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Publisher's Summary

Beloved New York Times best-selling author M. C. Beaton’s cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin — the star of her own hit TV series — is back on the case again in Down the Hatch.

Private detective Agatha Raisin, having recently taken up power-walking, is striding along a path in Mircester Park during her lunch break when she hears a cry for help. Rushing over, she finds an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Swinburn, in the middle of the green — with the body of an old man lying at their feet.

The man, who the coroner determines died by poisoning, was known as “the Admiral,” a gardener notorious for his heavy drinking, and Chief Inspector Wilkes writes the death off as an accident caused by the consumption of weedkiller stored in a rum bottle. Agatha is not convinced that anyone would mistake weedkiller for rum but carries on with her work at Raisin Investigations, until she receives an anonymous tip that the Admiral’s death was no accident.

Local gossip points to the Swinburns themselves as the killers, spurred by a feud at the club where they, as well as the Admiral, were members. Distraught at this accusation, they turn to Agatha to clear their name, and she takes the case — despite the warnings of Chief Inspector Wilkes.

Agatha encounters one suspicious character after another, becoming further enmeshed in the Admiral’s own dark and shady past. And when she’s run off the road, narrowly escaping with her life, and then another attack occurs, it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want the case closed — and will stop at nothing to prevent Agatha from solving it.

©2021 by M. C. Beaton (P)2021 by Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Down the Hatch

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paige
  • 27-10-21

Tragic, MC Beatons heroine destroyed

Why or how this RW guy convinced the aging novelist could be given the privileged task of carrying on the Agatha Raisin series is beyond me. Did he con her? He has tarnished her with vulgarity that even the Birmingham background would never allow in public. The “s” word never crossed her mouth in Marion’s pen nor was the masculine thought process that is shallow and demeaned in RW’s hand. And for heavens sake please have this reader stop screeching. Use your voice to emphasize not the volume of your lungs. Last purchase of new books. I’ll grieve the lost brilliance of MC Beaton and her lost wisdom at the end of allowing this man to write the complexities of Agatha Raisin that he fails utterly.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MJG
  • 27-10-21

Agatha Raisin series

This series has been the most delightful & interesting I have ever listened to. I am so sorry the author died & will miss not having more books to read/ listen to. Penelope Keith is the very best narrator for these books.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen E. Casey
  • 28-10-21

Well done!

I did not enjoy the last Agatha Raisin, but thought I’d give this one a shot and it surpassed my expectations. I don’t want to give anything away; so will simply say that the several mysteries were extremely well done, and kept to MC Beaton’s usual standards.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy
  • 27-10-21

Enjoyed a lot

I usually think Agatha is too ridiculous in her live life when she is so strong in her work life. This book showed her triumphant in all areas and at peace with herself. I loved it. Possibly all the better because of her up and down in the past. Great book!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Happy Snowshoer
  • 05-11-21

a decent attempt to keep Agatha Raisin alive.

Seemed to be a little contrived. All of Agatha's characters were woven into the story yet often they didnt need to be. just a little too pressed. Agatha also appeared too much in control and didn't seem to make mistakes like she always did. also she was portrayed to be younger than in recent books. Oh well it was fun, but it felt different. I enjoyed seeing her and James back together.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Livvi
  • 31-10-21

Well Done!

Really enjoyed this story and Agatha's adventures. R.W. Green keeps it moving along. Penelope Keith is one great narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Imamomof4
  • 28-10-21

A Swing And A Miss

He tried and failed horribly. This isn't the Agatha I love. This isn't the Agatha Raisin I've grown so close to, related to and now dearly miss. I wish they had left Agatha with Mrs Beaton. I probably won't be purchasing anymore Agatha Raisin books, it hurts too much.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christy Lynn
  • 30-10-21

MC Beaton’s last Agatha Raisin book is a can’t-miss

I’ve been a huge fan of Mary and Chesney/MC Beaton for many years. I was a little heartbroken to hear of her passing. For me, the realization that this was her last novel made it even sweeter gift. Agatha is Agatha in all her glory. What more needs to be said?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-22

great book

Green did a great job on this book filling in for M C Beaton. He kept the spirit of all the characters call and she would be proud. Hats off. Penelope is the true voice of Agatha Raisin Beaton was an amazing writer and will truly be missed

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SH
  • 08-01-22

It's sadly a poor attempt to keep MC Beaton going.

The narration by Penelope Keith was as always, superb. However, no narration could make up for this appalling attempt to write a Agatha Raisin mystery. I've read every Agatha Raisin mystery, and this is so jarringly off that I believe it would have been better to have ended the series with the last book. Long stretches of tedious exposition and a ho-hum, ridiculous plot were so disappointing. The characters felt flat and forced, and the dialogue was not true to their well-established patterns. I cannot believe that MC Beaton would have approved of this book.