Books of 2019 – Agatha Raisin, Isabel Dalhousie, and Christmas Books


I’ve updated my rating system since the last time I posted. Here’s my new legend:
5 – Loved it, close to my heart, adore it, highly recommend
4 – Liked it, enjoyable/ gained something from it, recommend
3 – Meh, read at your own risk
2 – Did not like it (likely a book I wanted to abandon, but persevered to finish it and still did not find it worth it)
1 – To be avoided

7. Agatha Raisin & The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton – 4/5

8. Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet – 4/5 

9. Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener – 4/5

10. Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley – 4/5  

I’ve been on an Agatha Raisin trip these past few days. These books are pure, delightful, escapist pleasure. I started with the first book, and it was quite impossible to not proceed with the next, and the next and the next.

Agatha is an unlikeable lead whom you warm up to. She has her redeeming qualities. She has some good qualities like she’s honest and doesn’t have double standards, she can see through fakeness and isn’t fake herself. Loved it, it gave me the lovely warm and fuzzy feeling I get from Anne books. I think I might’ve become a bit addicted to the “cosy mystery” genre! The character that I’m not too fond of (because I’ve grown fond of Agatha) is James Lacey.

11. Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith – 4/5

Now that I’m well into the Mma Ramotswe series, I wanted to try other series by AMS.

This is similar to Ladies Detective Agency but also quite different. Writing style is completely different – I prefer the writing in SPC. Plot line & resolution similar & simplistic. What makes it really enjoyable & unique are the philosophical musings. I love thinking about philosophical questions like Isabel, and it felt like we might have been having a conversation. A very unique book & I look forward to more! I would classify more as a philosophy lit rather than mystery. Also, it’s not funny / humourous, but more on the reflective side. One quote which really stood out to me, on account of having met many such characters: “With John Liamor it was not essential to believe in anything; all that was required was the ability to mock.”

12. The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan – 3/5

Christmas fluff. Characters are a bit flat & stereotypical. There are inconsistencies & continuity errors. This definitely needed more editing. I would’ve enjoyed this more as a movie i.e. with gorgeous visuals. Did not have much depth. I was actually disappointed and also bored while reading it. I expected more!

13. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – 4/5

A classic. Although, had it been published in 2019 it wouldn’t have had the success it did. It might’ve been classed as too utopian and simplistic. But, I love it for its message. Yes, people don’t really change as quickly as Mr. Scrooge did, but it’s nice to get a reminder every now and then to appreciate and enjoy the lovely people & things around us.

I also started reading but abandoned Unmarriagable by Soniah Kamal (kindle) about a 100 pages in. It reminded me of the movie Mona Lisa Smile because of the setting. The names were very annoying (Mr. Bingley becomes Mr. Bingla??!). May be if you’re not South Asian, you would not be bothered by the names; but I was, because these names sounded wholly unrealistic. Also felt very pseudo-liberal. Girls smoking is considered “liberal and free minded”? How archaic can it get? Probably made worse by the fact that I was listening to Pride & Prejudice (the audiobook), and there is simply no comparison.

I’m wondering, should I also rate the books I did not finish? Because well, I did read them for a while and abandoned for a reason? And this is something I check on Amazon reviews – why did people abandon a book, if they did. Shall think about it.


Leave a comment