The Perfect Paragon

Agatha Raisin Mysteries (Volume 16)

M.C. Beaton

St. Martin's Paperbacks

AGATHA RAISIN...AND THE CASE FROM HELL She’s nosed in on murder investigations, annoyed law enforcement on two continents, and been targeted by everyone from a hit man to a killer secretary. But now Agatha Raisin must take on her greatest nightmare—a divorce case. Bad enough that her struggling detective agency needs the whacking great fee pompous businessman Robert Smedley is offering to prove his wife is unfaithful; it’s even worse that Mrs. Smedley is the kind of sweet, accomplished, lovely, gentle, and all-around perfectly wonderful spouse that Agatha couldn’t be in a thousand years. So, when Smedley turns up poisoned, Agatha is relieved enough to help his now-desperate wife clear her name. And with the assistance of her firm’s eccentric new staff, Agatha enthusiastically follows leads and a batch of suspects through the English countryside’s seediest byways. But the police aren’t about to let an interfering “amateur” beat them to the punch. And as Agatha hits one dead end after another, a particularly devious killer is looking forward to making sure the indomitable Agatha never has to worry about old age—or anything else.


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

"Though Agatha is still a bit of a piece of work, she is mellowing with age, and in this book even forgets to 'gussy' herself up once when she goes out. There's a cliffhanger at the end...that is going to be interesting in the next book."--Deadly Pleasures

"This is the latest perfectly precious prose problem from Beaton, Britain's successor to Dame Agatha Christie. 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. Polish those off, and you still have a batch of Hamish Macbeth tales. 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

"Entertaining…welcome back to Carsely, the charming Cotswolds village that's home to the sixteenth Agatha Raisin mystery."--Publishers Weekly

"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



    St. Martin's Paperbacks