Title: Dishing the Dirt Author: M. C. Beaton Published: September 15th 2015 by Minotaur Books Format: Hardcover, 304 pages Genre: Cozy Mystery Series: Agatha Raisin #26
Scattered. I think that is the best word to describe this book. The Agatha Raisin series has been going downhill for years, so I take each one for what they are. I have been invested in these characters for years and I cannot look away when a new one comes out.
The Agatha Raisin books are very easy reads considering M. C. Beaton has a habit of doing a mid-book recap. Dishing the Dirt begins with the murder of a therapist that has a history of being a hooker when she lived in Chicago. Still not sure why that was even mentioned since the idea was not fully developed into anything other than maybe her past had caught up with her; personally, I believe it was thrown in for some sort of shock value. The people in Carsely went to her for counseling even though no one could actually prove that she was qualified, they just needed someone who would listen. A man is snooping around and is murdered. So is another. Listening devices are found in Agatha’s cottage. Then another woman is murdered. Wolfsbane is suspected. Yada, Yada, Yada. Turns out the real killer was even more diabolical than Agatha realized.
Curious that in this book, both James and Charles see Agatha in a new light. At one point, the reader wonders if James could change his mind about having divorced Agatha, but that all blows up in a little squabble. Then you have Charles wondering how he could ever live without Agatha. Very odd and very curious indeed.
All the while, Agatha is blindly obsessed with one character as the murderer but many names are bandied about and until the reader reaches the end, you had no idea as to which characters you needed to pay attention to. Bumbling. Almost to the point where it felt as if the author was just making it up as she went with no clear path.
The books ends quite abruptly and then the reader is thrown into an epilog that actually ends the book properly. Properly that is for Agatha Raisin, meaning that there is dangling intrigue that involves a new man. A man that Mrs. Bloxby is quite taken with and Agatha cannot quite stop herself from chasing after.