So here we are at the 7th entry in the seemingly indefatigable Agatha Raisin series. This one finds Agatha embroiled in a murderous scandal surrounding a local spring and a water company’s plans to tap into said spring for a new line of mineral water. It also finds the series in desperate need of some variety.
Beaton goes to great pains to point out that Raisin is a headstrong woman, a force to be reckoned with, someone who was a feared and respected businesswoman when she ran her own PR company. We then get page after page of her being driven by how desirable she is or isn’t to various men, constantly mooning over the handsome neighbour she nearly married and generally being a neurotic mess. These two facets of her clash pretty badly and make for some intensely irritating reading.
Another area we could use some variation in is that of the killer’s identity and the method of revealing it. Once again, motive and identity is continually presented by others to Agatha and it’s dismissed as being implausible. And once again, Agatha finds herself in peril with the murderer when she realises too late, everyone was right all along. I am giving this a third star purely because there is a slight curve ball thrown with the end, and it makes ALL the difference. I hope this means the 8th and soon to be read instalment of the series, The Wizard of Evesham, is an improvement.