Click here to see my review on Goodreads. ♡
When I took this book at my local library, I did not really know what to think. To be honest, I love mystery novels and the covers of that collection really appealed to me, but I was not sure. Would I like it? As a librarian myself, it is part of my job to know what the readers of the library like and the Agatha Raisin collection is one of the most loved by readers. Thus, I could not resist: I had to give it a try!
The Character of Agatha Raisin
I gave the book 3.7 stars as I loved it, but a lot of things actually came in the way of my reading. Let’s first get something out of the way: I love the character of Agatha Raisin. I know that not everyone likes her as she is quite rough at time, even rude and not technically « likable », but I still really enjoyed spending these hours with her. She drinks and smokes a lot, she says what she thinks out loud and has quite an addiction to men, but she is also an insecure woman with a big heart and thus, she looks simply human to me. It is very unfortunate that she does not see how bad the men in her love life are for her. She is not totally innocent in the problems, of course, but to me neither James nor Charles deserve her attention.
You got it, I love the main character, but what about the others? Theoretically, I like them all in their own way, but I can’t « love » them as I feel like I still do not know them. It may be because this book is the 17th of the series and my very first read but to be honest, I feel like even if I had read the whole 17 books, I would still not feel « connected » to the characters. They are a little bit flat and take on several specific traits but do not feel realistic to me. They all have one quality that they embody and that represents them but they do not seem to actually come to life through the pages (except for Agatha herself).
Murder and mystery
I could have dealt with the flat characters easily as I like Agatha enough to feel good with her character development being the only one developed, but I could not with the pace of the book.
Usually, I tend to feel like mystery novels are too slow paced but this one was the contrary! It was far too fast for me, all through the book but especially in the end. As often in novels, we have a brief description of what happened to the secondary characters in the end of the book, but « brief » does not have to be that brief in my opinion. I would have liked at least one page per character and sometimes, a tiny paragraph was all I got, which I found quite disappointing.
I must also say that the pace around the resolution of the murder was too fast and, even worse at time, unrealistic. When one of the characters got murdered, I had imagined funerals and people crying but actually, almost nobody cried. It was just as if that character had never died and the people who supposedly liked her had just stopped liking her as soon as she had died. It was just too unrealistic for me, treated as such light matter even though it should have been, in my opinion, treated a little more heavily.
Altogether, that book is far from being a bad one and I would still really recommend it. It is not, in my opinion, the kind of book you will feel changed as a person after closing, but it is worth trying. It is the kind of book you can enjoy at nigh with a hot cup of tea and once more, the sole character of Agatha is worth reading.