Monday, October 30, 2017

Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House...and a visit with Pete the Cat

How?  How have I  never run across M.C. Beaton?  A number of circumstances led me to her, happily so.  First, a new customer, new to Manitowoc,  who is working on her masters long distance through a university in the United Kingdom mentioned her.  After she and her husband spent 20 minutes decoding the secrets to utilizing my TV and DVD player so I could watch an episode of  "Grantchester", she asked if I had ever seen "Agatha Raisin".  Second, I watched "Agatha Raisin" on PBS and was quickly hooked.  Then, at our Friday night book discussion, Mary said that she had read all the AR books and since I was headed to the library on Saturday to return Pete (more on that in a minute,) I decided to pick one up.

It's OK with me that PBS decided  Agatha had to be younger and less frumpy than Beaton portrays her. Agatha left her high profile London PR firm to move to a Cotswold village.. Little did she know she would spend her days bumbling, flirting, gossiping and stumbling across dead bodies.  In this particular book, she simply hopes to kindle a romance with a new neighbor while investigating rumors of a haunting.  Paul turns out to be a cad, the rumors prove false, but there is a murder which she sets to investigating despite warnings from the local authorities to stay out of it.

The Raisin books are typical cozy mysteries - fun, quick reads.  You won't  find bloody crime scenes or partially decomposed bodies in these books.  Sex takes place behind closed door.  Much like Agatha, the sleuths are generally women, and all have a primary job - dog walker, tea shop owner, caterer, librarian, scrapbooker.  There's a cozy mystery series for just about every occupation and interest.  There are even cozies with Wisconsin connections.  Here's a list of those for you:

Mystery authors  who feature Wisconsin locations in their books:
Allyson K. Abbott (aka Annelise Ryan & Beth Amos): Mack’s Bar Mystery Series – Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is the owner of a bar who serves up justice.
Laura Alden: PTA Mystery Series Beth Kennedy is the owner of a children’s bookstore.
Sandra Balzo: Maggy Thorsen Mystery Series – Maggy is a woman who runs her own coffee shop while solving crimes.
Susan Bernhardt: Kay Driscoll Mystery Series Kay Driscoll is a retired nurse who volunteers at the local free clinic.
Christine DeSmet: Fudge Shop Mystery Series Ava Oosterling is the owner of a copper-kettle fudge shop who sleuths while sharing space in her grandpa’s bait shop.
Kathleen Ernst: Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series – Chloe is the curator of a living history museum in Wisconsin during the 1980s.
Victoria Houston: Loon Lake Fishing Mystery Series Lewellyn Ferris is the police chief who enjoys fly fishing while thinking up whodunnit.
Mary Grace Murphy: Noshes Up North Mystery Series Nell Bailey is a retired turned food blogger who lives in Wisconsin.
Hannah Reed (aka Deb Baker): Queen Bee Mystery Series Story Fischer manages her bees while also managing to solve mysteries.

Annelise Ryan (aka Allyson K. Abbott & Beth Amos): Mattie Winston Mystery Series Mattie is an ex-nurse who currently serves as a deputy coroner, which comes in handy in her investigations.
Happy sleuthing.

Pete the Cat stopped by LaDeDa on Saturday to dance and visit.  Here he is with my buddy, Wyatt.  We sure had fun and I have to thank the Manitowoc Public Library for making Pete's visit possible.  I wish you could have seen the kids' faces when Pete walked into the store. I think they were picturing a little cat in a yellow shirt, and were surprised to see how big he was - at least 6 feet - (we measured him against a 5"12' friend who came with Wyatt). Pete signed autographs and posed for pictures.  He even stuck around after most people had left so he could dance again with two friends, one  who arrived late and missed the dance party, and another who was too shy to dance with the other 20+ kinds who were here.  That Pete. What a guy.
Thanks for stopping by.

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