Second in the Agatha Raisin mystery series set in the Cotswolds and revolving around a retired advertising executive, Agatha Raisin, who is bored out of her tiny mind.
Agatha has a new neighbor, the very distinguished James Lacey, in place of that old Mrs. Barr and Agatha is after the poor man like white on rice. Fortunately for James, a new vet, Paul Bladen, shows up as well, whom Agatha goes after. Unfortunately, the new vet gets murdered and James and Agatha join up to find out whodunnit.
Agatha Raisin can’t decide what to do. Part of her is reconsidering the idea of selling up and going back to London starting a new business. Yet, every time she returns to the village, she has a sense of coming home. Doesn’t hurt that the last offer made her was a scam.
Mrs. Bloxby is a true Christian as she accepts Agatha as she is and is very supportive of everyone’s efforts in the village. I suspect she sees more deeply into each person’s true heart and makes allowances.
Bill Wong has won a promotion to Detective Sergeant due to the credit he received in Quiche of Death and continues to watch out for Mrs. Raisin. He’s either very observant of human nature or Agatha is too transparent as he continues to steer her out of her own way.
James Lacey is a retired colonel with a strong practical, and ruthless, streak. He’s gun shy of women pursuing him so I can’t blame him at all for hiding when Agatha makes her own pursuit of him just a bit obvious from time to time. He intends to write a military history of the Peninsular War and is suffering from a major writer’s block which he gratefully avoids by going off with Agatha to question witnesses and explore the scenes of crime.
Paul Bladen is a vet who hates cats and dogs with a thorough preference for the large animal side of the practice. He’s also a rather hateful man who preys on older women with the intention of prying money out from their bank accounts.
Freda Huntingdon is from James’ social class and has her own hunt in mind. Definitely a contender for the Lacey prize. Agatha’s reactions to her are quite childish. It’s rather embarrassing.
The police are still trying to get Agatha to stop investigating crime scenes and her being attacked for it.
The colonel intrigues me with his amiable acceptance of Agatha’s impatience and crass behavior and I just adore Bill Wong.
The cover is a bit ho-hum with a cat on it. The title is accurate enough as the vet was certainly a nasty, nasty man.