Busy Body

February 25, 2012 - Busy Body (M.C. Beaton). When a code enforcement officer gets murdered, Agatha Raisin is hired by a suspect to find out whodunit. When that suspect gets murdered, Agatha gets hired to solve that case, too. The way things work out, though, it's questionable whether she'll get paid for her efforts.

The first victim is John Sunday, the hard line codes officer in a village in the Cotswolds. It seems there's not a Christmas decoration or children's toy that Sunday actually likes. Just as the townsfolk are meeting to decide what to do about it, Sunday is stabbed to death. Suspicion falls on a woman who was out of the room when the murder happened. She hires Agatha to find the real killer then gets murdered herself. Agatha is then hired to find out who killed her! It takes one full year, but eventually everyone is brought to justice in one way or another.

The more I read of this series, the less I like it. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure that M.C. Beaton is writing them anymore. Yes, her name is on the cover, but the past few entries don't seem to have the same tone – or the same quality – as the earlier entries.

Another thing that bugged me about this particular book is how some of the American characters were portrayed. The investigation takes Agatha to the Philadelphia area, but the people she met there all spoke like they were uneducated and from the deep South. A little research wouldn't hurt, people.