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Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came    by M. C. Beaton Amazon.com order for
Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as endearing as she is cranky in this fun series about a retired public relations executive now living in a small rural English village. Bodies have the unlikely habit of appearing in Agatha's life with regularity. In Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came, Agatha spots a woman's body (clothed in a wedding dress and clutching a bouquet of flowers) flow by as she stands on a bridge watching flood waters.

Agatha is sure the police can't solve a major crime without her help (the police call it interference). Of course, she gets involved in the investigation. She is manless at the time, but a new neighbor (and possible new romantic interest) has appeared on the scene. Agatha has lost one beau to marriage to someone else. And her ex-husband has left her to join a monastery! What little self-esteem remains to her is wavering. Agatha is a gutsy woman who doesn't suffer fools lightly, though sometimes her own behavior couldn't stand scrutiny. She is chock full of human frailties, which is what makes her so endearing to me. She has the strength of her convictions and the courage to follow through with them - foolishly at times, but always with her own assurance that she is doing the right thing.

Mrs. Bloxby, the Vicar's wife, is a steadying influence. And Agatha's London friend Roy Silver cqn always be sure that a summons from Agatha means that crime is in the air. His character is in marked contrast to Agatha's. Individuals are what you might find in any small town. Fun, shady, jealous, nosy, good-hearted and narrow minded, they are always a joy to follow through the course of Beaton's books. I like Agatha and have enjoyed her through many adventures. I hope she has many more.

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