The Perfect Paragon

Agatha Raisin Mysteries (Volume 16)

M.C. Beaton

Minotaur Books

Celebrating 20 Years of Agatha Raisin—Brand-New Bonus Story Included!

After being nearly killed by both a hired hit man and her former secretary, Agatha Raisin could use some low-key cases. So when Robert Smedley walks through the door, determined to prove that his wife is cheating, Raisin Investigations immediately offers to help. Trouble is, Agatha hates divorce cases--especially when the client is as pompous as Smedley--but she has a business to run and she's not about to turn away a paying customer. Unfortunately for Agatha, Mabel Smedley appears to be the perfect wife, young and pretty and a regular volunteer at church.

Although Smedley’s case doesn’t look promising, Agatha’s attentions are diverted when she stumbles across the body of missing teenager, Jessica Bradley. In a sudden gesture of kindness (and good public relations), Agatha offers to investigate Jessica’s death free of charge.

As Agatha juggles her two biggest cases, things are turned upside down when Robert Smedley is found poisoned in his office. The prime suspect, his sainted wife Mabel, immediately hires Agatha to find the real killer.

With the help of her old friend, Sir Charles Fraith, and some newly hired staff, Agatha Raisin sets off on another adventure solving crime in the English Cotswolds.


Read an Excerpt


EVERYONE in the village of Carsely in the English Cotswolds was agreed on one thing--no one had ever seen such a spring before.

Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, stepped out into her garden and took a deep breath of fresh-scented air. Never had there been so much blossom. The lilac trees were bent down under the weight of purple and white blooms. White hawthorn hedges formed bridal alleys out of the country lanes. Clematis spilled over walls like flowery waterfalls, and wisteria decorated the golden stone of the cottages with showers of delicate purple bloo



Praise for The Perfect Paragon

"An entertaining installment in a cozy series."
--Publishers Weekly
"Beaton's latest installment in her well-written Agatha Raisin series is a fun, entertaining cozy. Complete with a zesty mystery and one-of-a-kind characters, this latest novel shows Agatha at the very peak of her sleuthing game."
--RT Book Reviews
"I love this series and I always look forward to Agatha's newest adventures. The Agatha Raisin books will never fail to put a smile on your face."
--Reviewing the Evidence
"If you’ve never read an Agatha Raisin novel, it’s time to start, and you’ll have fifteen more of these confections awaiting you.... All of them are cunningly plotted, beautifully written and more fun you can imagine. The Perfect Paragon is as perfect as all the others, and you won’t figure out whodunit until the final pages."
--The Globe & Mail
"Fabulous…M.C. Beaton is at her best with this fine tale filled with twists."
--Midwest Book Review

In the Press

Fiction Review: The Perfect Paragon by M. C. Beaton / Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-312-30448-5
Welcome back to Carsely, the charming Cotswolds village that's home to the 16th Agatha Raisin mystery. (If you've missed the first 15, just imagine a Barbara Pym novel with murder, mayhem and the sexu
- Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • M.C. Beaton

  • M. C. Beaton has been hailed as “the new Queen of Crime.” She is The New York Times bestselling author of the Agatha Raisin mysteries, including As the Pig Turns and Busy Body, set in the English Cotswolds, as well as the Hamish Macbeth mysteries set in Scotland. She has also written historical romance novels and an Edwardian mystery series under the name Marion Chesney. Before writing her first novels, Beaton worked as a bookseller, a newspaper reporter, a fashion critic, and a waitress in a greasy spoon. Born in Scotland, she currently divides her time between Paris and a village in the Cotswolds. She was selected the British Guest of Honor for the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2006.
  • M. C. Beaton
    M. C. Beaton





    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Perfect Paragon

    Agatha Raisin Mysteries

    M.C. Beaton



    Minotaur Books