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Beating About the Bush

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New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again. When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again. When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems. The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?


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New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again. When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton's cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again. When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems. The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?

30 review for Beating About the Bush

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    I started reading this series years ago, and have followed Agatha Raisin ever since. This 30th instalment is as good as the first books with Aggie: she is bossy, pushy, and she can draw correct conclusions from her observations. I enjoyed this easy weekend read and I am glad good old Aggie is back. *A big thank-you to St. Martin's Press, MC Beaton and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    Agatha is up to her old tricks. She's as unpleasant and direct as always as she is called in to investigate a manufacturer company's concern about security. She is really ambivalent until she learns the company has a donkey and then she is in love. Who knew what would melt her heart? The donkey is framed for murder and Agatha does her best to clear the donkey's name. The investigation takes her into an international conspiracy and the discovery has a scary consequence for her. She also meets a Agatha is up to her old tricks. She's as unpleasant and direct as always as she is called in to investigate a manufacturer company's concern about security. She is really ambivalent until she learns the company has a donkey and then she is in love. Who knew what would melt her heart? The donkey is framed for murder and Agatha does her best to clear the donkey's name. The investigation takes her into an international conspiracy and the discovery has a scary consequence for her. She also meets a new man and gets involved into a money making scheme. This is a nice addition to the series and Agatha's fans won't be disappointed. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Agatha is hired by a company suspecting industrial espionage, but after a death, which Agatha suspects is murder, everything becomes more complicated. The local police chief wants to close the case, but Agatha refuses to believe a donkey called Wizz-Wazz caused the woman's death. How many authors (at 80+) can say that the 30th in their series is the best yet? MC Beaton certainly can. Her newest Agatha Raisin mystery is so much fun to read. Thanks to the publisher for this ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    Haha, well *of course* it's ridiculous that Agatha and friends should be employed to uncover a case of industrial espionage but from the moment Aggie discovers a severed leg in the bushes, it's a comic revelry! With death by donkey... It's nice to see Beaton creating an actual plot again, however transparent and ludicrous, but the real joy is the irascible Aggie alternating between insensitive bossiness and romantic vulnerability all over again. With Charles Fraith back on the scene, a charming Haha, well *of course* it's ridiculous that Agatha and friends should be employed to uncover a case of industrial espionage but from the moment Aggie discovers a severed leg in the bushes, it's a comic revelry! With death by donkey... It's nice to see Beaton creating an actual plot again, however transparent and ludicrous, but the real joy is the irascible Aggie alternating between insensitive bossiness and romantic vulnerability all over again. With Charles Fraith back on the scene, a charming new man for Agatha to pursue, and her continued rivalry with Toni (which also brings out Aggie's rather terrifying maternal side...) this is cosy comfort reading just made for bath or sofa with wine and chocolate!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    A few years ago I was looking for cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. I picked up the first Agatha Raisin novel and was hooked. The love for this series hasn't dimmed in the years since. Beating About the Bush is another great installment featuring our favorite female detective, Agatha, and her efforts to snag a man, look fantastic, and solve a crime, often all at the same time. Beating About the Bush follows Agatha and her Raisin Investigations team digging deep into an industrial espionage A few years ago I was looking for cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. I picked up the first Agatha Raisin novel and was hooked. The love for this series hasn't dimmed in the years since. Beating About the Bush is another great installment featuring our favorite female detective, Agatha, and her efforts to snag a man, look fantastic, and solve a crime, often all at the same time. Beating About the Bush follows Agatha and her Raisin Investigations team digging deep into an industrial espionage case at a local battery company. While this may not be 100% plausible, the hilarity that ensues after a "severed leg" is found on a local roadside is in typical fashion for this series. When a sweet, though gassy, donkey is accused of accidentally killing an employee, Agatha and her friends take up the cause to save the donkey from being put down. All of the usual gang, with the exception of James, are present and accounted for in this funny stream of Agatha related disasters. After thirty installments, this crazy crew seem like familiar friends to me and I love when a new addition to the series is released. The setting is, once again, the small, quaint village of Carsley nestled in the beautiful Cotswolds. While I've enjoyed the occasional novel that featured Agatha travelling, my first love will always be with her friends and coworkers at her thatched roof cottage. The mystery plot was wonderfully unique since the victim was NOT a rival of Agatha's for a man's attention.The clues were cleverly placed and well thought out. While I may not have been stumped by the motive of the killing, the culprit was not completely what I expected. Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I hope to see more from MC Beaton. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley an advanced copy given in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emma's Things to Read

    This is the 30th Agatha Raisin mystery in the highly successful series and I have read them all! Agatha Raisin books are like your favourite cosy jumper on a rainy day - while some are better than others and you know what you are getting, they are always satisfying. I really enjoyed this installment. Some of the predicaments that Agatha finds herself in are really quite funny and the donkey does steal the show much to Agatha's disgust and the reader's amusement. Her relationships with assistant This is the 30th Agatha Raisin mystery in the highly successful series and I have read them all! Agatha Raisin books are like your favourite cosy jumper on a rainy day - while some are better than others and you know what you are getting, they are always satisfying. I really enjoyed this installment. Some of the predicaments that Agatha finds herself in are really quite funny and the donkey does steal the show much to Agatha's disgust and the reader's amusement. Her relationships with assistant Toni and sometimes lover/good friend Sir Charles are really developing and make Agatha more sympathetic than she was in a few of the books. I think this is a series that is back on track and the author has sent up the potential feud with Sir Charles' new fiancee for the future. This is a great, quick read, cosy Cotsworld mystery perfect for winter nights. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced digital copy in return for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sid Nuncius

    I’m afraid Agatha Raisin and I didn’t get on. This was my first Agatha Raisin and, in spite of all the praise this series has garnered, it will probably be my last. The plot, for the record, concerns Agatha and her detective partner Toni investigating industrial espionage at a local factory, where all kinds of Odd Things seem to be going on and someone is Out To Get Them. It’s mildly amusing in places, but I found most of the humour clunky and overdone, the characters so caricatured and I’m afraid Agatha Raisin and I didn’t get on. This was my first Agatha Raisin and, in spite of all the praise this series has garnered, it will probably be my last. The plot, for the record, concerns Agatha and her detective partner Toni investigating industrial espionage at a local factory, where all kinds of Odd Things seem to be going on and someone is Out To Get Them. It’s mildly amusing in places, but I found most of the humour clunky and overdone, the characters so caricatured and over-explained as to be tedious clichés rather than witty parodies and the whole thing a bit of a bore, really. After some judicious skimming I didn’t feel I had missed much and I was quite glad to get to the end. So, it definitely wasn’t for me. Plenty of others, including people whose judgement I respect greatly, find Agatha Raisin very amusing, but personally I can’t recommend Beating About The Bush. (My thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC via NetGalley.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    The Kawaii Slartibartfast

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Agatha Raisin and I loved every bit of it. The book is very funny and suspenseful and starts with a fake severed leg and a very angry goat

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joan Happel

    The irascible Agatha Raisin is back in this 30th installment to the popular series. This time around Agatha and her assistant Toni Gilmour are hired by Albert Morrison, the head of a company that manufactures batteries, to investigate possible corporate sabotage. When Morrison’s secretary Mrs. Dinwiddy is found murdered, police lay the blame at the “hoofs” of Mrs. Morrison’s pet donkey Wizz-Wazz. Agatha soon sets out to prove Wizz-Wazz’s innocence and bring the real murderer to justice! As in the The irascible Agatha Raisin is back in this 30th installment to the popular series. This time around Agatha and her assistant Toni Gilmour are hired by Albert Morrison, the head of a company that manufactures batteries, to investigate possible corporate sabotage. When Morrison’s secretary Mrs. Dinwiddy is found murdered, police lay the blame at the “hoofs” of Mrs. Morrison’s pet donkey Wizz-Wazz. Agatha soon sets out to prove Wizz-Wazz’s innocence and bring the real murderer to justice! As in the previous books, Agatha’s brashness and lack of tact makes enemies of those who encounter her, but those close to her know that beneath that tough exterior is a heart of gold. Loyalty to her friends as well as her luckless love life keep readers sympathetic and always coming back. This is an enjoyable cozy series with offbeat characters and intriguing mysteries. So, settle in with a plate of fish and chips, a glass of gin and tonic and enjoy the ride! Thanks to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    How M. C. Beaton has managed to get to book thirty without Agatha aging or figuring out her life, is beyond me, yet, I continue to check-in to see what this village sleuth is up to. Having been called in to investigate industrial espionage, Agatha and assistant Toni Gilmour soon begin to wonder if it is all a set up when strange happenings trigger a deeper look and in doing so, Agatha befriends a bad-tempered donkey, is left contending with a group that have killed to keep their secrets, and to How M. C. Beaton has managed to get to book thirty without Agatha aging or figuring out her life, is beyond me, yet, I continue to check-in to see what this village sleuth is up to. Having been called in to investigate industrial espionage, Agatha and assistant Toni Gilmour soon begin to wonder if it is all a set up when strange happenings trigger a deeper look and in doing so, Agatha befriends a bad-tempered donkey, is left contending with a group that have killed to keep their secrets, and to top it off, she realizes Sir Charles Fraith’s upcoming nuptials have put her into an emotional tailspin which is soon relieved by the arrival of a new man -- Chris Firkin. Every time I finish a book in this series, I find myself exhaling and mumbling “Oh, Agatha”. Not because the case study is all that difficult, or that her bumbling has once again almost cost her her life, but rather when it comes to men, this educated professional woman, will never learn.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

    I love Hamish Macbeth, M C Beaton’s other series protagonist, but I adore Agatha Raisin. There is something about Agatha, with her insecurities, her confidence, her truculence, and her kindness, that is just so attractive. Except for the cigarettes, I would love to sit down with her over a cup of tea, or a gin and tonic, and just listen to her. “Beating About the Bush” is the thirtieth outing of Agatha Raisin, and it is just swell, vintage Agatha. Her private detective agency is hired to I love Hamish Macbeth, M C Beaton’s other series protagonist, but I adore Agatha Raisin. There is something about Agatha, with her insecurities, her confidence, her truculence, and her kindness, that is just so attractive. Except for the cigarettes, I would love to sit down with her over a cup of tea, or a gin and tonic, and just listen to her. “Beating About the Bush” is the thirtieth outing of Agatha Raisin, and it is just swell, vintage Agatha. Her private detective agency is hired to investigate a case of industrial espionage, there is a murder, a donkey who takes a shine to her, and all sorts of goings-on. I don’t like spoilers, so I won’t say any more. The book moves along at a rapid pace; you cannot be bored by Agatha, and it never drags. I really enjoyed “Beating About the Bush,” and whether you are an Agatha devotee, or have never read any of the preceding books, I predict you will like this one. All of the Agatha Raisin books are fun, and this one is no exception. Heartily recommended. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauranj

    Agatha is back! I've been a fan of this series since the beginning, but in recent years some of the books have been difficult to get through. The last one in particular was the first time I ever gave up and didn't finish an Agatha Raisin book. I'm happy to report that Beating About the Bush is quintessential Agatha and a joy for her fans. In this one she's working on a case about industrial espionage that becomes more complicated when a woman turns up dead and Wizz-Wass the donkey is blamed. Agatha is back! I've been a fan of this series since the beginning, but in recent years some of the books have been difficult to get through. The last one in particular was the first time I ever gave up and didn't finish an Agatha Raisin book. I'm happy to report that Beating About the Bush is quintessential Agatha and a joy for her fans. In this one she's working on a case about industrial espionage that becomes more complicated when a woman turns up dead and Wizz-Wass the donkey is blamed. Agatha's young employee Toni, Sir Charles, Mrs. Bloxby, and my favorite, Roy Silver, are all on the case too, with lots of laughs and G&Ts at the pub thrown in for good measure. If you are an Agatha fan, you will likely enjoy this 30th (!!!) installment of the beloved series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mrs S Meadows

    Another Agatha Raisin book Equally as good as the first book a most enjoyable read. Can’t wait for the next book to be published

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    This is the best Agatha Raisin's instalment I read in some time. Agatha is at her best, quirky and funny. It was great to meet again the cast of characters Charles, Tony, Bill Wong and all the others. I had a lot of fun in reading this novel, it's engrossing and entertaining. I appreciated the humour, the well crafted cast of characters and their development, and a lovely donkey. The mystery is solid, full of twists and turns, and it kept me guessing till the end. It was a very pleasant and fun read, This is the best Agatha Raisin's instalment I read in some time. Agatha is at her best, quirky and funny. It was great to meet again the cast of characters Charles, Tony, Bill Wong and all the others. I had a lot of fun in reading this novel, it's engrossing and entertaining. I appreciated the humour, the well crafted cast of characters and their development, and a lovely donkey. The mystery is solid, full of twists and turns, and it kept me guessing till the end. It was a very pleasant and fun read, I strongly recommend it. Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    These books are a very fun read for me who wants to live in an eccentric english village with overflowing gardens ,a pub, local scandals, and the character Agatha Raisin a new comer from London who throws herself into life in her village, in her awkward way and her determination to solve crimes any way she can possibly do it-

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Wonderful Agatha Raisin is back along with all the reasons her fans love her. She stumbles upon another murder, is insecure about her appearance and abilities, is jealous of Toni, once again makes a fool of CI Wilkes, and is after another love interest. The other regular cast of characters make appearances, too - Mrs. Bloxby, Roy Silver, Bill Wong and Sir Charles Fraith. Yes, this book is a little predictable and formulaic, but isn't that what we are looking for in an Agatha Raisin story? If Wonderful Agatha Raisin is back along with all the reasons her fans love her. She stumbles upon another murder, is insecure about her appearance and abilities, is jealous of Toni, once again makes a fool of CI Wilkes, and is after another love interest. The other regular cast of characters make appearances, too - Mrs. Bloxby, Roy Silver, Bill Wong and Sir Charles Fraith. Yes, this book is a little predictable and formulaic, but isn't that what we are looking for in an Agatha Raisin story? If you're an Agatha Raisin fan, you will enjoy this book. "In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Private Investigator Agatha Raisin and her assistant Toni Gilmour are looking into a possible case of industrial espionage at a local battery factory. She and Toni come across what appears to be a severed leg and report it to the police. Agatha becomes a laughing stock when the leg is discovered to be fake. However, things get serious when one of factory employees is murdered, and Agatha is dismayed when the police say the prime suspect is a donkey! Agatha believes the woman is the victim of a Private Investigator Agatha Raisin and her assistant Toni Gilmour are looking into a possible case of industrial espionage at a local battery factory. She and Toni come across what appears to be a severed leg and report it to the police. Agatha becomes a laughing stock when the leg is discovered to be fake. However, things get serious when one of factory employees is murdered, and Agatha is dismayed when the police say the prime suspect is a donkey! Agatha believes the woman is the victim of a two-legged killer and is determined to find the real murderer and bring that person to justice. "Beating About the Bush" is the thirtieth book in this long-running series. I am a huge fan of the earlier books in the series, but the most recent books have not been up to Beaton’s usual standards. I’m pleased that this book, while not as good as those earlier books, is a big improvement over the last couple installments. It starts out a little rough, but gets better after the first few chapters. Agatha hits her stride by the middle of the book and is much more like the “old Agatha” - tough and opinionated, but intelligent and resourceful. She and Toni continue to bring out the worst in each other for much of the book, but I enjoy the moments when they connect. There are also some great scenes with Agatha and her friend Mrs. Bloxby, who unlike Toni brings out the best of Agatha. The murder mystery is interesting and I enjoyed Agatha’s questioning of all the various witnesses and suspects. The parts of the story involving the donkey are silly, but are entertaining. Some of the things may be unbelievable if this was real life, but are typical situations for Agatha to get herself into. I was surprised by the solution to the murder once it was revealed. In the romance department, it’s no surprise that Agatha is once again at cross-purposes with Sir Charles Fraith. The two can’t seem to recognize and admit their feelings for the other. In addition, Charles can’t help put be tempted by wealthy women looking for a title since their money would help him run his large estate. Agatha continues to become infatuated with any good-looking man who turns her head. Her latest man, Chris, seems to be a good guy, but it’s too soon to tell. The latest developments in the love lives of both Agatha and Charles are left up in the air when the book ends. There is enough information about important events that occurred in prior books that new readers or those who haven’t kept up with the series won’t feel lost. New cozy readers who enjoy the book will definitely want to pick up some of the first books in the series and get to know Agatha from her first days in the Cotswolds, Fans of the series will be glad to catch up with Agatha and her latest case. I would rate the book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars. I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of Minotaur Books. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Smitten

    3.5 Stars Private Investigator Agatha Raisin and her assistant Toni Gilmour are looking into a possible case of industrial espionage at a local battery factory. She and Toni come across what appears to be a severed leg and report it to the police. Agatha becomes a laughing stock when the leg is discovered to be fake. However, things get serious when one of factory employees is murdered, and Agatha is dismayed when the police say the prime suspect is a donkey! Agatha believes the woman is the 3.5 Stars Private Investigator Agatha Raisin and her assistant Toni Gilmour are looking into a possible case of industrial espionage at a local battery factory. She and Toni come across what appears to be a severed leg and report it to the police. Agatha becomes a laughing stock when the leg is discovered to be fake. However, things get serious when one of factory employees is murdered, and Agatha is dismayed when the police say the prime suspect is a donkey! Agatha believes the woman is the victim of a two-legged killer and is determined to find the real murderer and bring that person to justice. Beating About the Bush is the thirtieth book in this long-running series. I am a huge fan of the earlier books in the series, but the most recent books have not been up to Beaton’s usual standards. I’m pleased that this book, while not as good as those earlier books, is a big improvement over the last couple installments. It starts out a little rough, but gets better after the first few chapters. Agatha hits her stride by the middle of the book and is much more like the “old Agatha” – tough and opinionated, but intelligent and resourceful. She and Toni continue to bring out the worst in each other for much of the book, but I enjoy the moments when they connect. There are also some great scenes with Agatha and her friend Mrs. Bloxby, who unlike Toni brings out the best of Agatha. The murder mystery is interesting and I enjoyed Agatha’s questioning of all the various witnesses and suspects. The parts of the story involving the donkey are silly, but are entertaining. Some of the things may be unbelievable if this was real life, but are typical situations for Agatha to get herself into. I was surprised by the solution to the murder once it was revealed. In the romance department, it’s no surprise that Agatha is once again at cross-purposes with Sir Charles Fraith. The two can’t seem to recognize and admit their feelings for the other. In addition, Charles can’t help put be tempted by wealthy women looking for a title since their money would help him run his large estate. Agatha continues to become infatuated with any good-looking man who turns her head. Her latest man, Chris, seems to be a good guy, but it’s too soon to tell. The latest developments in the love lives of both Agatha and Charles are left up in the air when the book ends. There is enough information about important events that occurred in prior books that new readers or those who haven’t kept up with the series won’t feel lost. New cozy readers who enjoy the book will definitely want to pick up some of the first books in the series and get to know Agatha from her first days in the Cotswolds, Fans of the series will be glad to catch up with Agatha and her latest case. ~ Christine

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    Agatha and Hamish (also by this author) books are my guilty pleasure. I swoop on each and every one as soon as I can and devour them in just a few sittings. Reading one of these books is like putting on a comfy cardie, snuggling up on your favourite sofa with an indulgent drink. They pretty much read themselves... Just as a cosy should be. Yes, obviously it's better to have started from book one and read in order but with this book being number 30 and new fans on the horizon thanks to the TV Agatha and Hamish (also by this author) books are my guilty pleasure. I swoop on each and every one as soon as I can and devour them in just a few sittings. Reading one of these books is like putting on a comfy cardie, snuggling up on your favourite sofa with an indulgent drink. They pretty much read themselves... Just as a cosy should be. Yes, obviously it's better to have started from book one and read in order but with this book being number 30 and new fans on the horizon thanks to the TV series, I appreciate that this could be difficult! So... Agatha is investigating industrial espionage in a factory that develops and manufactures batteries for the motor industry. After one visit, she is on the way home with Toni when they come across a severed leg that looks like it belongs to the receptionist on the firm they have just left! An so begins a rather bonkers romp for Agatha and the usual cast of extras as she pits her wits against some rather strange people, and a donkey, as she once again risks her life to get to the bottom of things. The gang is all here in this book, Charles & Roy both pop in to add to the colourful mix of what is going on with the case in hand. There's the usual peppering of Romance for Agatha which adds a whole other layer into the mix... again...! Bill once again has to juggle his job and boss Wilkes as he really sides with Agatha along the way. But as things start to become clear, it begins to look like Agatha really could have bitten off more than Wizz-Wazz the donkey can chew! I love these books, I've already said that but it's worth saying again. They are so easy and comfortable to read and, even though you know what you are going to get - by book 30 you'd expect that - but the plotting and execution of the main story always differs and is always both interesting and intriguing. Cosy they may be, insipid they most definitely are not! Flitting between peril and comedy frequently, this book also kept me on its toes throughout as I devoured each and every word. She may come across as a bimbling fuddy-duddy at times but Agatha is one smart cookie and, with the resources her other agency staff provide, she makes short shrift into what is really going on. Star of the show has to go to Wizz-Wazz though. For why, well you'll just have to read the book to find that out! Me, I'm now hanging for the next Agatha, or maybe it'll be Hamish next time. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cozy Cat Reviews

    Beating Around The Bush is the "30th" book in this beloved series by mystery author M.C. Beaton. This is a award winning long running series that is well loved by cozy mystery readers all over the globe. The author also has written the long running "Hamish McBeth" series that is so charming and equally loved by her fans. I was so thrilled to receive this for review. My grateful thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity to read before publication. I have read all of the books Beating Around The Bush is the "30th" book in this beloved series by mystery author M.C. Beaton. This is a award winning long running series that is well loved by cozy mystery readers all over the globe. The author also has written the long running "Hamish McBeth" series that is so charming and equally loved by her fans. I was so thrilled to receive this for review. My grateful thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity to read before publication. I have read all of the books in both series by the author and love returning to the world of Agatha Rasin in this next in series. I am grateful as a reader that we have a 30th Agatha Rasin to enjoy ! Agatha is so loved that a popular TV show is now in its 3rd season. Our beloved Agatha is back and she is as feisty and humorous as ever. In this book she is feeling more attraction for her long term lover Charles and wondering if they have a future together. Charles has wanted a long term relationship with Agatha but she has held him at arms length for years. They are quite fond of each other and readers wonder will they end up together after all ? Their are funny together and great investigative colleagues. After she makes a terrible discovery of dismembered body parts she is involved in yet a second murder investigation through her detective agency. She is hired to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory and soon another murder occurs. Agatha then finds herself the subject of ridicule as she is put once again in the national spotlight after a incident with a donkey ! This had me laughing out loud and I have to thank the author for this wonderful humorous event in the book. Her investigations are in peril as she forges ahead as only Agatha can with steely determination and humorous antics we love. Only Agatha has more savvy investigative skills then people expect and as she questions local villagers she soon finds she is in danger when close to solving both murders. I loved this book and read it cover to cover. Agatha is a long time favorite of mine having read all 30 books in the series. I love this charcter and while I do understand the author will retire Agatha soon, we all have hope for at least one more book for Agatha to have her happy ending and Hamish to forever live on his land with his animals in private as he hopes. ! Very well done to the author. This is a brilliant series that readers adore all over the world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Agatha Raisin is back in fine style literally (or in a book would it be literarily?) Beating about the Bush and finding a severed leg. Or is it severed? Or is it even a leg? Raisin Investigations is hired by an electric car battery company to determine who is perpetrating industrial espionage on their new, longer lasting battery. Before their investigation has even begun, Agatha and her trusted assistant Toni find a leg in a hedgerow that appears to be wearing the shoe of the company president’s Agatha Raisin is back in fine style literally (or in a book would it be literarily?) Beating about the Bush and finding a severed leg. Or is it severed? Or is it even a leg? Raisin Investigations is hired by an electric car battery company to determine who is perpetrating industrial espionage on their new, longer lasting battery. Before their investigation has even begun, Agatha and her trusted assistant Toni find a leg in a hedgerow that appears to be wearing the shoe of the company president’s secretary, Mrs. Dinwiddy. Soon Agatha and Toni are investigating a death by donkey. Agatha, of course, is siding with the donkey. Perhaps they feel a sisterhood in attitude? In the meantime, Agatha’s on again-off again with Sir Charles takes a wild turn. Toni’s romance with a young doctor has its problems. Good thing that they have the battery company’s cast of suspects to keep them busy. Wow, this is the best Agatha Raisin in a while. At number thirty in a slowly declining series that is truly amazing! Beating about the Bush is as good as the first few in the series. If you have given up on them awhile back, it is well worth your time to check out this excellent mystery. Fans of the show will also enjoy catching up with a slightly older, but probably not much wiser, Agatha and her friends. With such great and even iconic cozy mystery characters plus two puzzling mysteries, you can’t miss with this book. 5 stars! Thank you to Constable; Little, Brown Book Group UK; Minotaur Books; and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in return for my honest review. Out October 24, 2019 in the UK and December 3, 2019 in the US.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Beating About the Bush by M.C. Beaton is vintage Agatha Raisin. Agatha is so popular because she is a real mature woman with all the self-doubt and self-recrimination one faces with the aging process firmly ensconced in her life. She has a second career as a private investigator, a successful one supporting several employees but it is not high profile. She is used to being in the spotlight, the worst thing for an investigator trying to be low key. She is happy, but lonely and she thinks about it Beating About the Bush by M.C. Beaton is vintage Agatha Raisin. Agatha is so popular because she is a real mature woman with all the self-doubt and self-recrimination one faces with the aging process firmly ensconced in her life. She has a second career as a private investigator, a successful one supporting several employees but it is not high profile. She is used to being in the spotlight, the worst thing for an investigator trying to be low key. She is happy, but lonely and she thinks about it constantly. Now she discovers her friend and sometime bedmate, Charles, is engaged to a much younger woman. Not good for the ego. What's a gal to do? She has been hired by Morrison's, a high profile and cutting edge battery manufacturer, to look into possible industrial espionage involving a fire in their R&D department, where a new battery was being developed. Such a bunch of odd personalities as Agatha has ever met, including a donkey named Wizz-Wazz. The more they investigate, the odder the situation becomes until Agatha questions whether there is a new battery at all. Then there is a murder. It looks like and accident, though until Agatha looks further. There are many interesting characters and subplots in this story, all woven together to make Agatha Raisin fans very satisfied. I recommend it. I received a free ARC of Beating About the Bush from Negalley. #netgalley #beatingaboutthebush

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Agatha may not be everybody's cup of tea but her attitude and her relationships with men are what make her stand out from the usual cozy detective story. She and her partner in detecting, Toni, are hired to investigate a case of possible industrial espionage. The company has some security concerns. I was so surprised when Agatha becomes smitten with the company's donkey, Wizz-Wazz. On top of that, the poor donkey has been accused of homicide. And that's just the start. Things heat up when Agatha Agatha may not be everybody's cup of tea but her attitude and her relationships with men are what make her stand out from the usual cozy detective story. She and her partner in detecting, Toni, are hired to investigate a case of possible industrial espionage. The company has some security concerns. I was so surprised when Agatha becomes smitten with the company's donkey, Wizz-Wazz. On top of that, the poor donkey has been accused of homicide. And that's just the start. Things heat up when Agatha refuses to believe the donkey is in any way responsible for the woman's death. The police are ready to close the case but Agatha is determined and that has unforeseen consequences. Reading time spent with Agatha and the rest of the usual supporting cast is always fun. Maybe not always believable but always funny. Sometimes I think I'm reading them more for the characters than the mystery. Now if she could only sort out her relationships with certain men. It's amazing that this is #30 in the series and it was nice to see that neither Agatha nor her creator have lost one tiny bit of their spark. My thanks to the publisher Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    There are two types of people in the world: those who love Agatha Raisin and those who don't. Thank heavens the second group is a very small one. For the majority of us, M.C. Beaton's 30th and latest series entry, Beating About the Bush, is pure Agatha. She is pugnacious, politically incorrect, bull-headed, and, as always, right in the end. She becomes a bit of an animal rights advocate in this one as she investigates potential industrial espionage and a supposed accidental death that she is There are two types of people in the world: those who love Agatha Raisin and those who don't. Thank heavens the second group is a very small one. For the majority of us, M.C. Beaton's 30th and latest series entry, Beating About the Bush, is pure Agatha. She is pugnacious, politically incorrect, bull-headed, and, as always, right in the end. She becomes a bit of an animal rights advocate in this one as she investigates potential industrial espionage and a supposed accidental death that she is convinced is actually murder. Toni and Charles (when he's not chasing another moneyed fiance) figure prominently as do Bill Wong and Inspector Wilkes. Sarah Bloxley makes a cameo, but most of the action takes place away from Carsely. With the popular tv series introducing new episodes this fall and winter, this is the perfect time to enjoy your Raisins. Full Disclosure--NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Wow, this was a really wonderful book. I really loved it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read all of the Agatha Raisin books and enjoyed them, so I was absolutely delighted to get a free copy of this new book, Beating About the Bush, from Netgalley. Thank you so much! The book was amazing. I found it to be the funniest book I have ever read and I was laughing so much all the way through. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the writing. It was interesting to see how Agatha's love Wow, this was a really wonderful book. I really loved it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read all of the Agatha Raisin books and enjoyed them, so I was absolutely delighted to get a free copy of this new book, Beating About the Bush, from Netgalley. Thank you so much! The book was amazing. I found it to be the funniest book I have ever read and I was laughing so much all the way through. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the writing. It was interesting to see how Agatha's love life developed, which was different from what I thought it would be, but still enjoyable. It was the best Agatha Raisin book I have read and I had a fun 2 days reading it. I felt like I was on a holiday with old friends, having an adventure. Thanks again to Netgalley, M C Beaton and her publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    How is it possible that there are 30 (!) installments of Agatha Raisin - and she still feels fresh. Don't worry if you haven't read the series (or watched the tv show) this is light entertainment that doesn't require a lot of back story. Agatha and her assistant Toni are investigating industrial espionage when there's a murder and a donkey named Wizz-Wazz is the accused. Huh? Go with it. This is madcap (sometimes silly) stuff but it works. Agatha's also feeling a bit off because Sir Charles How is it possible that there are 30 (!) installments of Agatha Raisin - and she still feels fresh. Don't worry if you haven't read the series (or watched the tv show) this is light entertainment that doesn't require a lot of back story. Agatha and her assistant Toni are investigating industrial espionage when there's a murder and a donkey named Wizz-Wazz is the accused. Huh? Go with it. This is madcap (sometimes silly) stuff but it works. Agatha's also feeling a bit off because Sir Charles Fraith is engaged. There is, however, some comfort in the form of Chris, with whom she has some nice dialogue and the possibility of a new romance. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. This is potato chip reading- you can enjoy the whole thing in one sitting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Excellent outing for Agatha. Beaton pulled out all the stops for the 30th book in the series. The body count was not as high as usual (a good thing, in my opinion). Agatha is still Agatha (see the donkey sub-plot in this book) but it seemed to me as though she'd grown up just a bit. In one instance, I thought she was a model of restraint (for her, that is) when she sets her cap at a new man. In another, an event that 25 books ago would have had her jetting off on a holiday to avoid having to Excellent outing for Agatha. Beaton pulled out all the stops for the 30th book in the series. The body count was not as high as usual (a good thing, in my opinion). Agatha is still Agatha (see the donkey sub-plot in this book) but it seemed to me as though she'd grown up just a bit. In one instance, I thought she was a model of restraint (for her, that is) when she sets her cap at a new man. In another, an event that 25 books ago would have had her jetting off on a holiday to avoid having to deal with her feelings showed her handling it with a level of maturity I did not know she possessed. I hope we get more than just a one-sentence resolution to the “Charlie” situation in the next book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Agatha Raisin is in rare form in this thirtieth entry in the series. Albert Morrison hires Agatha Raisin to investigate sabotage in his battery business, but Agatha is immediately suspicious. Even more so when the admin is allegedly killed by a donkey. Agatha has an affinity for Wizz Wazz the donkey and doesn’t believe it’s capable of murder. Meanwhile, her occasional lover Charles is engaged to the scion of a feminine hygiene fortune and her assistant Toni is annoyingly clever and beautiful. Agatha Raisin is in rare form in this thirtieth entry in the series. Albert Morrison hires Agatha Raisin to investigate sabotage in his battery business, but Agatha is immediately suspicious. Even more so when the admin is allegedly killed by a donkey. Agatha has an affinity for Wizz Wazz the donkey and doesn’t believe it’s capable of murder. Meanwhile, her occasional lover Charles is engaged to the scion of a feminine hygiene fortune and her assistant Toni is annoyingly clever and beautiful. Agatha Raisin is charmingly cranky and her friends are endearingly quirky. There’s a reassuring sameness to the books, which some may not like, but to others is like having a long chat with a dear friend. #NetGalley #BeatingAboutTheBushMcBeaton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I have been a fan of this series for a long time and number 30 in the series does not disappoint. As always Agatha gets right in the thick of things with her friends and employees along for the ride. The whodunit was full of twists and turns and I had no idea who was the culprit. I thoroughly enjoy the characters and appreciate Agatha’s quirks. The ongoing characters and friendships are a delight to read. I recommend reading this series over watching the television adaptation. As always the books are I have been a fan of this series for a long time and number 30 in the series does not disappoint. As always Agatha gets right in the thick of things with her friends and employees along for the ride. The whodunit was full of twists and turns and I had no idea who was the culprit. I thoroughly enjoy the characters and appreciate Agatha’s quirks. The ongoing characters and friendships are a delight to read. I recommend reading this series over watching the television adaptation. As always the books are better. I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (Ashley.and.her.books)

    This was my first Agatha Raisin book. Although it is part of a series (book 30!), I had no issues reading this without having read the previous books. Agatha is hired to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory. From the beginning, nothing seems right about this company or employees. What starts off as an industrial espionage investigation, quickly turns into a murder case. I thought this was a fun book, a humorous murder mystery. Agatha Raisin is a fun character, she's mouthy and This was my first Agatha Raisin book. Although it is part of a series (book 30!), I had no issues reading this without having read the previous books. Agatha is hired to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory. From the beginning, nothing seems right about this company or employees. What starts off as an industrial espionage investigation, quickly turns into a murder case. I thought this was a fun book, a humorous murder mystery. Agatha Raisin is a fun character, she's mouthy and opinionated and not very good at comforting anyone. She comes of as quite rude, but I found myself laughing at her outbursts. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book for a review!

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