“Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet ” by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (1993) 
St. Martin’s, 199 pages, $17.95 hardcover 
ISBN 0‑312‑09242‑3

Agatha Raisin arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport with a tan outside and a blush of shame inside. She felt an utter fool as she pushed her load of luggage towards the exit.

She had just spent two weeks in the Bahamas in pursuit of her handsome neighbour, James Lacey… (1)

Could this be the same Agatha Raisin whom we first met in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, the self-assertive middle-aged retiree who crashed her way into Carsley society? Indeed it is. Now having decided to stay in the village of Carsley after all, Agatha has set her mind on winning over the new occupant of the cottage next to hers. And what Agatha wants, Agatha works hard to get.

But wait. There’s another new, handsome bachelor in town, Paul Bladen, who has opened a veterinary clinic. So, after Lacey has proved elusive, Agatha decides that her cat could use a check-up. But when Agatha, dressed to the nines, arrives at the clinic waiting room, she finds just about every other woman in the village, similarly attired, there before her.

This is a mystery, so a murder occurs early on. But the murder is almost incidental. The real content of the book is the comic machinations that Agatha goes through to arouse Lacey’s interest and that Lacey goes through when he fears she’s after him. Has the inimitable Agatha Raisin finally met her match?

© 2000 by Mary Daniels Brown

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