Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley is the fourth book in the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
Agatha Raisin is always a fun and entertaining read and this was no exception. Cosy village murder mystery at its finest! 4 / 5
Summary (from back of book)
After six gruelling months spent in London, Agatha Raisin returns to her beloved Cotswolds village of Carsely – and to her attractive neighbour, James Lacey. True, James is less than thrilled to see her, but Agatha is soon consoled by a sensational murder.
The victim, found in a field, is hiker Jessica Tartinck, who spent her life enraging wealthy landowners by insisting on her walking club’s right to hike over their properties. And now she has been found in a cornfield, battered over the head. Agatha lures the reluctant James into helping with her investigation – and there are so many leads to follow, for Jessica’s fellow walkers seem able, even willing to commit her murder!
‘It’s not that they suffer from material poverty,’ he said. ‘It’s a poverty of the mind, wouldn’t you say?’
Deborah, head down, murmured, ‘Oh, ignore them. They might have knives.’
(From Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley, page 103)
I mentioned in one of my Bookish Reflections post earlier in the year, that I was given a bag full of books by a family member. In it were a handful of Agatha Raisin books, some I had read, others I hadn’t. And, recalling how I attempted to read a few of the books out of order and not enjoying the experience…and one of the books in said bag being the next one in the proper reading order, I thought I would revisit these cosy mysteries, so expect a handful in quick succession 😉
I really enjoy these books. They don’t require too much effort on my part, and they are always entertaining. The characters are colourful, especially Agatha with her mean streak which you can visibly see fading the longer she is in Carsely. I found this book to be the funniest I’ve read so far. Fast-paced and witty, this is cosy village murder mystery at its finest. I enjoy the interplay between Agatha and James, their sometimes awkward friendship reads as authentic.
There’s a bit of an extensive cast of characters in this book, mainly because the ramblers come from another Cotswold village, but it’s not so vast that you can’t keep track of who’s who. There’s nothing overly complex here but there are plenty of suspects to ensure that the story remains engaging. Light and undemanding, this is the sort of stress-free reading I love.
I had already read the next book in the series, Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage, but as soon as I finished this one, I re-read it and updated the review posted on this site. You can find that here. Soon I hope to get around to reading book six, Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist.