, a shifty Scottish waiter, and a thuggish associate of the bishop. The killing of Agatha's latest flame and the kidnapping of her cats add further complications. Only the most diehard fans will appreciate the ongoing soap opera of Agatha's love life. Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Assoc. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Beaton is a very canny cozy writer. Her Agatha Raisin series, in which this is the twenty-ninth installment, is set in a quintessentially cozy landscape: the tiny villages of the English Cotswolds. There are the requisite Norman churches, tea at the vicarage, and intervillage rivalries and tensions that reliably boil over into murder. Her latest is especially cozy, involving a group of church bell ringers, one of whom is found in the belfry with her head bashed in. The victim is one of a set of identical twins who had ruled the village and who fought over the attention of the sexy and possibly psychopathic bishop, whose girlfriend vanished, mysteriously, some years before. Agatha investigates both the current and the cold case and falls prey herself to the bishop's scary charms. Beaton is very satisfying on setting, a bit over the top with plot, and too forced when it comes to comedy (contrived hissy fits and confrontations that seem far too staged). Still, for Agatha Raisin fans, this series never loses its appeal. Readers drawn to the setting may also want to try Katie Fforde's nonmystery Cotswold novels.--Connie Fletcher Copyright 2018 Booklist