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Agatha Raisin And The Witch Of Wyckhadden (2000)

Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden (2000)

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3.75 of 5 Votes: 4
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0312973691 (ISBN13: 9780312973698)
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About book Agatha Raisin And The Witch Of Wyckhadden (2000)

Agatha Raisin, author M C Beaton's splendidly flawed heroine and amateur sleuth, goes on holiday in an English seaside resort in the middle of winter to escape the loneliness of her Cotswold cottage and the cold shoulder her erstwhile paramour James Lacey, now her neighbour, keeps giving her. There's also the embarrassment over her bald patches to be considered.Wyckhadden's grand Garden Hotel is a genteel place where well-to-do elderly residents while away their evenings playing Scrabble and nothing ever seems to happen. Agatha soon feels old, demoralised and bored. A fellow resident tells her about a local witch who may be able to help Agatha with her hair problem - Agatha is bald thanks to a vindictive hairdresser. Soon after Agatha's visit to the enterprising witch, who didn't like Agatha's mink coat, Agatha's hotel room is broken into and her fur coat is vandalised.As Agatha storms off in the middle of the night to confront the local witch about the destruction of the fur coat, she discovers to her horror that the witch has been murdered. Agatha becomes murder suspect number one.The main plot centres on the elderly residents of the hotel who all seem to have something to hide. Why won't they ever talk about the murders that have taken place? Tempers flare, old grievances are aired, dreams come to nothing and unrequited love casts a nasty shadow over everything. Sub-plot: Agatha meets a nice man for a change, Detective Inspector Jimmy Jessop, who asks her to marry him. Alerted by an engagement notice in The Times, the other two men in Agatha's life, Sir Charles Fraith and James Lacey, soon come running to Wyckhadden to put a stop to Aggie's romantic adventures and Agatha's engagement is off before it ever really began.Every day at Wyckhadden another shocking thing seems to happen, although not necessarily involving violence. The reader feels the claustrophobic atmosphere keenly - this is what it must be like to be stuck in an old people's home without any hope of escape. It's a mad, bad world at the English seaside and Agatha more than once has to fear for her life. As usual, she blunders into the murderer's life and surprises the culprit into making a confession rather than actually detecting her way to the truth. Surprisingly, this novel makes only a casual mention of Bill Wong, Agatha's first real friend, the policeman in the Cotswolds. She is very isolated, away from her usual cronies in this setting, allowing the reader to sympathise with her far more than usual.The novel ends on a very sad note, with Agatha being more alone than ever and having to confront old age with no other companionship than that of her cats. As always, this Agatha Raisin adventure is well-written, crisp and often very funny. However, this time round one feels the author is reflecting on her own old age creeping up on her and allowing this to darken the usual light and fluffy atmospere of her "Raisin" world. It's a far more introspective novel than usual, with Agatha facing some unwelcome truths about herself and those around her. Sadly, her obsession with that cad, ex-Colonel James Lacey, is still as strong as ever at the close of the novel. Now why can't somebody murder him for a change?

No matter how much I adore Agatha Raisin, some books just aren’t as good as others. This is one of those that missed the mark for me. A little on the boring side with very little momentum to keep the storyline moving forward.Since Agatha had quite the hair incident at the end of Wizard of Evesham, she has decided to take a holiday to the seaside town of Wyckhadden. She needs a break from her life and most definitely a break from James Lacey. What she finds is a small hotel with horrible elderly guests and nasty weather. Not exactly the restful situation she was looking for. Having nowhere else to turn, she settles in and learns of Francie Juddle the local witch. Well, things are looking up for Agatha and she head out to investigate. What is even more interesting is the supposed love potion that Francie brews.Once again, Agatha stumbles onto a dead body. Who would have guessed?As Agatha does her own amateur sleuthing she quickly comes to the conclusion that one of her fellow hotel guests must be the killer.What really threw me off of this book was yet another character named Jimmy. First there is James Lacey her love interest, then there was Jimmy Raisin her first husband and now there is Jimmy Jessop, the handsome local police officer. For a person who reads this series, the over use of the same name is a bit of a distraction. Sir Charles Fraith reappears in this book and I have to say he is my most favorite character. His humor and chiding certainly keeps Agatha on her toes and a needed breath of fresh air to Agatha stodgy temperament.To keep Agatha’s character moving forward you really should read the books in order, just be forewarned that not all books are as good as their predecessors.

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Anyone thinking that this is a nice cozy English village type of mystery should back off quickly. Agatha Raisin is grumpy without being the least bit likeable, and the whole book has a sour, unpleasant tone. After I started it I remembered having tried another book in the series once and not liking it, but I decided to give this one a go. That was a mistake.The only good thing I can say of it is that it centers on a middle-aged woman and deals with the concerns of people aged 50+ without dragging in any young sprites to appeal to a wide audience. But reading two books in a series and disliking both (actually, I don't remember whether I finished the other one) is giving the author the maximum benefit of the doubt. I'll be steering clear of Ms. Raisin again.

Agatha is one of the fluff stories that I read (to clear the head). But this one I just finished ended very badly because I almost could not stand Agatha as a character any longer. Mistakes are one thing, but she went too far with the cavalier attitudes toward bed-hopping this time. It damaged how much I care about her as a character. She'll get another chance from me, eventually, but I don't foresee it happening any time soon.

Agatha is on her 9th adventure in this book. After losing most of her hair and a good part of her dignity in her last escapade, Agatha heads off on holiday to avoid seeing James. She goes to the coastal town of Wyckhadden. Unfortunately, it is off season and the weather is quite poor. She finds her hotel and its residents depressing and boring, but does find the food to be quite good. When one of the residents mentions a local “witch” who may have a tonic for hair growth, Agatha decides to visit her. The witch talks Agatha into having her fortune told, and she can’t resist picking up a love potion as well as the hair tonic. She is quite taken with the handsome policeman in town and decides to try out the potion on him. When the witch ends up dead, Agatha can’t resist getting involved; not only to exonerate herself, but to have something to do. She finds that several people may have had a grudge against the witch, including several of the semi-permanent guests at the hotel. Agatha must juggle her new love interest and the case while keeping herself out of potentially deadly trouble.

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