Agatha Raisin: books

Marion Chesney: phrase

Marion Chesney: phrase

Agatha Raisin is the fictional detective protagonist of 32 novels and 3 short story books created by MC Beaton. The latter was the pseudonym most used by the Scottish writer and journalist Marion Chesney. The character in question also reached the spectrum of radio broadcasting – played by Penelope Keith on BBC Radio 4 – as well as a popular television series.

The first installment of the saga, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, was published by St Martins PG in 1992. Since that year Beaton hooked millions of readers by blending humor and mystery into a fast-paced narrative.. The result has been an extensive saga with fast-reading texts that inspired countless readers of three generations.

Character biography and series summary Agatha Raisin


Born in Birmingham under the name of Agatha Styles, she is the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Styles, a couple of unemployed drunks who supported themselves on public benefits and, occasionally, shoplifting. Despite her circumstances, the protagonist was able to spend a glorious holiday in the Cotswolds (her parents preferred to get into the local casino).

From the city to the countryside

The aforementioned stay in the country was the most pleasant memory of Agatha's childhood. For this reason, the protagonist (53 years old at the start of the series) decides to move to Carsely (fictional town) in the Cotswolds.

Back then she just He just sold his PR firm in Mayfair., London, and taking an early retirement. Even so, she feels very frustrated, however, that feeling of hers does not take away from the cordiality.

Quickly discovers that his new place of residence is inhospitable when she enters and loses—unfairly, according to her—in a quiche competition. But Agatha does not have the opportunity to rebuke the judge, as he dies of poison after taking an extra slice of cake.

A not very respected detective

Agatha decides to get to the bottom of the matter to vindicate herself and find the perpetrator of the poisoning. As she collects evidence, details of the past are revealed. The most important is the murder of her first husband, Jimmy Raisin, from whom she adopted her last name. After solving that first case, the protagonist sees herself with a talent for investigations.

That is how the first fourteen books of the saga take place. (one case per delivery). However, the police and even those close to him believe that Raisin solves the crimes by luck or chance. Anyway, in book fifteen of the series —Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004)—she decides to set up her own detective agency in Mircester, a nearby (fictional) town.

More entanglements and a second marriage

Agatha remarries in the eleventh book of the saga —Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell (2001)—with James Lacey, her neighbor in Carsely. It should be noted that this character has a lot of weight throughout the saga, he appears in twelve of the thirty-two main volumes. While the marriage between Agatha and James turns out to be a disaster, he reappears in later installments as her lover.

the book of details

Not all the locations where the stories take place are fictitious, there are also real Cotswolds towns such as Evesham or Moreton-in-March. In this sense, book The Agatha Raisin Companion (2010) was written by Marion Chesney for the purpose of "celebrating all things" about its protagonist.

Mentioned below are some of the data displayed in one of the best detective books:

  • Agatha's biography and the context of her retirement to the Cotswolds;
  • Raisin's complex love story and details of life in Carsely's villa;
  • A brief biography of all the men who have been important in the life of the protagonist;
  • Agatha's favorite cooking recipes.

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, fragments

«Agatha Raisin was sitting at the recently cleared table in her office on South Molton Street, in the London neighborhood of Mayfair. From the murmurs and clinking of glasses as she came from the office she deduced that her employees were ready to fire her.

… «Agatha got up to join the party and a slight feeling of vertigo came over her, something that never used to happen to her. Before her lay a long sequence of blank days: no obligation, no noise, no fuss. Would she know how to cope?

"He put the idea out of his mind and crossed the Rubicon to go into the office room and say goodbye."

What is the final book in the series?

On platforms such as Wikipedia, 32 novels by Agatha Raisin are mentioned, therefore, the last one would be Down the Hatch: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2021). However, in 2022 it was published Agatha Raisin and the Devil's Delight, signed by MC Beaton and the English writer RW Green. Moreover, this title is considered part of the original series in most fan websites of the saga.


Agatha Raisin series novels

  • Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (1993);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (1994);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (1995);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (1996);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist (1997);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (1998);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham (1999);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckadden (1999);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam (2000);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell (2001);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came (2002);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate (2003);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House (2003);
  • Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004);
  • The Perfect Paragon: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2005);
  • Love, Lies and Liquor: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2006);
  • Kissing Christmas Goodbye: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2007);
  • A Spoonful of Poison: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2008);
  • There Goes the Bride: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2009);
  • The Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2010);
  • As the Pig Turns: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2011);
  • Hiss and Hers: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2012);
  • Something Borrowed, Someone Dead: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2013);
  • The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2014);
  • Dishing the Dirt: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2015);
  • Pushing Up Daisies: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2016);
  • The Witches' Tree: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2017);
  • The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2018);
  • Beating About the Bush: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2019);
  • Hot to Trot: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2020);
  • Down the Hatch: An Agatha Raisin mystery (October 2021).

Short stories

  • Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble (2012);
  • Agatha Raisin: Hell's Bells (2013);
  • Agatha's First Case (2015)

About the author, Marion Chesney

marion chesney

marion chesney

Birth, family and youth

Marion McGowan Chesney was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 10, 1936. Her parents were David, a coal merchant, and Agnes, a domestic servant. The little Glaswegian always wanted to be a writer, for this reason, she frequently walked through bookstores. In fact, her first job was as a buyer for a bookstore in her hometown.

First jobs

That first job put young Marion in contact with a lot of literature while bringing her closer to the world of journalism. How? Okay, she helped get a cookbook to a woman who happened to be the editor of the Scottish publication of The Daily Mail. There she began as a writer of theater reviews, then became the main critic of the dramatic section.

Subsequently, Chesney was a fashion editor and crime reporter on Fleet Street. In 1969, she married journalist Harry Scott Gibbons, with whom she moved to the US after the birth of their only son, Charles. Already in the new millennium, the couple lived between Gloucestershire and Paris and remained together until the death of her husband, which occurred in 2016. She died three years later, she was 83 years old.

Literary career

Beginnings and influences

Marion Chesney explained in various interviews how her initiation into writing was. To begin with, she She was always a fan of Georgette Heyer's romance novels., set in the Regency era (1811 – 1820) in England. Likewise, she used to complain to her husband about Heyer's imitators who generally misrepresented and altered historical events.

Consequently, Harry challenged her to write her own novel (and success would free her up more time to spend with her son). Finally, 1979 saw the literary debut of Marion Chesney, Kitty, a romantic novel signed under the alias of Jennie Tramaine. That title was the first of his more than 100 sentimental books published over the next four decades.


Chesney's first books appeared signed with her real name along with other nicknames such as Ann Fairfax, Helen Crampton and Charlotte Ward. Nevertheless, his most famous alias was MC Beaton, who first appeared on Death of a Gossip (1985) This title was the first installment of the Hamish Macbeth series and meant the launch of the Scottish literary career.

In the following years, many of the British author's publications were adapted for radio and television. Later, the launch of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992). said novel started the Agatha Raisin series and is part of the most acclaimed legacy among the more than 160 texts published by Chesney until his death (December 31, 2019).

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