This semi-cozy mystery by M.C. Beaton centers around Agatha Raisin, a sharp-tongued woman who runs a small detective agency. When Mrs. Bloxby convinces Agatha to attend a pantomime, Agatha witnesses a murder–or at least, the immediate aftereffects of one. She sets her team of detectives to discover the murderer, but finds that in the world of amateur theatrics, there are many suspects to choose from.
Despite the puppet show theme, this book is more Hannah Swensen than Flavia de Luce. Agatha is obsessed with men (really, they use this specific word several times) and is harsh and controlling. Plus, this book is the 25th in the series, and it’s the first one I’ve read, so I wasn’t familiar with most of the characters mentioned in the book. The solution itself is quite far-fetched and stolen from a famous story. (I can’t say which story, or you’ll immediately guess the plot of this book!)
I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I had read some of the previous books in the series, or if I wasn’t currently hooked on the Flavia de Luce series and comparing every British mystery with those books. Give it a try if you love cozy mysteries, but it’s pretty forgettable.