Pushing Up Daisies
M.C. Beaton     

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Agatha Raisin
Book: 27

When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory.

The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him—as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.

M.C. Beaton's Pushing Up Daisies continues the tradition in this beloved mystery series.

Agatha Raisin doesn’t regret leaving her London PR company behind for village life in the Cotswolds, but her detective agency’s latest case is becoming tough to solve, as well as dangerous. Lord Bellington has plans to develop land currently being used as a community garden and doesn’t care how many of the local villagers don’t like it. Therefore, there are plenty of suspects the arrogant man is murdered and it’s up to Agatha and her agency who have been hired by Belllington’s son to solve the case. However, as the case grows more complex, Agatha finds herself in over her head and wondering if she will be able to find the real killer.

New readers to this series will quickly learn Agatha Raisin isn’t the typical “cozy” private detective. Agatha is middle-aged, man-crazy, and full of opinions. Her outspoken ways during the course of an investigation often make enemies out of many, but she is often her own worst enemy. Agatha can be abrasive, but she is a loyal friend. In turn, Agatha’s fellow detectives and friends would do anything for her, but she doesn’t see that. Her self-esteem due to being raised in poverty gets in the way, so Agatha makes hasty and questionable decisions, especially when it comes to her love life. This has never been more true than in Pushing Up Daisies.

Agatha is clever and resourceful with a long record of solving crimes. In spite of some of Agatha’s ill-advised choices, she continues with the investigation even when things look grim and I was interested to see how things would turn out.

Long-time readers won’t be surprised that Agatha’s relationship with Sir Charles Fraith is one again filled with misunderstandings and missed opportunities. I wish things would work out for them or even if that’s not in the cards, that someday Agatha gets the happy ending she’s looking for. Pushing up Daisies isn’t a complex book, but it is a quick, fun read that fans of M.C. Beaton or those who enjoy a unique private detective in a cozy, English setting will enjoy.

~ Christine