Hiss and Hers Review
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Now that the leaves and the temperatures are both starting to fall, it’s time to trade those steamy beach reads for a warm, cozy mystery. And what better place to start than with Hiss and Hers, another Agatha Raisin mystery from the Queen of Cozy Mysteries, M. C. Beaton?

Hiss and Hers finds private investigator Agatha Raisin’s attention wandering away from her cases. Like most of the other women in her tiny Cotswold village, Agatha has fallen head over heels for gardener George Marston. Agatha is determined to win his heart—until she finds him murdered in his own garden. Then she becomes determined to find his killer.

As Agatha and her team dig into George’s past, they find that the list of suspects is surprisingly long. After all, George was quite a ladies’ man—and he left a trail of jilted lovers behind him. And when Agatha begins questioning them, she once again finds that her own life is at risk.

  
 
When you think about British cozy mysteries, you probably think of frumpy little old ladies who sip tea and talk to their cats while solving their village’s latest mystery from their old flowered armchair. In a way, Agatha Raisin fits the mold. She does, after all, have a couple of cats. But that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. Agatha isn’t the typical crime-solving old biddy. This middle-aged mystery maven may live in a cozy Cotswold village, but she’s tough and resourceful, with a talented staff of investigators working under her. She smokes and drinks. She worries almost obsessively about her appearance. And she’s still searching for the man who will sweep her off her feet.

Agatha is a wonderfully flawed character—one who (in this case) lets her emotions guide her investigation. At times, you may find her infatuation with George absolutely maddening. Before his death, it makes her behave like a lovesick teenager. After his death, as she hunts for his killer, it makes her target her biggest rivals—especially pretty young soap star Jessica Fordyce. But her occasionally clouded judgment—and her impulsiveness—keep things interesting.

The same goes for Agatha’s staff. Though some act as the voice of reason in this big, crazy mess, others are just as caught up in obsession and jealousy as Agatha is. And the characters’ personal histories and eccentricities help to season the fun-filled story.

But the characters’ personality quirks aren’t the only surprises here. The story itself is filled with enough twists and turns to keep readers on their toes. So if you’re looking for a laid-back cozy mystery with a different kind of sleuth, put out some food for the cats, pour yourself a stiff drink, and settle in for this love-struck Agatha Raisin adventure.


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