Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet is the second book in the Agatha Raisin series of books by M.C. Beaton.
Summary (from back of book)
Retired PR boss Agatha Raisin is enjoying life in her pretty Cotswold village of Carsely. It even seems likely that the attractive new vet, Paul Bladen, has taken a shine to her. But before romance can blossom, Paul is killed in an accident with Lord Pendlebury’s horse. Only the circumstances are rather suspicious. So Agatha decides she must once more play amateur investigator…And this cloud has a silver lining – she can persuade her usually stand-offish neighbour, James Lacey, to become her partner in the quest. As usual, Agatha is quite prepared to rush in, heedless of the lurking menace to both James and herself.
‘I am not sweet sixteen,’ said Agatha huffily.
That ‘exactly’ seemed to Agatha to be saying, ‘You are a middle-aged woman easily flattered by the attentions of a younger man.’
These books are so enjoyable, so readable and so funny.
Agatha Raisin makes a wonderful main character. The shortcomings in her personality (namely her rude and abrasive attitude) are mechanisms to counter her vulnerabilities; protective measures she has needed in the past to prevent her from getting hurt, and that is quite cleverly demonstrated within the narrative.
As Agatha’s antics unfold, I do find myself cringing, and desperately willing her to change her mind, or do something else that will spare her from the next embarrassing moment she is creating for herself.
The mystery around the death of the vet is a good one; there are many suspects to choose from because he is such a horrid character. Bill Wong is wonderful as Agatha’s police connection, and James Lacey as the focus of her romantic interest is entertaining to be behold as he does his best to avoid her one minute and then wants to sleuth with her the next.
This is turning out to be one of my favourite cosy mystery series. Great fun!