Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham – M.C. Beaton

Agatha seems to have hit rock bottom in this book, the eighth in the series. She is still pining after James Lacey, the neighbour who seems to have dealt cruelly with her heart. The British weather has become unbearably hot even for Agatha, village life is getting to her somewhat and she really needs a pick me up but does not know what to do.

The ladies of the village rate the new hairdresser Mr John as the way to brighten up any lady of a certain age’s pecker and Agatha bites the bullet and decides that perhaps she needs a new look if only to find herself attractive and put James to the back of her mind. Mr John has ideas of his own and a date and a further hair appointment later, it seems that Agatha may have found a happy diversion. That is until Mr John is poisoned in his own salon and it is Agatha that happens to find him.

So now Agatha has something to take her mind off James and everything else and begins her own investigating as to why this man was poisoned and poisoned with a fairly untraceable poison – Ricin. As she begins to talk to other ladies who frequented Mr John’s scissors she is faced with a rather mute audience. It seems Mr John even from the grave has a hold on these women and that if they say anything they may have a lot to lose. So Agatha with the help of Sir Charles a fair weather friend who seems to drop in and out of her life depending on his boredom level go and investigate his house but someone else is there and the heat is turned up – as it is set on fire!

Agatha has a lot of explaining to do to the police, and her friend Bill Wong is not being friendly and she cannot garner any information from him so she is back to investigating with or without Charles and getting her hair done a lot – well you know how these hairdressers talk…….

A quick read, and for once I actually worked out who the culprit was, it stood out like a punk at the Carlsey Ladies Society tea! Agatha is a character you can love and hate in equal measure and although she occasionally shows her softer side it is her hard side that seems to get the results!

I picked this book up because again I wanted a light read, and having read book 18 back for my Book Club, I wanted to familiarise myself where I was originally (I do have a thing about reading books in order) and so I demolished this from picking it up Friday Afternoon to Saturday Morning. That is the beauty of these books. Trouble is now I am itching to pick up book 9 and then I do have 10 on my shelf……