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Agatha Raisin
Agatha Raisin
TV Series
The Cotswolds-based PR guru turned amateur sleuth returns for a series of comedic murder-mysteries based on the books by M.C. Beaton.
Casts
Series cast summary:
Ashley Jensen Ashley Jensen - Agatha Raisin 12 episodes, 2014-2018
Matt McCooey Matt McCooey - DC Bill Wong / - 12 episodes, 2014-2018
Katy Wix Katy Wix - Gemma Simpson 11 episodes, 2014-2018
Mathew Horne Mathew Horne - Roy Silver 11 episodes, 2014-2018
Jamie Glover Jamie Glover - James Lacey 11 episodes, 2014-2018
Lucy Liemann Lucy Liemann - Sarah Bloxby 10 episodes, 2014-2018
Jason Barnett Jason Barnett - DCI Wilkes / - 10 episodes, 2014-2018
Jason Merrells Jason Merrells - Sir Charles Fraith / - 7 episodes, 2016-2018
June Watson June Watson - Mrs. Josephs 5 episodes, 2014-2016
Tim Stern Tim Stern - Gene Harvey 5 episodes, 2014-2016
Maddie Monti Maddie Monti - Kyra Simpson 5 episodes, 2014-2016

Agatha Raisin

The majority of scenes were filmed in Clifton, Bristol.

In the Agatha Raisin books the Vicar's and his wife are name Alf and Margaret, not Jez and Sarah.

Biddestone in Wiltshire is the village with the large duck pond.

Agatha Raisin's housekeeper in the books is an older married woman named Doris Simpson.

Huge changes have been made from the books, Mrs Bloxby is an aging vicars wife in the books and Alf her husband a moaning old grumbler

Olma
Olma
BOOKS: I read two Agatha Raisin books. In both, Agatha was a vulgar, rude, foul tempered, narcissist, man-eater. She rants on angrily about her inability to chain smoke in public, obsesses continuously about her age and looks, and has an unbelievable need to get her name in the newspapers. She bed-hops in both books. In one, she visits a "Witch," and gets a love potion. She slips it twice in the drink of a Police Inspector!, never thinking or caring if this could harm him. She pops into bed with him and she gets engaged to this decent man, not because she cares about him but to spite James Lacey. Within a few days she meets up with Sir Charles and sex with him....with her fiancée finding them in bed. The second book was violent with three gruesome shotgun murders and two others. In both books Agatha is rescued multiple times by the police but continues to place herself and others in danger. She never thanks them or gives them credit for rescues. There is no way these books could be converted to a TV series for family viewing.

SERIES: I've seen the entire first season of Agatha and just recently bought the DVD set, I like it so much. This Agatha is funny, sometimes edgy, flirty, smart, makes friends and cares so much when one woman is killed she cries. She makes mistakes in the beginning, accusing some of the murder (and two are arrested just on her accusations!!). Eventually she uses her brain to consider the evidence before narrowing it down to the murderer. I love her friend played by Katy Wix and her daughter. Of course there were changes from the books but I can't complain. The series is entertaining and different from anything we get in the U.S. in terms of modern crime fighting. If I had one complaint, it's that the inside of homes and businesses look too modern, like London. The scenery is gorgeous though. I hope they don't ruin it by giving this Agatha a Detective Agency as in the books. She's best as a non-professional.
Blackseeker
Blackseeker
This series is really fun. The characters are delightful and in my opinion well cast. I have not read the book/books? Therefore, I have no preconceived notions or requirements. Ashley Jensen is wonderful and the perfect opposite to Jamie Glover's character. The chemistry between the entire cast is great. I love the little town they are in, I feel like I am right there. The mysteries are good not overly predictable and sprinkled with just enough emotional ups and downs. But even then, as long as I am entertained by the story and characters it would not matter to me. Thank The Lord For Acorn TV - I would not have found this little treasure had it not been for that channel. I am really hoping there will be more. I will be disappointed if that is "all she wrote."
Meri
Meri
It took a while for this show to grow on me. Agatha's 'girly' facet didn't register at first, now I think it's a hoot. She's a really interesting character, and wonderfully played. *All* the actors are excellent. Her best friend Gemma is subtly divine. The two policemen each in their own way are wonderful. I've come to love the show, and really hope they will keep it going. We needed something to fill the gap of clever and engaging 'murder and tea.' No ugliness, shouting, acrimony, etc. Of course, the setting is gorgeous. Agatha has given up the bustle of the city and moved to the Cotswolds. So you get some of those 'quirky village characters' that Midsomer Murders excelled at. If you're a fan of Miss Marple and Poirot shows, or Miss Fisher's murder mysteries, you should really give this a try.
Sataxe
Sataxe
I really enjoyed this series. The village it is shot in is beautiful and the characters who live there in the show are a real hoot. It's great that Acron produces shows like this, no nudity, profanity, drugs or gun play, just snappy dialogue and funny situations. Each episode has much the same form but how the crime is solved is far from formulaic and no matter how desperate the situation Agatha manages with the help of long suffering friends, to come out on top. This series has the potential to enjoy many future seasons much like the Midsomer Murder franchise.
Beazekelv
Beazekelv
Come into this without ANY preconceptions, unlike some who obviously recognize it as being 'different to the books', so from a pure and fresh viewpoint, just a really good fun, lighthearted series. Fabulous settings, attractive eccentric cast, for not-at-all serious light hearted viewing - and sometimes you just NEED that - for me, can just say, much enjoyed, and hope they make more... Have also seen some compare it to Midsomer M., but no - this is much lighter - strong comic element. Maybe cross between Midsomer and Vicar of Dibley!? Only confusion - how DO they manage to find so much sun when they are filming in the UK - certainly enhances the Cotswolds (as if it needed it). Imagine the cast have great fun doing it - more please...

Follow up! Why the h*ll haven't Sky taken up 2nd Series? Come ON!
Capella
Capella
I am a huge fan of the books. I am excited that they turned it in to a series. Yes, she stumbles along but that's what I like. Not a fan of the blond hair and the casting of the Bloxby's. Love the upgrade of Miss. Simpson. Total fan and hope the series continues. It's a fun murder mystery show. I like how each episode is not rushed. Some murder mystery shows drag out then rush at the end. I also like the change of DCI Wilkes and the Boggle's. Wilkes isn't such an arse and the Boggle's are a regular feature. I also like the fact that the main characters don't live in different villages. The changes from the book are totally acceptable and work. Still love the books and looking forward to the next one.
Scream_I LOVE YOU
Scream_I LOVE YOU
As a massive fan of the books I was so excited that a full series had been commissioned after a very successful pilot episode, The Quiche of Death. I wasn't too sure about Ashley as Agatha initially, I couldn't quite see her in my mind's eye, but after the Series I am no totally bought into her, she's quirky, believable, flirtatious, edgy, she's like a younger Miss Marple loaded with sass.

A wonderful set of characters accompany our lead, Mathew Horne, Jamie Glover and Lucy Liemann are all wonderful, I love the fact that they're all regular cast members. Katy Wix is as always outrageously good, Gemma is an awesome character, so much fun. Katy is just the most lovable actress.

Very light, easy to watch entertainment, which is often funny, lighthearted, and lacking in any kind of gore or violence, a cliché I know, but it's a show that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

In terms of episodes in the series I think it gets better as it goes along, the first two are fairly decent, but after that they improve so much, The Potted Gardener and Murderous Marriage are the best in my opinion.
Alsanadar
Alsanadar
Stumbled across this show on Acorn TV and I'm happy I did. It's delightful. It's fun. I like the settings, the characters and the actors. However, I am totally unfamiliar with the original books. That being said, I don't think it much matters. I was a fan of the TV show "Bones" for a number of seasons before I picked up one of Kathy Reichs' novels. I admit it was a bit jarring at first. The books and the TV show have really only two things in common; the name of the main character and her profession. I stopped trying to compare the two and enjoy both as stand-alone entities. If I read the Agatha Raisin books, I shall keep it in mind to apply the same rule--after reading some of these reviews. In the mean time, I loved this show and am looking forward to a second season.
GawelleN
GawelleN
Agatha raisin was a brilliantly British masterpiece ! Light hearted but addictive with real laughs and real drama. I would recommend anyone to watch, a welcome Tuesday treat !

Agatha moves to the Cotswolds where she is tangled up in murder and love ! She uses her people skills from her old PR firm to solve the village murders, while narrowing missing her own. She has great detective success but isn't so successive in love. Besotted with next door neighbour James Lacey Aggie tries her best to win his affections. Unlikely friendships with detective bill Wong Gemma and Roy silver help Aggie on her adventures and add laughs on the way.
Nakora
Nakora
Agatha Raisin is a lighthearted crime comedy about a PR guru turned into amateur sleuth. The titular Agatha, having spend years working in PR industry, abandoned her career to enjoy simple life in a remote village. The place she moves to is quintessentially British - tea parties, garden competitions and so on...everybody is happy and friendly. Oh, this village made me wanna cry and scream. I wanna sell everything I have and move to England (dream on, after all these refugee crisis and the Brexit referendum it is hardly possible). OK, life seems perfect for Agatha but time and again some of her neighbors are found dead. The bumbling police officers are of no use and Agatha investigates the murders on her own. The problem with this series is that it just does not work as detective. All Agatha's investigations follow the same pattern: she sneaks into the crime scene and finds some important clue the police fails to notice. Then some brilliant idea suddenly comes to her and she knows who the murderer is. This is it. If seen as comedy the series is well done. There are lots of funny situations and dialogues that made me laugh. Some of the characters are really funny. But if compared to such masterpieces as Midsomer Murders or Inspector Lewis, Agatha Raisin may look rather silly. But all in all the series provides the audience with 45 minute worth of light entertainment.
Yndanol
Yndanol
Not having read any of the Agatha Raisin cozies by M.C. Beaton (and there are over 25), I came into the show without any preconceived notions. Perhaps if I had, I would be more persnickety about what the characters looked like, or if they were more humorous in the books.

I did really enjoy the shows, which reminded me a bit of Rosemary and Thyme. Although I liked it, and will watch future seasons, it didn't grab me enough to start reading the books. Mainly because having seen these, I would think it would spoil the books because I already would know who was the killer.

Agatha is a legend in the PR world, who knows how to work the system to get whatever her clients want. But when she moves to the quaint village, she is completely out of her realm. In the very first episode she enters a quiche making contest thinking she will wow the villagers and make lots of new friends. One huge problem though, she doesn't cook. So she buys a quiche, and things go downhill very quickly. Not only does someone get poisoned, but it is found out that she cheated.

She takes it upon herself to find out what really happened, and to try and get some of the villagers to be more friendly towards her. But anyone who's ever lived in a small town knows that it can take years, even decades, before someone new is accepted into the community.

The rest of the episodes continue with Agatha solving more mysteries with the help of her housekeeper (who I think is adorable, and I want a friend like her), DCI Wong (who has a crush on Agatha, who is older than him), and various others people from the village. Agatha's love life ebbs and flows through the episodes.

And although I'm not into shoes, Agatha's were amazing, as well as her outfits. I found myself looking forward to seeing what she would be wearing. All in all, I enjoyed the first season very much, and will watch any more that are made.
Chi
Chi
I really couldn't wait for this series to air, but was far from pleased when it did. While I had read all of the books, and loved the characters, the changes made to "update" it to appeal to younger fans, turned me off. Changing names really irked me. There's nothing wrong with the way they were in the book, so why change them? And the things that made Agatha lovable in print was gone. I like the actors who are playing the roles, but the changes are too far off the mark for me. And if I had never read any of the books, I would've been totally lost in the story lines. Character development, relationships, back stories, all totally missing from this series.

What an utter DISAPPOINTMENT. Was hoping the series would improve over the movie. :(
Malhala
Malhala
I've been reading the books since the 90's and have enjoyed them quite a bit. While not great literature, they are an entertaining, light read. You'll have to excuse some very glaring continuity issues - hello, what are editors for? - but still a lot of fun.

The TV series is the same - entertaining, light fun. I know many are disparaging the TV series as not being enough like the books, but I don't agree. I don't think it matters if the characters are exactly like the books. In a book, you can spend very little space getting into a character's thoughts and motivations, something really quite hard and often boring to do in film. Updating from the 90"s to now means that quite a bit has to change including how Agatha would operate in PR and the world at large. Like the Hamish MacBeth TV show (which is fabulous, by the way) I think the writers for this series took the fun and the spirit of the books, without some of the nastiness or unbelievable plot devices, and have created something entertaining.

This Agatha Raisin is a character for "now" not the 90's and is well-written and acted. I'd really like to see another series.
Akinohn
Akinohn
Pure entertainment that's not to be taken seriously but simply thoroughly enjoyed. I hope they make more episodes. It's certainly a great mix of comedy and mystery and a refreshing change from my usual crime/mystery/thriller choices. I love all of the actors and the relationships developed between the quirky but endearing townspeople. I'm not a sitcom lover but I think it would appeal to folks that enjoy them as well. It reminds me of Castle without any of the storyline restrictions that you would expect to see from main characters working within or alongside a large police department in a major metropolitan city. Its innocence is truly unbelievable but I couldn't help binge watching and looking forward to the next episode. I had to see how it all turned out but hated to start watching the last episode because I knew it would be the last. It's been compared to Death In Paridise and while it's easy to see the similarities between them I think there's room for more than one series that makes you laugh while trying to figure out Who done it!
Delaath
Delaath
This show is an absolute treasure- wonderfully silly and campy with great eye candy of colors, creative camera work, beautiful scenery and sets, multicultural character mix. And how lucky I feel to have found it on Amazon while having to wait tediously forever for more Midsomer Murders! Why are we waiting for MIdsomer only put out 6 episodes every 18 months? I say let's have more Agatha Raisin so we don't have to wait! More, more, and more of The Raisin! And can the USA PlEaSE see all the British shows at the same time they air in the UK? Why not? We'll PaY for it!!! I want British shows all day- vintage reruns, news, gossip, mysteries, etc. Auurgh!

(my lettering is in kidnapper text because if you capitalize they say you are "shouting" when in fact I am EmPhAsIZinG! Please give us bold or italics for emphasis at least!) ;)
Pemand
Pemand
I am not usually a fan of murder mysteries and tend to avoid them, but this is different. Ashley Jensen is absolutely brilliant in the title role and that is really what attracted me to it. I watched the first episode thinking I would find it as dull as most other similar series, but from then on I was hooked. Her clumsiness at times adds charm to the character and she is also funny and attractive at the same time. The setting of the series is beautiful and reminiscent of Midsommer murders, only this series is much better in every way. The comic moments are well done and the acting is perfect for the tone of the series.

I am hoping there will be a second series which I will look forward to very much.
Ranenast
Ranenast
Never having read the books or heard the radio adaptation, I can only comment on what I see. The hammy acting is part of its charm. But I write this while watching the episode Hell's Bells. I am not mentioning anything of the plot, so I don't think there are any spoilers. My criticism is of the accuracy of content.

The vicar is married and must, therefore, be Anglican. So why is the bishop and his helper wearing Roman Catholic garb? Anglican bishops would not arrive in this manner nor would there be a pair. The two clergy who arrived were dressed with the same trim and skull caps, which Anglican bishops don't tend to wear. Also, the vicar would not be allowed to sell the land around the vicarage, that is down to the Diocese. It may well be that at the time of writing the original books there were "proper" vicarages still in use by the clergy, but in the main, these days, they occupy anonymous shoe-boxes, Finally, the bell ringing was an utter farce. Bell ringers do not play tunes. Nor do they suddenly stop the bell ringing. A full peal can last 4 hours or longer and would not be attempted by beginners. I wasn't really paying that much attention, but these basic errors are like having teeth pulled.
Amhirishes
Amhirishes
I like a good thriller (Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly) and a well written mystery (James Lee Burke, Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell ) and yes, a nice cozy (Rhys Bowen, Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke). And I was a fan of M.C. Beaton after reading my first Hamish Macbeth novel. So I was looking forward to seeing a series based on Agatha Raisin.

I could never get my wife interested in Agatha Raisin but friends of hers have shared my enthusiasm, so when I heard there was a TV series I figured I might snag my wife. Well that thought evaporated with the first episode: Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death. Did anyone involved with the show read the book(s). The one good thing I can say is the Cotswolds look beautiful, unfortunately "actors" keep blocking off the view. My wife liked the way Agatha (Ashley Jensen) dresses, but when it comes to writing, acting, and plot, the episode runs more like a cartoon. Ashley Jensen doesn't look the part and does not sound like Agatha but I am willing to give her a chance. However, there is no chemistry or anything between her and James Lacey (Jamie Glover), and if I hadn't read the books, I would never expect any. Bill Wong (Matt McCooey) runs about like a keystone cop or refuses to move: pick one. (Rhashan Stone) Jez Bloxby is completely miscast as the minister. And Agatha does not do murder boards nor does she ride a racing bicycle all over the countryside; she eschews exercise. Although M.C. Beaton is given writing credits for nine episodes, it must reference the books and not the scripts. And where are Hodge and Boswell?

And this pains me to write. Perhaps the series producers might just strike a deal with the Hallmark Channel. Yes they do sappy way too much but they seem to be the current repository for several cozy mystery writers (Peter King, Charlaine Harris, Joanne Fluke). I know they would do Agatha on the cheap and that would mean goodbye to the beautiful villages where the series is currently being filmed and hello to a crappy set in Canada; but I believe they might turn out episodes that are more in the spirit of the series. They couldn't do much worse.
Mr.Twister
Mr.Twister
A few months ago, I got serious and binge-read the entire series of Agatha Raisin books. I absolutely adore Agatha, and was eager to get into this new TV series.

What a letdown! The casting is terrible. Where is my Agatha--the one with the BROWN "bear-like eyes," the glossy BROWN hair: the one with the good legs, but who doesn't always feel pulled together? Having a glamorous, blue-eyed blonde portray Agatha is a travesty. What must the author think? I also do not understand the casting for the vicar--it seems a case of tokenism (and for no good reason).I also do not like the story line involving Bill Wong. What's wrong with his being a policeman who's friends with Agatha? I am keenly disappointed!
Fordrelis
Fordrelis
Very enjoyable show. It has mysteries in the cozy style, kind of better than Murder, She Wrote. It is lighthearted, funny, but mysterious too. I'm always trying to figure out who the culprit is. The characters are so interesting, good actors, great interaction between characters. I like that she's not perfect, once in a while, she accuses the wrong person. With the clues provided in the show, you can try and figure out the culprit. I always wonder how Agatha can walk in those heels on those English brick roads. I'd fall constantly. She's always walking what appear to be long distances in high heels. I love her outfits. I like the interaction with her neighbor who sometimes helps with the mystery. She has a crush on him. In the books, he was married to a younger Spanish woman who leaves him but comes back occasionally. I don't think it is that way in the show from what I've seen.
Jonide
Jonide
M. C. Beaton wrote an enjoyable series, too bad the makers of this TV series didn't read any of them. The stories work because of the original characters. What ended up on TV is a cookbook fill in the blank lightweight mystery.

They had a chanced and chocked.
Orll
Orll
I watched Season 1 over a few days and am disappointed there may never be a continuing series. As a big fan of British TV mysteries, this was a highly entertaining departure for me. While it reminded me of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries because of the main character, I liked Agatha Raisin much more. I haven't read the books so I had no preconceived notions about any of the characters but the TV Agatha is so appealing that I'm hard put to understand some reviewers not liking the interpretation made by the show producers. If the TV Agatha has a different color hair, so what?

Since I've known many female PR executives in real life, for me, Ashley Jensen is a perfect example of an accomplished career woman in that profession: intelligent, pro-active, confident, goal oriented, oftentimes domineering, and always a fashionista. I found it funny that Agatha still wears the fabulous clothes and high-heeled shoes traipsing about the English countryside that she wore in the more sophisticated landscape of London. So ingrained is her high style wardrobe that she seems not to notice the potential threat of navigating cobblestone roads and marshy grasslands in stilettos. Because Agatha is supposed to be an "older" woman, Jensen is also the right age for this role as she shows a very wee bit of the start of drooping skin in certain lighting, but does not detract at all from her good looks, putting her more in the updated cougar category even though she is not interested in scoring with all manner of men. The trendy hairstyle, red lipstick and always manicured red nails is a welcome & fitting contrast to the "country" women in her village. Miss Marple she is not, and instead of knitting, Agatha cycles. The rest of the cast is nicely tuned, particularly Jamie Glover whose normal, regular guy personna is humorous in itself as he tries to protect and woo the effervescent Agatha. I also fully enjoy the character of Roy who brings that certain brand of hilarious gay humor to the show and also provides Agatha with a deep friendship that has history, an invaluable asset to any lead character. I'm not sure if the bi-racial coupling of the vicar and his wife was in the books, but it seems odd to me and I wonder if it was a decision based in tokenism. Of late, many British shows present mixed couples but, conversely, I can't recall seeing a strictly minority couple. Perhaps this is some kind of trend.

I see all kinds of potential stories for this series especially if Agatha is married. Not since The Thin Man have we seen a happily married couple who lead an unconventional lifestyle that sometimes involves solving a murder. It would be nice to expect another season or two. Update August 2018: VERY EXCITING NEWS - SEASON 2 is in the works!!
Dilkree
Dilkree
No movie or TV show is like the book(s). Well, maybe Godfather 1. But I think this one follows the thoughtline of author MC Beaton close enough that we can recognize many similarities and storylines. As a long time MC Beaton mystery fan, I was a bit surprised by the screen Agatha played by Ashley Jensen. She is certainly not the picture I had of bear eyed Agatha in the books. So I think of her as a younger version. However, Jensen won me over through great acting, exhibiting no doubt that she had the same attibutes and failings of book Agatha. In fact, she nailed the part in her own way, not the same in looks but absolutely capturing the persona of the character. The supporting players were outstanding as well and they were easily recognized from the books. Unlike the women in and out of the stories, sprucing themselves up to make goo-goo eyes at the latest new man to the village, there is one with understated beauty that you might miss. The wife of the reverend, looking the part of clergy family, Sarah Bloxby as played by Lucy Liemann with straight hair and a plain look about her goes unappreciated. But when she smiles in closeups, her face lights up the screen. She is also able to handle very difficult scenes. The four men around Agatha (Wong, Silver, Fraith and Lacy) play their parts so very well, and close to the books. DCI Wilkes played by Jason Barnett keeps us laughing with comedy and Agatha's cleaning lady Katy Wix was missed in this last episode. Hopefully she will be coming back. "All in all", I say job well done by the whole crew and keep up the good work! I'm sure there will be some put off by any differences from the books. Try to separate the two and enjoy the show for the writing and acting that is so expertly presented.
Super P
Super P
This series is not at all anywhere near the books!!!!! Very, very disappointing, when you have read them!! The main character of Agatha herself is completely wrong. I don't understand how the author could agree to this 'man-handling' of her books. But I hope for her sake, she got a handsome deal, in spite of the awful end result. :-(((
Nidor
Nidor
After a promising pilot episode of the adaptation of M C Beaton's character Agatha Raisin, a glamorous, endearing, public relations agent who moves from London to the village of Carsely in the Cotswolds after she sold her public relations and took early retirement.

Her retirement is far from quiet as she regularly finds death and murder and seems to have the knack of dining the culprit.

The television adaptation of the books has not been Agatha Christie more aiming for the 'Moonlighting' vibe the television series from the 1980s starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

I think this series has been outfoxed by the BBC's Death in Paradise which has a better blend of comedy and mystery. This series has suffered from poor scripts and the directing has been loose. The characters do not gel but seem to have appeared from some television producer's manual of wacky stereotypes and some of the acting has been wooden. The main culprit being an actor whose both real life parents are actors.

Star Ashley Jensen has been left floundering in this poor adaptation of what was supposed to be a smart offbeat, wacky mystery show.