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As the Pig Turns: An Agatha Raisin Mystery    by M. C. Beaton order for
As the Pig Turns
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I am assuming that you have read at least one of Agatha Raisin's sagas. One is all that is needed to fall under the irascible Agatha's spell and vow to read each and every one of her ongoing adventures.

Agatha always manages to find a dead body and won't rest until she finds whodunit. Much to the chagrin of the local constabulary. Agatha also lives a dream life with any man who sets her heart racing. Usually a different man in each story, one whom she stalks until she wakes up to her own bizarre behavior.

Agatha owned a Public Relations company in London until she decided to sell up and move to Parva, a Cotswold village. She is known as rather a loony in the village and most folk avoid her. She does have a few friends, though, who try to keep her in check. Not very successfully.

Attending a barbecue, she notices that the pig slowly turning on the spit has a tattoo! Not the usual thing at all. Turns out the pig is Gary, a policemen who is not very well thought of in Parva. Gary's wife hires Agatha's detective agency to investigate the murder. Insurance money involved?

Agatha is a rare old bird only in her early fifties, though who falls in and out of love at the drop of a hat. She has money from the sale of her business so has to be sure she isn't being romanced because of that. One of her beaus is a cheapskate and always manages to have Agatha pay for their meals out, and forays into tea rooms.

She married once, one of the shortest marriages in history. She's lonely and needs the adulation that a loving man could give her but usually manages to ruin any love affair she is enjoying. She has proven her skills at solving crimes and nothing gives her more pleasure than showing up the local police. She's abrupt, self-absorbed, utterly fascinating, and I love her. You will too.

M. C. Beaton, author of As the Pig Turns, also has written a delightful series featuring Hamish MacBeth, a copper in the Scottish Highlands. Hamish, a man with little ambition to rise in the force, seems able to solve crimes with little bother. Try him out also. You'll be glad you did.

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