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A Spoonful of Poison    by M. C. Beaton order for
Spoonful of Poison
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I have enjoyed M. C. Beaton's books for as long as she has been writing them. I had thought I had read them all when I came upon this one, first published in 2008. I quickly acquired it and sat down for a very satisfying, laugh-out-loud read. And if you haven't met Agatha Raisin before, why not?

She had a highly successful PR firm in London when she decided she wasn't going to wait for old age. She wanted out now in middle age while she still had the energy for other things. Mainly men, but she hated to admit that to herself.

Opening a private detective agency to keep herself busy, she realized she had no time for fun things. Closing the agency on the weekends then gave her time but with nothing to do with that time. Approached by the local vicar to help with a village fete, she is put in charge of PR. She goes at it with her usual take charge attitude and succeeds in luring a good crowd.

Would have been a great success if someone sampling the homemade jams hadn't died of poison. Agatha thought it was very inconsiderate of the poor woman. The fair's organizer is a gorgeous man for whom Agatha sets her cap. As usual, she stumbles trying to get a relationship going, not realizing the man is not the person she thought he was. A typical happening for Agatha.

She is full of her own self-importance and feelings of always being right but also full of doubts about her actions. Her sense of style could also use some work. She's gruff and insensitive to others' feelings and so is often put in her place.

And I absolutely love her. She always manages to almost catch the man she sets her cap for, but almost always solves the crimes that seem to pop up around her. A Spoonful of Poison is the nineteenth of this delightful series. When you might need a good laugh, meet Agatha and perk right up. Fun. Fun. Fun.

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