A cold, dull January in the lovely Cotswold village of Carsley finds Agatha visiting the nearby village of Winter Parva for a pig roast. Just before the pig is placed on the coals, Agatha realizes that it is actually a man. The prospective dinner is Gary Beech, a village policeman widely detested for his nit-picking ways. His ex-wife, originally a plain Jane whose wealthy second husband had sent her off to the States for extensive plastic surgery, wants Agatha to look into the death of the first. Agatha’s suspicions of her new client’s story are complicated when she too is murdered, prompting Agatha to continue her investigation with hair-raising results. Agatha’s best detective, Toni Gilmour, has been looking for a new job ever since Agatha interfered with her love life, but she still has the rest of her seasoned crew and the help of her ex-husband and several friends. Threats against Agatha and her band suggest that this is a more complicated crime than she originally supposed. In the end, Agatha proves once more than even though she’s vain, nosy and man-crazy, she does have a knack for solving crimes.
The uncompelling mystery doesn’t provide the brightest hour for the often-annoying Agatha (Busy Body, 2010, etc.). But she and the cleverly drawn satellites who surround her provide good value for the faithful.