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Book Name: Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley

Author: M. C. Beaton

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Overall Rating: (3.91/5) View all reviews (total 11 reviews)

The newest Agatha Raisin adventure is quietly humorous but thin in plot. Finishing up her stint at a London PR firm, which she agreed to in Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (1994), the acerbic 50-something retiree happily returns to her Cotswolds cottage?and her bachelor neighbor and sleuthing partner, James Lacey. Shortly after Agatha's return, Jessica Tartinck, the confrontational leader of a walking group, is murdered in nearby Dembley. When Sir Charles Fraith becomes the chief suspect (he and Jessica had argued about the walkers' right-of-way through his fields), Agatha is asked by a village friend to investigate. Ever eager, Agatha and her cohort James move to Dembley and, posing as man and wife, infiltrate Jessica's walking group. But, as Beaton's readers have learned to expect, Agatha's jubilation is short-lived, and her pseudo-marriage to James doesn't go at all as she hopes. Wending their way through circuitous misadventure, however, the pair solve the murder and forge a deeper relationship than they'd enjoyed before.Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Read Agatha Raisin, but dont start with this book

by clifford "akitonmyers"

I love Agatha Raisin. M.C. Beaton has created one of the finest character studies of small provincial towns I have come across. I've found myself laughing aloud several times with each book that I pick up and I bless Beaton for that.In her previous three stories, the mysteries have stood second stage to Raisin's interactions with people in the town. And that was just fine. But here it seems that Beaton is attempting to turn Raisin into a bumbling Mrs. Marple alluded to in every story. But it doesn't work. Beaton just can't set up a mystery on par with Christy and in her efforts to do so, Beaton sacrifices much of what was so enduring about her first three Raisin stories.I did not especially like this book though I plan on reading more Raisin novels in the hopes that Beaton once again captures the magic of her past triumphs.

A Disagreeable Entry in a Fine Series

by Dennis Phillips "The Book Friar"

The walkers referred to in the title are a rather eclectic and somewhat pathetic bunch who traipse around with a chip on their shoulders just spoiling for a fight with area landowners. They seldom have any trouble finding conflict especially with their pushy, outspoken and obnoxious leader Jessica Tartinc leading the charge. As this book begins Jessica has gone too far even for her followers and she heads off to confront a local aristocrat on her own. When her body is found on said aristocrat's land the suspect list includes not only the gentry but also the walkers themselves. Because one of the walkers is the niece of Mrs. Mason, the President of the Carsely Ladies Society, and has therefore heard of Agatha and her amateur sleuthing Agatha's assistance is requested. Needless to say, this gives a big boost to Agatha's ego but by the end of the book she finds out that maybe the reference that she received wasn't nearly as complimentary as she had thought.Much to Agatha's delight, the strategy decided upon requires her and her neighbor James Lacey to move into a flat in Dembley and pose as husband and wife in order to infiltrate the group of walkers. Agatha, who has been chasing Lacey since the first book of the series is soon dejected however because her pretend marriage just doesn't work out at all like she had planned. Unknown to her however she is much more attractive to James when she isn't trying to get her claws into him and he becomes more and more fond of her as the book progresses. This part of the plot in fact leads to a bombshell of sorts at the end of this book, which will leave the reader very anxious to get their hands on the next entry in the series.Despite the bombshell however this is probably the least enjoyable of the first four books in this series. The mystery itself plays a much larger part in this story than in the previous books, which would at first glance appear to be a good thing. Unfortunately the mystery is not suspenseful or for that matter interesting enough to carry the plot on it's own and all of the little side plots that involve the other characters in the book fall very flat. The problem may well be that for the most part the old comfortable characters in Carsely are basically absent from this book leaving only the new characters introduced for this book and quite frankly most of these new characters are fairly wretched creatures. It is really hard to get involved in a story when most every person involved makes your skin crawl. The whole notion of a cozy mystery is sort left by the wayside when there is absolutely nothing cozy about the story or it's characters.I am a great fan of this series and if you intend to read any of the books following this one then this is a must read because of the interaction between Agatha and James. Just don't be at all surprised if after reading this book you find that instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy, like your supposed to feel after reading a cozy mystery, you just feel numb.

Agatha Plays House

by Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!"

I found Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley to be a much less successful book than the earlier three books in the series. The mystery can barely qualify as one. Agatha is an unpleasant terror for much of the book (which makes for less than happy reading). The new characters are unsympathetic. The victim is particularly so.So should you read the book? Yes, you're stuck. The book contains a lot of development in the Agatha Raisin-James Lacey relationship that will leave you high and dry if you skip Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley. Sorry.During Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet, Agatha agreed to work in PR again in London in exchange for surreptitious help with her ruined garden. As this book opens, Agatha is finishing up her six-month stint in London at Pedmans, the firm that bought out her PR old firm. It's been an unpleasant experience and her final dinner leaves a bad taste for everyone but the client.In Dembley (part of Gloucestershire), the cause-devoted, militant Jessica Tartinck is organizing the Dembley Walkers (a ramblers society) into another planned confrontation with a landowner who has blocked the public way while armed with a shotgun. Jessica savors the chance to make a splash. The others aren't so enthusiastic. After that meeting, her written challenge to Sir Charles Fraith is returned with an invitation to tea if the ramblers will avoid one of his fields that has been planted. Jessica's friend Deborah Camden is sent to check out the path. Jessica decides to ask permission first and captures the attention of Sir Charles who asks for her telephone number. Thoroughly charmed, Deborah recommends that they go along with Sir Charles and the other ramblers agree . . . except for Jessica who decides to challenge him on her own.Meanwhile, Agatha returns to Carsely and finds that her handsome next-door neighbor, middle-aged bachelor James Lacey, has also been leading walks. She immediately joins the group and irritates him again by trying to organize things.Soon thereafter, Jessica is found murdered in Sir Charles' field and a witness places Sir Charles in the vicinity. Concerned for her new friend, Deborah calls on her friendship with Mrs. Mason, head of the Carsely Ladies Society, seeks to engage Agatha to find the killer. Before long, Agatha and James are operating undercover, posing as a married couple, to penetrate the Dembley Walkers.In the process, Agatha finds it frustrating to be pretending what she so desperately wants . . . to be Mrs. James Lacey. James, in turn, finds the whole matter even more annoying for different reasons.Before the book ends, Agatha finds herself in a race to stop a murder.Those who like romantic mysteries with an emphasis on "romantic" may find this book to be a four-star effort.

Introducing Sir Charles

by Jeanne Tassotto

Fans of this long running series (19 books and counting) who, like this reader have not read them in order, will delight in this introduction of Sir Charles Fraith who will (has) figured so prominently in some of the later books. THE WALKERS OF DEMBLEY is also a pivotal story in the ongoing romance between Agatha and James.As the story opens it is six months since the events of AGATHA RAISIN AND THE POTTED GARDENER. Agatha is just completing her agreed upon six month return to the London PR world. She had discovered that she had not lost her talent for PR but that she missed her new life in Carsely too much to even consider coming out of retirement on a permanent basis. When she returned to Carsely so discovered that she too had been missed by her new friends in the village, and perhaps even a bit by her next door neighbor James. In hopes losing some of the unwanted pounds that London living had put on and, as always, in pursuit of James, Agatha joins the newly organized walking club which quickly leads to yet another investigation for her and James.This is a wonderful addition to the series, one that should not be missed by any fans of the later books. Those new to the series might be better off beginning with AGATHA RAISIN AND THE QUICHE OF DEATH (the first in the series) although this one could be read and enjoyed on it's own. Longtime fans of the later books might be a bit surprised to discover a slightly different Sir Charles than the one that appears in later books.

Murderers Can't Walk Past Agatha!

by L Smith "acozylover"

In the fourth book in the Agatha Raisin series, our heroine is again put right in the middle of a vicious murder. Following her return from working for a London P.R. firm, Agatha must help friend Sir Charles Fraith clear his name. It seems as though the leader of a walkers group has been murdered after being seen arguing with Charles, and Agatha sets out with James to pose as a married couple to infiltrate the village of Dembley. Of course, Agatha finds herself miserable, and finds that living with James is not the romantic getaway that she had hoped for.This series is one of my favorites and this book shows Agatha at her finest. Her gruff exterior is no match for her soft heart, and those that truly get to know her see this warm side. I highly recommend each book in this series, and also the series about Hamish MacBeth, also written by M.C. Beaton.The first book in the series is "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death". Enjoy!


by Mac Blair "Mac Blair"

AS usual I enjoyed another Agatha Raisin doing her thing. Her thing this time also gets her really involved with James Lacey. Agatha has returned to Cotswold village after six months in London. She is not back long before someone murders one of the walkers of dembley, a group that gets together and walks on the weekend. They follow old trails that have since been planted in crops. The farmers, of course, do not like this as it destroys their fields. After one is killed, another is killed. Who could be doing this? One of the walkers, one of the farmers, a lover? Agatha and Lacey keep asking questions until they figure it our. Or do they? I can see the village and the people in my mind as I read. Beaton does an excellent job if you will just let yourself go and feel the writing.

hope that James is next...

by Miss Ivonne

I'm unusual in that I like the aggressive Agatha more than the lazy, unambitious Hamish MacBeth. This one is as good as the others in the series -- although the first one, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, is the best.I suspect I liked the first book best because James Lacey played so little a part of it. The biggest mystery in this book, as in all of the them, is what lively, clever Agatha sees in the priggish James Lacey. He's a snob and a pill. There are women who think they're nothing without a man -- even one as boring as Lacey -- but Agatha certainly doesn't strike me as one. I blame Ms. Beaton for Lacey, and I hope he can be bumped off next in order to put us all out of our misery.

The stories just get better.

by MLPlayfair

This entry in the series keeps up the good work and offers a surprise for those who have followed the series so far. (I hope you're reading them in order!) Here Agatha gets to "play house" with James as they go undercover to solve yet another murder in the Cotswolds. Lots of good stuff happens with the ancillary characters, too.

I Love Agatha

by Nancy "Stepfordmomto2"

The further this series goes, the more I enjoy it.Agatha Raisin has spent the last six months back in London and away from her beloved Cotswold village. No sooner is she home but there is a murder for her to solve. Ever eager to be of any help when there is a mysterious death involved, Agatha and her nosey pushy ways jump right on in.Posing as husband and wife with her hottie neighbor James Lacey, Agatha sets out to find the murderer of Jessica Tartinck, a local hiker who has angered local landowners by insisting that her walking club has the right to cross through their fields.Agatha gets to live out a secret wish that might not just be wishful thinking after all. These are quite endearing little books that keep the cozy genre quite cozy. Bundle up and enjoy.

This Series Stays Fresh!

by S. Schwartz "romonko"

The Agatha Raisin series does stay fresh and remains great fun to read. In this one Agatha and James set up housekeeping in a neighbouring village in order to catch a murderer. This is enough to get Agatha going over the deep end and she imagines all kinds of scenarios with her and James. It turns out they do catch the killer in the end, and they go back to their own village. The story doesn't end there though, and Ms. Beaton keeps you hanging at the end of the book for the next installment.

A Pleasant Journey Through the Cotswolds

by Tess

Very good mystery. Beaton has a way of creating characters that you either loath or love. She accomplished this even more than usual in The Walkers of Dembley. And, as usual, Agatha was up to her old tricks. I love the combination of mystery and humor in Beaton's books. Sometimes when I'm reading one I find myself laughing outloud.

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