M.C. Beaton, THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN
This is the twenty-fifth Agatha Raisin mystery. For those of you not aware of this popular sleuth, she is a middle-aged former advertising executive who retired to the Cotswolds where, mostly out of boredom, she set up a detective agency. Although these cozy mysteries are largely plot driven, Agatha’s personality can alternatively amaze and annoy. Her ability to figure out the twists and turns in a crime is occasionally surprising, while her almost pathetic search for a husband and her ability to blunder into danger can sometimes prove a bit tiresome.
I enjoy mysteries that have a genuine puzzle at the center. Too many novels today focus too much on the eccentricities and miseries of the detective and too little on the solving of the crime. Beaton never lets this happen. She keeps things moving along at a spritely pace and easily bring the reader along with her. A word of warning: these books can be addictive, and you may find it impossible to read just one.