Beaton, author of the Hamish MacBeth stories, offers another anemic adventure for second-string sleuth Agatha Raisin. Agatha, a retired PR whiz, has opted to live in the tiny Cotswold village of Carsely. Returning to her cats and cottage after some extensive (and lonely) travel, she finds most of the villagers, including her eligible neighbor, James Lacey, enthralled with newcomer Mary Fortune--a beautiful blonde divorcee who's also a super organizer, gardener, and cook. Agatha, besieged by her massive insecurities, arranges an elaborate hoax to stun the village with her gardening skills while Mary slowly reveals a side that's not so beguiling. One day she's found murdered in her greenhouse--possibly the climax to a series of acts of vandalism plaguing the village. Agatha and James team up as before (Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet, 1993, etc.) to find the culprit, just ahead of police detective Bill Wong. The absurd plot gets no help here from the author's literary style--as blunt and unpolished as her heroine--or from the story's underdeveloped characters. A mildly cozy but totally forgettable excursion--strictly for forgiving fans.