Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stuck on a Series

I've been reading books by M.C. Beaton.  They take place in Scotland and a few villages are named in many of the books so much so I have a visual picture of how I think they look.  Not to mention I've used some of the language or know what it means. For example:
lay about- a lazy person
crofter- a Highland farmer
get a leg over- have sex with someone
There are others.  I just can't think of them at the moment.

For some reason I like stories that take place in Europe and I like period novels also.  In the M.C. Beaton novels there is a crime mystery and there's also humor.  They are easy reading if you want something to satisfy your  reading palate.

I had to take inventory of what I'd read because I'd read so many I would sometimes check out one I'd read before. The series with the village bobby Hamish Macbeth was the first one I read. Hamish enjoys life in the small village of Lochdubh. He is a very intuitive man and usually solves the crime. His superior Inspector Daviot  in Strathbane usually wants to promote him but Hamish doesn't want to leave the quiet life of Lochdubh so he will often allow the credit to go to someone else or to his nemesis Detective Blair who hates Hamish with a passion.  Blair will do anything to try to have Hamish thrown off of the force. His efforts usually end up with some hilarious mishap befalling him.
Of the Hamish Macbeth novels I have read:

Death of a Celebrity- A woman gets her position at a TV station by sleeping her way up. She is arrogant, self centered and thinks only of herself.  She's found dead.

Death of a Poison Pen- Someone is rattling the nerves of the inhabitants in a nearby village by sending them anonymous letters about information they have on the recipient. Neighbors suspect neighbors.  Everyone is suspicious of everyone else. This leads to violence and someone is killed.

Death of a Village- The people of Stoyre have become very religious. When asked  questions about this sudden onslaught of theology no one will answer questions.

Death of a Glutton- This was the funniest one. Two women own a travel agency. One of them is an embarassment to the other and she wants to buy her out of the business. The offending partner will eat an entire meal meant for 4 people when they take clients out for dinner or lunch.  She will make offensive and embarrassing comments  to the clients. This character burps, slurps, licks her fingers and is an overall pig when it comes to eating. No wonder when she is found dead there is an apple in her mouth.

Other reads include:
Death of a Dreamer
Death of An Addict
Death of a Gentle Lady
Death of a Maid
Daeth of a Nag
Death of a Prankster
Death of a Dustman
Death of a Bore
Death of a Dentist

I only wish I'd read them in order.

Another in the M.C. Beaton series are the Agatha Raisin novels. Agatha is a woman in her fifties who doesn't want to be reminded of it.  She is a romantic thinking that every man who shows her any type of kindness is possibly a candidate for matrimony.  She is especially taken with her neighbor James Lacey. Agatha goes to all sorts of stunts to get his attention.  These novels also involve amateur crime solving with Agatha and the various men in her life.  They also emit humor with Agatha and all of her wild antics.

Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death- Agatha Raisin, new to the village of Cotswold wants to fit in and be accepted, so she enters the annual quiche contest. No one knows Agatha can't cook and gets her sustenance from TV dinners, coffee and cigarettes. Agatha buys a quiche from a baker in a town far from Cotswold. She removes the quiche from its store bought container and places it in a container of her own in hopes of passing it off as her own homemade quiche.  Unfortunately, later someone dies from eating Agatha's poisoned quiche.  To save herself Agatha will have to admit she did not bake the quiche. What an embarrassment.

Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryham

Agatha Raisin and theWizard of Evesham

Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley

The Perfect Paragon: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

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