As the miserable weather has continued in May, I indulged in another comforting re-read. This time of Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by M C Beaton, the fourth book in Beaton’s long-running, cosy-crime series. (If you are unfamiliar with this author and series you may instead want to check out my thoughts on the first book: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death).
Our smart dressing, retired-PR executive Agatha Raisin returns after a miserable spell back in London, feeling depressingly like her old, cross self and terribly out of shape. As a remedy Agatha decides to join Carsley’s rambling group, which just so happens to be led by her handsome neighbour, James Lacey. However rambling doesn’t turn out to be as staid or safe as she imagined … as the body of young Jessica Tartinck, leader of the Dembley Walkers, is found in a shallow grave on Sir Charles Fraith’s estate. Luring James along to help her, Agatha starts to investigate and discovers that Jessica seemed to live to enrage people, subsequently there is a very long list of suspects!
Formerly Agatha had been sharp, bossy and cajoling. Sadly after her stint, thanks to her so-called friend Roy, back in the PR business many of these unpleasant traits had returned. Fortunately once she is settled back into the village and has the vicar’s lovely wife Mrs Bloxby and the young Detective Constable Wong back, Agatha does begin to soften again. Plus she is the cat that got the cream, when she convinces the reluctant James to play husband and wife, so they can infiltrate the Dembley Walkers; a more rag-tag, back stabbing, oddball group you couldn’t wish to have in a murder mystery. Then there is Sir Charles and his ghastly manservant Gustav. Put together they make Agatha seem positively cuddly!
In this re-read, it was again an absolute pleasure to return to the charming village of Carsely; spend time with an eclectic mix of characters and follow Agatha for another eccentric, bumbling investigation. I love a good murder mystery however I don’t always want all that gore and gritty realism, which is when a cosy-crime like this is perfect. These aren’t ground breaking books, instead they are grab a mug of tea, curl up and simply enjoy kind of books. They are rapidly becoming my go-to-books for comfort.
Overall, Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley was another quick, fun and comforting re-read, however this is the last of my re-reads. Next up is, the new-to-me, Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage. Good read.