M.C. Beaton has done it again.

The author of the highly praised and widely read mystery series featuring Agatha Raisin has turned out yet another highly entertaining work, Beating Around the Bush.

A former London advertising executive, Agatha has now lived several years in the Cotwolds village of Carsley. After becoming bored with retirement, she opened her own detective agency, which, over the years, has become quite successful. Interspersed among the cases of philandering husbands and wives, lost cats and dogs, and the occasional missing person have been numerous cases of murder.

Agatha doesn’t go looking for murder herself, mind you. Murder finds her. And so the stage is set for Beating Around the Bush.

As Agatha’s beautiful and young assistant Toni drives her home one evening, Agatha suddenly screams “Stop the car!” It seems she has spied someone’s leg in the thick undergrowth lining the road. Upon investigating the incident, the women realize that a leg is all they see. Where is the rest of the body?

At the time, they have no idea the leg is connected with their latest case.

The owners of a local factory have hired Agatha’s agency to investigate a case of industrial espionage. Before they can do much in the way of investigating, however, murder rears its ugly head.

Quite unexpectedly, Agatha also becomes involved with a bad-tempered donkey, who turns Agatha into a national celebrity, The donkey also brings Agatha ridicule and shame.

Add to the mix Agatha’s growing feelings for Sir Charles Fraith, her friend and sometimes lover. Could they finally realize their love for one another?

But before Agatha can address that issue, things come to a head at the factory as a possible solution to the problem begins to congeal and Agatha’s life is thrown into deadly peril.

Stokely Memorial Library now has Beating Around the Bush, along with other works in the highly popular series (It’s now a hit television show!).

Sadly, Beaton died shortly after the publication of this novel. We mystery lovers will mourn her passing, but will continue to be entertained by her delightful works.

Located at 383 East Broadway, Stokely Memorial Library is open Mondays—Saturdays from 10-5 and may be reached by telephone at 423-623-3832.

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