A Spoonful of Poison

December 12, 2009 – A Spoonful of Poison (M.C. Beaton). Agatha Raisin returns for another adventure in the continuing British cozy series.

In this outing, Agatha is called on to help publicize a church fair in a community not far from her home in the Cotswolds. Agatha delivers a pop star, a big crowd and a huge profit. But, her success is overshadowed by the deaths of two village women – one who took a swan dive off the church and another who tumbled into the river. Seems the ladies went crazy after someone spiked the goods at the jam-tasting booth with LSD.

The vicar who contacted Agatha for her PR skills now hires her detective agency to find the killer. With the help of her teenage associate, Toni, Agatha conducts an on-again, off-again investigation that seems to last the entire summer. The regular cast of characters, including Roy, Sir Charles and Mrs. Bloxby, pops in and out as the case leads Agatha and Toni from one suspect to another and from one crime to another before all loose ends are eventually tied up.

The loose end that keeps coming back is Agatha's ex-husband, James Lacey. Near the end of the book, it's revealed that he is to be married and Agatha and company are invited to the engagement party. The scene sets the stage for the next book in the series, which seems to have rebounded from the lackluster previous entry.