10/28/11

As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton, Penelope Keith as Narrator,

As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton

As the Pig TurnsM. C. Beaton
Narrator: Penelope Keith
Publisher: AudioGoDuration: 6 hrs. 36 mins


I was concerned about Penelope Keith reading Agatha Raisin, as it turns out she does not disappoint. Donada Peters narrated most of the Agatha Raisin books beginning with the first one. Donada Peters captured the personality of the feisty, and sometimes mean spirited Agatha to perfection. I was quite addicted to Peters being the voice of Agatha. Often when they change a narrator of a long continuing series I find it disturbing as each reader influences the final outcome of the heart of the book and characters.

Penelope Keith, British actress and narrator
Penelope Keith, actress and narrator

Penelope  Keith does not lose any of the Agatha's plucky personality. She also reads the text perfectly and at a good pace. Giving due meaning to the intention of the author. Which in itself is a special talent. She does an excellent rendition of older people. Capturing their touchy and mulish behavior. Mrs Bloxby comes through as intended as the goodie two shoes vicar's wife. Her voice drips with kindness and concern. Penelope simpers and whines Roy's lament when he's kidnapped beautifully. Tightfisted and carefree Charles sounds just as manipulative and petty as when Peter's narrated the Agatha books. Penelope Keith has an excellent range of engaging voices.

As the Pig Turns is the 22nd. in the Agatha Raisin series. Agatha gets a ticket for blowing her nose by deputy Gary Beech. This leads Agatha to find out that he's the most hated deputy on the force. So many hate him it's hard to tell who killed him. Agatha surely wanted to. A big pig roast is planned for Varda a neighboring town. Agatha gets some friends to go with her and when the pig is brought out she sees something that isn't pig like. She yells for them to stop just as they're dropping the pig into the pit. She examines it closer and see's the pig head has been sewn on to a torso. 


Agatha investigates and uncovers many suspects and motives of people who hated the victim. Agatha becomes a suspect herself, when a neighbor with an ax to grind, reports to the police she over heard her complaining about officer Gary Beech, saying he deserved to roast on a spit like a pig or words to that effect. Agatha is of course inclined to find out who did the murder if for no reason other than to exonerate herself. Agatha is a bit more weepy than in past books, but still as deliciously outspoken.
M.C. Beaton Author, Aka Marion Chessney photo
M.C. Beaton Author

I suspect that M.C. Beaton does not get the recognition she deserves as a talented and outstanding author. Beaton uses Agatha Raisin as a vehicle to bash the nanny state, the ridiculousness of bureaucracy and indifferent companies, and the stupidity and rudeness of the police department. She even throws in social injustices from a more human and personal point of view such as the manual, the furnace man leaves is " a handbook in 6 languages, the size of a Bible."  Agatha says rude things the few people are willing to say but secretly think.

As the Pig Turns is a action packed and fun as all the other Agatha Raisin books are. I've loved every one of them.

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