As the Pig Turns (#21) by M. C. Beaton

Published: 11th October 2011 (print)/21 Oct 2011 (audio) Goodreads badge
Minotaur Books /Audible
Pages: 292/6 hrs and 32 mins
Narrator: Penelope Keith
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Cosy Mystery
★  – 1 Star

Winter Parva, a traditional Cotswolds village, has decided to throw a celebratory hog roast to mark the beginning of the winter holiday festivities and Agatha Raisin has arrived with friend and rival in the sleuthing business, Toni, to enjoy the merriment. But as the spit pig is carried towards the bed of fiery charcoal Agatha–and the rest of the village–realize that things aren’t as they seem.

I hated this book. So much so I think I scrubbed it from my mind which is why I had to force myself to revisit it and remember what actually happened where I was promptly reminded exactly why I hated it. The premise was interesting and yet was extremely poorly executed that it came of nothing and by the time the book ended the story had shifted so much you forgot it even started with a murder.

This is another “Agatha publically threatened the person who ended up dying” story so while it is a local cop who has died, he was mean and ruthless and everyone didn’t like him, including Agatha. So instead of being left out of the investigation as a person of interest she is butting in to clear her name. Again.

All of the usual players are involved, James, Toni, Charles, Roy, and a few new characters who were introduced in the previous book. I’m amazed Toni is still putting up with Agatha given how she is trying to micro manage and dictate how she should live her life but that is the least of the problems in this book. The fact anyone could mistake a human for a pig is one thing, the other is the end result that made no sense and the lazy writing that is once again proving that Beaton does not care about these books anymore.

The writing is jarring and the explanations for things are convoluted and ludicrous, I’m curious if Beaton actually believes these things or not. There are inconsistencies and the plot drags as if trying to fill in extra pages without adding to the story in a substantial way. Characters get away with things that simply would not happen, and there’s so many side tangents it’s a wonder why we’re wasting pages on things that go nowhere. You could almost use this time to add depth to the story, to the characters, to anything, but it’s all boring nonsense that is easily forgettable. Even the added drama and character danger isn’t engaging.

I’ve mentioned before these books used to be around four hours now they are around six, those extra two hours have definitely seen the writing and plot suffer but as this is book twenty two I think Beaton’s writing is so bad because she does not care. These books were never perfect but they were decent stories and they’ve been falling in quality for quite a few books now which is a shame. The trend of having the final chapter/epilogue act as the first chapter or introduction to the next book to lure you in does little and it’s only the fact I’m determined to finish what I started and read this series is what’s keeping me going.

You can purchase As the Pig Turns via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

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