Hiss and Hers
I managed to acquire this book in audio format. It is read by the excellent Penelope Keith, who, several years ago, was my first introduction to the Agatha Raisin stories, when I chanced upon a reading on BBC Radio 4 Extra. She was, consequently, my first impression of Agatha but, I genuinely believe that it would have been Ms Keith's voice that I would have put to the feisty detective even were I to have encountered the books, prior to the radio series. I might well have had the actress in my mind's eye too, even allowing for the fact that she is rather more attractive than the description of our eponymous sleuth. If you are new to this series of crimes, you will soon decide as to whether they are to your taste, or no: they are gently humorous tales without graphic detail of horrendous torture, mutilation and painful death, as seems almost a pre-requisite of most modern day crime fiction. Police procedure is also noticeable by its absence. The characters, whilst exaggerated versions of real people, are much more important, and the crime is, inevitably, solved by Raisin's understanding of the criminals mindset. Do not buy these books if you are after glamour, fast moving World wide trips to the exotic and explicit scenes of a sexual nature because, you will be seriously disappointed. Mrs Raisin has a very different temperament to Agatha Christie's Marple, but the idea of events unfolding within a quite St Mary Mead type village are very similar.I thoroughly enjoyed this story, as I have other books in the series. Ms. Beaton has that ability, shared with the best detective fiction writers, of being able to lead the reader up the garden path and then, allowing him/her to arrive at a solution, a paragraph or so before the detective. I shall not give any details herein as to whom the murderer of George Marston, the philandering gardener, might be; I would be amaze, however, were you to rumble the denouement ahead of the final chapter.Personally, I should have bought the paper version of this work, as I prefer to read than to listen but, the six one hour discs are superbly narrated, as one would expect, by Penelope Keith (I haven't let slip my attraction to this actress, have I?) and the inclination to spend an entire day listening to them, one after another, was almost, too great to resist. I must, guiltily admit that I shall listen to these discs more than once - I am blessed with a brain that can remember all sorts of trivia, but which manages to obliterate all reminiscence of the last few pages of a whodunnit within a few days!A good entertaining read/listen - first class!