Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My intro to Cozies and Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death review

In my last post I talked about medical thrillers and ever since that time they have been on my mind again so I will be checking them out soon…this week I was reading a cozy mystery and it brought me so much joy that I had to discuss the genre and how far back I can remember to my own personal Kasia big bang of cozies… My long standing love affair with cozies and Agatha Christie type mysteries sprang out from reading Christie’s brilliant Poirot  novels ( my current love is Pendergast) but it branched out once I got to America as a twelve year old. I still remember spending countless Saturdays at my local Riverside library. To me there was nothing better than to enjoy an entire morning devouring all the funky covers in my mind, pick a gem to take back with me and probably hit a bookstore on my way back home. Without much thought about it I realized that  I was a bookworm and there was no going back to being anything else and when it came to wanting to read mysteries, well those food laced cozies with little skulls artfully inserted in, now that drew me and that’s how I fell hard for this genre. I didn’t want to borrow them from the library anymore, I wanted to have them all and to read them no matter what was inside…I have discovered quite a few favorite authors this whacky way so hey if it works, then it works. I diligently woke up early on some memorably cold winter Saturday mornings and marched to my library, oh the book sales I attended, I still read from them twenty years later and even use some of the cookbooks I got. Those memories seem frost fused into my mind by books even as I’m typing this now.

So since this is a review of a M.C Beaton book ( one of many pseudonyms for Marion Chesney Gibbons) let me get back to the point, so as a kid  I managed to snag a few of those precious books that grabbed me those years back but not to read, to collect first.. it was oddly satisfying to wallow in my hobby while other kids watched tv or slept. Fast forward three years later when I’m around fifteen ( same year I got into horror books but while seeing my dad in Poland for vacation - coincidentally :P)  I’m home sick and my mom is being kind by bringing me horror movie rentals and mysteries form the library, one of the books was  new to me M.C Beaton’s “Death of  a Prankster” which is simply amazing ( a Hamish Macbeth series), I still love the wit and humor and the sharp genius of the mystery, very ala Christie :) So here she be, writing now for a different character than of the series I read, this is my first Agatha Raisin novel and guess what, I loved it.. yeah big surprise!  :P  I’d apologize for the intro being so long but Julia Child once said to never apologize at the table, this IS my table so I’m not sorry but feel free to still read the review if you’re still here :) 

 Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death ( Agatha #1)
by M.C Beaton

5.0 out of 5 starsDeeelicious :)

For a casual home sleuth ( one of the best kinds really) Agatha Raisin is someone who gets to the point which is exactly why I would want to read a mystery with her in it. This character doesn’t beat around the bush and does it with her own flair and style, I think anyone can read this and reap some sort of pleasure from it, one doesn’t have to belong to some secret Cozy Cub to get “it”. I have thoroughly enjoyed Agatha’s intelligence and wit, and towards the end there was some insanely hilarious bits, I was laughing like a mad women reading this, I must have startled my pets because they gave me weird looks. This is the first in what looks like a super duper fun small English village series, the world of precious cottages isn’t too far from London, so there is tons of opportunities for urban action that make this more current than it would seem. Raisin decides to retire while in her early fifties to a charming town full of cottages, to her luck a murder happens right after her arrival, well it has something to do with her considering that her effort to blend in and enter a baking competition ends up in a poisoned judge. The story is thicker than frosting and Raisin has her feet deep into a dynamic of a town she’s new to through a sharp scandal. From the get go I could tell that it’s a town she will forever leave a mark on because being accused of baking the Quiche that killed a male judge isn’t a great way to start. When a poisoned plant is called as a culprit Raisin does her best to get to the bottom of this weird accident, especially since she didn’t even bake the cake herself.. I don’t want to say more other than it was full of whacky characters, which stood out, for once I could actually tell who was who, how refreshing.

This was really wonderful; a perfect Sunday read that spilled into Tuesday as I needed time to read in peace. I laughed and thought hard, being wrong in the end was strangely very satisfying when the whole story lined up in front of my eyes, I had such fun that I simply couldn’t let it go, I wanted to take another bus ride with Agatha with the rain on the window, her drinks in the Red Lion, or simply to see what new microwave meal she found while learning how to cook for herself.  Those fun bits made it cozy, I supposed the proof is in the pudding so go ahead reader, read it.

- Kasia S.


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