Agatha Raisin’s latest case (There Goes the Bride, 2009, etc.) pits her against the residents of a quaint village who want to see no evil.
Her Christmas vacation abroad having proved a bust, Agatha returns early to Carsley, where a friend drags her to a Ladies Society meeting at nearby Odley Cruesis to discuss the problems with overzealous Health and Safety Board inspector John Sunday. The meeting at the vicarage is boring until Sunday appears at a window and is found stabbed outside. The next day, wealthy widow Miriam Courtney skis over to ask Agatha to solve the murder. Many people were furious with Sunday, but most of them have alibis. Although the police warn her off, Agatha and her detective agency staff begin sleuthing. When Miriam's manor house is burned to the ground with her inside, her son Tom, arriving from New York, hires Agatha to investigate his mother’s death. Though she’s attracted to Tom, Agatha is a bit put off by his prissy ways. Her friend Sir Charles and Toni Gilmour, her best young detective, add their skills to the mix. Toni, upset by the murder of a friend whom Agatha fired for drug use, perks up when Agatha hires a clever young man for Toni to train. Another Christmas arrives before Agatha and her cohorts finally figure out whodunit.
Testy Agatha, continuing her habit of falling for unsuitable men, scores again with a cunning mixture of satire and mystery.