Agatha Raisin has had a tremendously successful run as a London-based public relations impresario, but the time has come to get out of town and out of the spotlight. After rescuing a soon-to-be ex-client over a tryst gone too public, Agatha can’t help but look forward to abandoning the big city for Carsley, a small village based in the Cotswalds.
At first glance, Agatha is a brash, bright, empowered woman unafraid to become the centre of attention. But, at her core is someone seeking a dynamic life change that brings with it a change of scenery, new friendships and hopefully some romance.
Until Agatha gets there, however, she must first get used to life in Carsley – and residents must first get used to her. This isn’t made easy initially, with Agatha eagerly pushing her car’s horn when residents block the roadway during a typical farmer’s market. After a few sideways looks, Agatha makes it to her model home, a place that’s already been outfitted for her. In many ways, it looks like a housewares catalogue come to life, with very personal artefacts in view.
After Agatha gets settled with one of her ultimate vices (a microwaved meal), her loud, bright and evasive security system is thrust into action when local police officer, Bill Wong, comes by to welcome her to the neighbourhood. The affable Bill and the intense-at-first Agatha dabble in some awkward small talk before parting ways for the night.
When the sun comes up on Agatha’s first full day in Carsley, she makes a trip to the local grocery store and proceeds to load her shopping cart with wine. While doing this, she can’t help but hear another villager mention the annual quiche cooking competition. Feeling like this would be a great way for her to become accepted into the community, Agatha seeks details about it from the shop’s manager. During this process, she is made aware that the judge is Andy Cummings-Browne, a man who is worth impressing for anyone seeking to have their quiche recognized as the best.
What Agatha isn’t aware of at first, is that Andy is a serial philanderer who can’t keep his hands off of women who are not his wife (Jo Cummings-Browne). Nevertheless, after staging an awkward meeting with Andy and Jo, the trio agree to a dinner date. Here, Agatha fishes for valuable quiche competition information that could help her come out on top. Andy, attracted by Agatha’s beauty, attention and supposed wealth, can’t help but offer up some delicious tidbits.
Satisfied with the knowledge she’s gained, Agatha – someone who isn’t too skilled in the kitchen – opts to purchase a ready-made Quiche for the competition. Perhaps, karma wasn’t a big fan of Agatha’s dishonest actions here, as shortly after this purchase, her home is robbed. Wong returns to her home, this time with officer Wilkes.
While frustrated by the robbery, Agatha doesn’t allow that invasion of her space get in the way of her ultimate goal: winning the Quiche crown. Thus, she arrives the following day at the Village Fete to submit her offering. The list of competitors is long, but Agatha feels as if she has this one in the bag.
Unfortunately, Agatha’s confidence is shot back to reality once Andy announces Ella Cartwright as the winner. Sure, her quiche could be out of this world, but Ella is also suspected of being one of Andy’s multiple mistresses, so favouritism could also be in play.
Shortly after the competition, Gemma – Agatha’s new cleaning woman and confidant – and her daughter are working around Andy and Jo’s home. To their horror, Andy is discovered dead in his living room. Beside him, the quiche in which Agatha submitted for the competition. After being cleared as the primary suspect, Jo appears horrified, yet strangely calm about the matter. Meanwhile, officers Wong and Wilkes believe that Agatha may have purposely poisoned Andy with the quiche.
At Agatha’s home, Wong and Wilkes question her quiche cooking knowledge – it isn’t long before Agatha admits that she cheated and bought the quiche elsewhere. Even though she didn’t cook the quiche that killed Andy, Agatha appears in court to speak to her actions and is quickly shamed. What’s more, she’s advised to leave town.
Struggling with the situation at hand, Agatha summons her public relations cohort, Roy, to help her determine who in fact killed Andy. Despite the village of Carsley being small in stature, several suspects arise once Agatha gets on the case. There is Ella (someone who has questionably won the quiche competition for years), John Cartwright (Ella’s temperamental husband), Sarah (the vicar’s wife, past quiche competition champ and someone Andy also supposedly got close to), Sheila (Agatha’s neighbour and another past apple of Andy’s eye) and Maria (an odd, yet rich woman who claimed to currently be engaged to Andy). Then, there is Jo, Andy’s cast aside wife.
Out of this collection of possible killers, Jo and Sheila are eventually arrested. Case closed, right? Nope, not quite. Officers don’t feel convinced that either had anything to do with Andy’s death. Meanwhile, John is soon cleared after being arrested for assaulting Agatha. As it turns out, he was the one who burglarized Agatha’s home and sought revenge because he suspected that she was snooping around about that.
Soon enough, Agatha has a very fascinating conversation with the shop owner who sold her the quiche. He admits that Jo wanted to legally go after him following Andy’s death. But, the quiche was cooked at his cousin’s establishment, outside of the region. Once this was revealed, Jo backed off. You see, the quiche featured cowbane, the ingredient in which poisoned Andy. Cowbane, however, is not accessible in the region that the suspected quiche was baked. Therefore, Jo knew that if she caused too much of a fuss, suspicions could be raised.
Eventually, it’s determined that Jo prepared a separate quiche all together (with cowbane) in a secondary location, and made it look like an entrant into the competition. This, in fact, is the quiche that took Andy’s life. Why? Well, Andy clearly had designs on moving on from Jo and she couldn’t have this happen.
As Agatha visits Jo’s home to covertly record an admission of guilt, she (surprise, surprise!) has her beverage poisoned by Jo before any true admission is made. Agatha, meanwhile, begins to pass out in the home. Jo, looking to leave all evidence behind (including Agatha) sets fire to the room. Thankfully, Gemma and Bill were outside the whole time and able to rescue Agatha before it was too late.
Waking up in the hospital several days later with Roy by her side, Agatha’s new life in the Cotswolds is off to a steamier start than expected. But, it appears as if she’ll stay in town for the long run.
Would you like more “Agatha Raisin” in your life? If so, please be sure to tune in Tuesday nights at 8pm ET/5pm PT (beginning November 8) for the first season of “Agatha Raisin”!
Click here for more on series star, Ashley Jensen!