“I wonder if you might find time to call on me. I think a member of my family is trying to kill me. Isn’t the weather warm for October?”
This book was so sweet! Sweet and…peculiar. I choose this book as I thought it would act as a good comparison for my crime work in English Lit. and I was certainly right about that!
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The crime(s) felt very unimportant, almost as if they were subplots, because the main character Agatha Raisin wasn’t all that invested in them herself. She was too busy worrying about the perfect Christmas she had planned out. Therefore I couldn’t really invest myself in them and I found myself not really caring that much about who had committed the crime, how or why whereas when it came to the Christmas dinner and what she was planning to wear in order to seduce her ex, James, I was surprisingly nervous! This to me definitely felt the wrong way around. I also thought it was a shame how the resolution was rushed and a little random – the fatal clue actually occurred early on in the novel and was quite obvious even though it took the detectives another hundred pages or so to figure out!
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I didn’t find there to be much character development within the story – however this is potentially due to the fact this book is the eighteenth in the series, so far. I enjoyed Agatha as a character and as a detective; she particularly reminded me of a mash-up of Ida Arnold from Brighton Rock, with her sense of humour and self-confidence, and Miss Marple from Agatha Christie’s works, due to her homeliness and that she was also an older detective compared to many others within the genre. There was a lot of self-reflection with Agatha and this added a lot of humour to the novel. I do think that the humour was the highlight of the book; there were so many little things that managed to make me smile or laugh which I really appreciated. It really worked alongside the cozy mystery.
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This book was not ground-breaking. It didn’t make me think, but it was exceedingly cute and very Christmas-y! I do think this book is aimed at an older target age but I did enjoy it; it was an easy holiday read and a lot of fun.