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Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin Mystery    by M. C. Beaton order for
Busy Body
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Thank Heavens! Agatha Raisin is back in this her 21st adventure. She's in fine fettle and still with an eye for the male contingent of England's population.

Since retiring from the PR business in London, Agatha found herself with too much time on her hands. So she opened a detective agency in her wee village of Carsely. Her work has been very successful, much to the chagrin of the local constabulary. She and her operatives solve crimes and present a fait accompli to the local press. Which doesn't sit well with the police department.

When a local official, hated by everyone in the surrounding countryside as well as in Carsely - a man who abused his official power to make their lives as difficult and unpleasant as possible - is murdered, no one grieves. But Agatha is hired to find the culprit. Almost everyone has a motive.

Someone else dies and the cases are thought to be connected. Could they be? Agatha is not sure but manages to run afoul of the police once more. She bumbles along and is able to offend many inhabitants of the village. Agatha travels to both New York and France on her own nickel as she pursues wrongdoers.

These are fun books as is another of M. C. Beaton's series about Hamish Macbeth, constable of a village in the highlands of Scotland. Beaton's books delight me and bring a large dose of sunshine into what might otherwise be a dull day. I wouldn't mind trying English village life for a year or so. I have a feeling, though, that it wouldn't be like life in Carsely.

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