M.C. Beaton is the queen of British cozy mysteries. She has a number of long running series. My favourites are the Hamish MacBeth books.
But when Kissing Christmas Goodbye was recently returned at the library, I thought it would make a great seasonal listen for the drive back and forth to work. This book is the 18th entry in Beaton's Agatha Raisin series.
Agatha is a sharp tongued, opinionated private eye with her own detective agency in the Cotswolds. Christmas is coming and Agatha is focused on holding the perfect Christmas dinner, inviting her ex and winning him back. But when Agatha receives a letter from a wealthy widow Phyllis Tamworthy asking Agatha to suss out which one of her family members wants her dead, it piques her interest. She heads to a holiday dinner with the woman and her family. And yes, one of them is guilty.....
Cozies are all about the characters and setting. Beaton has created a wonderful character in Agatha. I liked the addition of a new young female detective to the firm - she gives Agatha a run for her money. I appreciated revisiting with characters from past novels - it's like settling in with old friends. The mystery isn't overly complicated, but it's the journey to the whodunit that is the most fun.
I quite enjoyed listening to this book rather than reading it. Penelope Keith was the reader and she was absolutely perfect. She perfectly captured the character of Agatha with her British accent and very expressive reading.
This was a perfect light-hearted cozy for the Christmas season. Read an excerpt of Kissing Christmas Goodbye.