Review

There Goes the Bride: An Agatha Raisin Mystery

by M. C. Beaton

Detective Agatha Raisin is fit to be tied. Her ex-husband, James
Lacey, is getting married to Felicity Bross-Tilkington, a rich,
young, beautiful blonde. While Agatha is over him (or so she tells
herself), she is none too eager to attend the wedding. But staying
away will make it look like she's still pining for James, so attend
she will.

Happily, though, Agatha has several friends and colleagues
to accompany her and provide much-needed support, so she sets out
from her cozy village in the English Cotswolds and heads to Sussex.
The pre-wedding party is a fiasco, but the wedding is murder ---
literally. Felicity is found dead before she can make it down the
aisle, setting off a police investigation that places Agatha and
James as prime suspects.

Fate is on their side, though, and both Agatha and James
are able to prove their whereabouts at the time of the murder. As
to be expected, Agatha is hired (by the bride’s mother) to
investigate Felicity’s untimely demise. But the bride's
father is none too keen to have her poking her nose into the affair
--- and neither are the local police. Still, Agatha is not one to
let that stop her; she and her team of detectives are soon on the
case.

As they begin to dig into dirty details of the bride's life,
they find that she wasn't quite the innocent young thing she
pretended to be. While she refused her husband-to-be sex before
marriage, she apparently didn’t have such qualms with other
men. As it turns out, Felicity Bross-Tilkington was quite the
little vixen when she wanted to be. The word
“insatiable” springs to mind.

With this new information coming to light, it doesn't take long
for the list of suspects to grow: a mysterious Frenchman, a surly
security guard, a gang of young stalkers, and two men to whom she
was previously engaged. Are one of these men the guilty party? And
another question: why do the Bross-Tilkingtons have so much
security? What are they afraid of? Theft? Enemies? Intruders?
Agatha manages to get herself into one scrape after another as she
crashes around like a bull in a china shop trying to solve the
murder and answer these questions --- and avoid becoming the next
victim.

One of the best parts of this novel is Beaton’s rich cast
of characters: there’s Toni, her blonde, attractive junior
detective; Sir Charles, who pops in and out of her life at his
convenience but who always seems to help Agatha when she needs it
most; James, her ex, who treats her more like a buddy than a former
wife; Roy, her former business associate who escapes London to seek
Agatha’s help with his professional problems; Bill Wong, the
policeman who both admires and chastises Agatha as needed; and
dependable and caring Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife. The
relationships are strong and intricate, and they add a lot of fun
to each successive novel.

As a longtime fan of M. C. Beaton --- and Agatha Raisin in
particular --- I have to say that THERE GOES THE BRIDE really is
one of the most fun novels in the series. As always, there are the
expected twists, turns and close calls as Agatha plunges ever
forward to solve the crime. In addition, Beaton includes priceless
moments regarding Agatha’s personal life --- laugh-out-loud
moments that only a character like Agatha can engender. Pick this
one up now! You won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 23, 2011

There Goes the Bride: An Agatha Raisin Mystery
by M. C. Beaton

  • Publication Date: August 31, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 0312373228
  • ISBN-13: 9780312373221