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Series / Agatha Raisin

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Agatha Raisin is a British comedy-drama based on the novels of M.C. Beaton. It began with a pilot titled Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death in 2014, and was followed with an eight-part series that first aired in 2016.

Agatha Raisin, PR whizz, gives up her successful life in London, landing with a bang in the quiet village of Carsely with hopes of beginning a new dream life. Bored, lonely and used to getting her own way, Agatha finds that life in the Cotswolds isn't quite the picture-perfect existence she imagined... and when her high-flying city attitude is met with puzzlement and suspicion from country locals, Agatha enlists the few allies she can find. Among them are DC Bill Wong, a lovelorn local policeman; Gemma Simpson, her suffer-no-fools cleaning lady; and Roy Silver, a faithful former assistant from London. But with her unique brand of feisty truth telling finding little favour, it seems the community is not quite ready for the acerbic Agatha.


In season 2, Sarah, The Vicar's wife, joins Agatha's coterie of amateur sleuths.

Agatha Raisin contains examples of:

  • Age Lift: In the books Toni Gilmour is a teenager who starts to work for Agatha. In the series Toni is an adult woman which makes sense since she becomes a love interest for the also adult Bill Wong.
  • Alone with the Psycho: This happens to Agatha quite a few times:
    • In the pilot she makes the mistake of drinking tea with the murderer and is dosed with horse tranquilliser.
    • In "The Wellspring of Death" she works out the solution a minute too late and is trapped in her house with the murderer who then tries to kill her. She is saved by James and Bill.
    • In "The Curious Curate" this happens to Agatha twice! First she's trapped in the house with the seeming murderer who tried to kill her. Agatha fights back bravely. Later in her home she realised the murderer was covering for another and is almost strangled to death by the real killer.
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    • In "The Wizard of Eavesham" she's knocked out and then tied up with the killer who has a total psychotic break.
    • In the pre-Season Four Christmas special "Kissing Christmas Goodbye" the killer confronts Agatha alone in her apartment. Agatha has to use the Christmas turkey (still frozen), a large candy-cane and a snow globe to fight. The killer has a knife.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Agatha is PR expert who spends more time solving murders than she does doing public relations. At the end of season 2, Agatha decides to stop fighting it and becomes a licensed private investigator.
  • Anyone Can Die: With a touch of Developing Doomed Characters - side characters in the village will have small roles in early episodes before becoming a Victim of the Week.
  • Artistic Licence - Geography:
    • Carsley is said to be somewhere between Bourton-on-the-Water and Moreton-in-Marsh, both in Northern Gloucestershire, yet the local police are based in Evesham, which is in the entirely different county of Worcestershire, and is covered by a completely different police force (West Mercia), and, who, therefore, have no business investigating crime in Gloucestershire (that would be the job of the Gloucestershire Constabulary). It should be noted that all of this is avoided in the books themselves, where the local police are based in Cheltenham, which is in Gloucestershire, and would be the nearest large town in the area for where Carsley is said to be. It apparently only takes half an hour to get to Bath (try adding on another half an hour to that journey time, and you may be nearer the mark), and the local bus service is run by The South Gloucestershire Bus company, which is an entirely different administrative area from Gloucestershire, though it is included in it for ceremonial purposes, and, as the name may suggest, is actually to the south of the county.
    • The Lawyer's office that they visit in "Hell's Bells," which is apparently in Bristol, looks like no part of Bristol that any local would recognise.
  • Ate His Gun: A suspect and blackmail victim does this after Agatha comes nosing around in "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage".
  • Auto Erotica: The victim in the pilot is seen in a car with the woman he is having an affair, the camera pulls away to show the car rocking suggestively.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: In "Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death", when the second Victim of the Week is found dead and propped up against the eponymous wellspring, there is a shot of her blood slowly dripping off her and into the spring where it dilutes through the water.
  • Bookcase Passage: In season one's "The Witch of Wyckhadden" the cool manor turned hotel has at least one of these, it even opens up into the library.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham", the killer uses duct tape to gag Agatha and bind her to her to a hairdressing chair.
  • Brats with Slingshots: In "Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam", the killer uses a military-grade slingshot firing ball bearings in an attempt to do in Agatha.
  • Canon Foreigner: Neither Gemma, Toni nor DCI Wilkes appear in the novels.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam", Gemma tells Agatha that a good cleaner always carries a squirt bottle of 3-in-1 disinfectant to ward of the amorous advances of any male householders. At the end of the story, Agatha stops the killer by spraying them in the face with 3-in-1 disinfectant.
  • City Mouse: Agatha is initially this but grows out of it. Roy usually plays this role for the rest of the cast.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In "Agatha Rasin and the Curious Curate", the second Victim of the Week is a woman who is attempting to start up a boutique jam business. The problem is, most of flavours she makes feature combinations of ingredients that shouldn't even be made into jam; let alone used together.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The second Victim of the Week in "Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate" is murdered by being drowned in a large pot of boiling jam.
  • Destroy the Evidence: In "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham", Agatha has to destroy her smoke damaged clothing so she can claim she was nowhere near Johnny's house when it was torched. She bundles it all into her fireplace and sets fire to it just as DI Wilkes and Bill arrive to question her, leading to awkward questions about what the bad smell is.
  • Doom Magnet: In the pilot the villagers note that there has not been in a murder in Carseley village for forty years before Agatha moves in. This was followed by eight more murders in season one. Lampshaded by Bill that Agatha has been investigating a lot of deaths.
  • Dramatic Drop: In season 4 Bill drops a large bucket of chicken and food when he walks into Agatha's home and sees that Toni has unexpectedly invited him over for "sexy time."
  • Drives Like Crazy: A subplot in "Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener" involves joyriders fanging around the village at night; doing burnouts and generally terrorizing the village. Ultimately the joyriders are revealed as a couple in their 80s or 90s who always fancied being speed demons and decided it was never too late to live their dream.
    • In episode one Agatha drives like crazy to stop a murder and hits a tree. In episode one of season two she is driving fast when she realises her brakes have been cut, she hits another tree.
    • In season four's Christmas special "Kissing Christmas Goodbye" Toni can't drive but still speeds around in Agatha's car hitting multiple things throughout the episode.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: In "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage", Agatha and James need to investigate a detox clinic. James introduces Agatha as a raging alcoholic whose entire life is a tissue of lies.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky:
    • At the end of "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", Agatha brings home a copy of the nude yoga dvd. As she and Gemma sit down to watch it, they immediately start tilting their heads at an odd angle.
    • In "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham", Agatha finds a folder of sexual photographs the Victim of the Week had been using for blackmail. On finding one particular photo, she exclaims "Maggie Henderson! <Beat> How does she do that?" as she squints and tilts the photo.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title begins "Agatha Raisin and ..."
  • I Have Your Wife: In "Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet", the killer abducts Agatha's cat Hodge and threatens to kill him if Agatha does not stop her nosing about.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate", the killer gives themself away when they mention what a close call James had had. Agatha remarks that no one knew James had been present at the murder, not even the police, and that the only person who could have known was the murderer.
  • Inspector Lestrade: DI Wilkes, who generally starts each case by telling Agatha to stay out of police business, comes up with entertainingly wrong theories of the crime that are gently debunked by Bill, and ends up making the arrest (and getting the credit) after Agatha has solved the crime.
  • Is This Thing Still On?:
    • In "Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death", Agatha is talking to the PA of her latest client on Skype when Gemma bursts and starts questioning her about the fact she spent the night with said client. Their discussion goes on for some time before the PA speaks up to remind them that she is still there. To make matters worse, it is later revealed that the PA is also the client's girlfriend.
    • In "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death", we learned that the victim and one of the women he was having an affair with gave away their affair to the whole village when they speak about meeting "at their regular place" backstage of a play but their microphones are still on.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: In "Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came", Agatha Raisin is ranting about a suspect that called her "a dried-up, old spinster". Roy says that she's not dried-up. After a significant look from Agatha, he adds "Or old".
  • Letterbox Arson: Used to torch James's cottage in "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage".
  • Lipstick Lesbian: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley" Agatha uses this term for the lesbian couple but while both are not butch they do not dress traditionally feminine. But they are more feminine than the victim of the week who was bisexual but dresses more masculine in comparison.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden" has a lot of this: the "witch's" hair tonic really does work, an ancient prophecy about an inheritance turns out to prove true, and an attempt to speak to a murder victim via a seance is implied to have been successful.
  • Medication Tampering: The Victim of the Week in "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham" is murdered by the killer injecting ricin into his vitamin tablets.
  • Mooning: Roy's boyfriend Khusan for the episode "The Walkers of Dembley" is doing naked yoga on a village green oblivious to the shocked or titillated villagers. He turns around and the audience sees fully his naked buttocks.
  • Murder by Mistake: The second Victim of the Week in "Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate". The killer had never met the victim, so identified her from a picture in the parish magazine. However, the picture had been incorrectly captioned and the killer targeted the wrong woman.
  • Mystery of the Week
  • Never Suicide: In "Agatha Raisin and Hell's Bells", everyone is prepared to write off the death of the Victim of the Week as suicide; except Agatha, who keeps pointing out of the all of the discrepancies in this theory. Naturally, Agatha is proved right.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", the killer hires Agatha to investigate the murder to throw suspicion off of her boyfriend and Agatha solves the case.
  • Not So Great Escape: "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Eveshem" has a scene that starts like this. Agatha is searching Johnny's house for evidence when the real killer arrives. Agatha starts scuttling around the house on her hands and knees, hiding behind furniture and ducking in and out rooms in an effort not to be seen. However, it turns serious when the killer decides to burn the house down to destroy any evidence, and Agatha finds herself trapped in a storeroom.
  • Oops! I Forgot I Was Married: In "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage", Agatha and James's wedding is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Agatha's husband. In her defence, she has honestly believed him to be dead.
  • Pair the Spares:
    • The season one finale ends with it looking like Gemma and Bill are getting together. Subverted in season two when we learn they broke up when Bill's mom was not a fan of Gemma and they learned they were not sexually compatible
    • Season three's premier episode introduces Gemma's younger cousin Toni who becomes a junior detective. By the end of the episode Toni and Bill start flirting and making eyes at each other.
  • Photographic Memory: New character Toni introduced in season three is terrible as a temporary cleaner but her photographic memory helps her work with Agatha in solving crime.
  • Planning with Props: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", Agatha attempts to map out the relationships between the suspects and the victim using a map and various household objects. It is not helped when she attempts to use her cat to represent one of the suspects, and the cat promptly jumps off the table.
  • Prophecy Twist: In "Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden", one murder suspect wants to make a legal claim as heiress of a castle. A prophecy predicts that a curse on the family line will be broken when a "raven" takes power; and the suspect, who has dark hair, believes this refers to her. It's actually the castle's maid, who's working there to learn the business and prepare to inherit from her father. She has naturally black hair that's not obvious, since it's dyed blue.)
  • Protagonist Title
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: Used to ignite the Letterbox Arson that destroys James's cottage in "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage": the arsonist pours fuel through the letterbox and then drops a lit Zippo through after.
  • Sand Necktie: Inverted (literally) in "Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener". The Victim of the Week is found buried up to her neck in a large plant pot. Upside down.
  • Serious Business: In "Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener", the village's annual open garden day, and the competition for best garden, leads to vandalism and murder.
  • Sexy Priest: The (first) Victim of the Week in "Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate" is a hunky Anglican curate, who Ray describes as "hot a f" and Agatha describes as a "smoking hot vicar". He has the single female population of the village fawning over him.
  • Shovel Strike: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", the Victim of the Week is struck down with a spade while walking across a field.
  • Situational Sexuality: In Season 4 in a wellness retreat Sir Charles and James are encouraged to touch each other "all over with love." Sir Charles invokes this by saying to his school friend James "it will just be like boarding school eh James?"
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: In "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage", Agatha's wedding to James has just reached this point when the ceremony is interrupted by Bill bursting in with Agatha's husband (who she thought was dead) in tow.
  • Spooky Séance: In season one's "The Witch of Wyckhadden" a local "witch" called Francie is killed. Her sister Janine, a powerful medium, is convinced by Agatha to hold a seance to find out who is the killer. As expected all present hold hands, the lights flicker, Francie's ghost does seem to speak through Janine and then Janine is murdered before the killer can be revealed.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Agatha is felled by a blow to the head while snooping in "Agatha Raisin and The Day the Floods Came".
    • Agatha is again knocked out by the killer on "Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate."
    • James is knocked out by one blow to the head in "Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House".
    • James is knocked out so deeply by a blow to the head but the killer in "Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage", he is fully unconscious when the killer starts to bury him alive.
    • Bill is not immune. In "Agatha Raisin and Love from Hell", Bill is hit with a hammer by the killer. Somehow he is only knocked unconscious and not killed.
    • Happens to Bill again in the pre-Season Four Christmas special "Kissing Christmas Goodbye" when the killer takes out Bill to get to Agatha.
  • Undercover as Lovers: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", Agatha and James go undercover to investigate the walking group. Much to James's consternation, Agatha introduces them as husband and wife.
  • Urine Trouble: A Running Gag in "Agatha and the Wizard of Evesham" is that every time Agatha encounters Deirdra Darry's annoying little dog, the dog urinates on her.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham", the killer cuts the brake lines in Agatha's car in an attempt to scare her off the case.
  • Victim of the Week: The Cotswolds is a surprisingly dangerous place.
  • Voodoo Doll: While investigating apparently supernatural goings-on in "Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam", Agatha finds a doll of herself with nails stuck into it.
  • The West Country: Carsley is meant to in Gloucestershire somewhere. See Artistic Licence - Geography above.
  • We Need a Distraction: In "Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet", Agatha says they need a distraction so they can extract a suspect off the dance floor in a nightclub. DI Wilkes announces that he will do it and then proceeds to provide one. By dancing.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Agatha and James.