As the Pig Turns Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of As the Pig Turns

When Agatha comes across an overly zealous police officer that has become a hinder to everyone as he handed out the most outrageous fines, but things change when this pig is found roasted over a fire. Agatha Raisin comes across Officer Gary Beech for a ridiculous fines and leaves her giving out an idle threat to kill him. Thinking nothing of it, she goes on with her normal routine of coming into her office for detective business and coming home to her two cats. Agatha comes across a medieval event in the village of Winter Parva. Agatha invites her friend Roy Silver, an ex-employee from her PR business, Toni Gilmour, a detective at her agency with her date Paul Finlay, and Charles Fraith a former lover and friend were all planning to attend together. Agatha had a way of meddling in others businesses especially with Toni when it came to her love life. With the help of her friends and Detective Sargent Bill Wong, they were all trying to break them up.
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It wasn't until the event at Winter Parva that changed everything for Agatha and Toni. Agatha came across the late Gary Beech beheaded at the pig roast with a pig's face attached to the body. This brings out in Toni the dedicated detective to the crime scene to be with Agatha. After being interrogated, Toni realized that she no longer was attracted to Peter leaving her to break up with him. Peter had a secret life of abusing women and this would catch up to him when he tried to attack Toni and she fight back with Bill Wong ready to arrest him. Toni now figures out that Agatha was interfering in her business again. Once again, Toni finds out that Agatha was to blame for a previous detective Simon Black, who had a crash on Toni.
Toni put aside her problems with Agatha to start the murder investigation meet the next murder client. It was the ex-wife of Gary Beech, Amy Richards. Agatha came across an elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Friend when the electric went out and Mrs. Bloxby volunteered her to house the two until the electric was back on. During a conversation with the couple, Agatha learns that this couple did not like Gary Beech because the fines he wrote them. Mr. Friend commented to Agatha that he would have killed him and many others would too.
The investigation starts soon after Agatha woke up with the idea that pig could be a name for a police officer and the John Doe could be Officer Gary Beech. This has the police thinking she is totally crazy for thinking this, so during a police meeting, they discovered that the identity of the body was the late Gary Beech. Agatha is brought in for questioning as her theory was true and she now was a suspect because someone heard her telling Gary she would kill him. On her way out, Officer Alice gives her some information that would send her to Amy.
During her visit with her, Agatha's information given to her was not the truth and she told her the truth. The second time visiting Amy she finally got the truth and soon Amy became nervous when her current husband Bunchie came home. The detectives are now off to check out her story and anyone close to Gary. Toni goes to talk to the first ex-wife of Gary known to be Mrs. Fiona Richards and what the connection of Amy Richards in regards to the plastic surgery they both had received with a lump sum for their divorce. A man named Tom Richards were both connected with Gary Beech. They were investigating how did Gary Beech was able to buy the expensive furniture that Office Alice notice and confided to Agatha. Fiona was with Tom Richards and soon Amy would be with her. Agatha starts to think that Tom killed Gary, so she went back to Amy to learn there was a bank key to her bracelet and the will for Gary could be there. This led Toni, Agatha, and Amy to the bank to find illegal diamonds. Amy leaving with the diamonds and the two detectives off to the police and soon to find a dead Amy in the grocery lot.
After some breaking and enter, Agatha and James Lacey were off trying to figure out why Gary's house was broken into. Agatha back at her house to find the head of Gary in a package leaving her to move into a hotel. Soon she would find that the keys Charles kept to Agatha's house was now missing and Roy Silver was missing was sure indication that Agatha and her group of detectives were close to finding the murderer. The murderer was out to get her detectives after kidnapping someone looking like Toni, Charles and Toni grabbed, and Simon a victim of a beating uncovers the responsible party. The police arrested one person at a time associated with the murders. Agatha, Charles, Simon, and Toni are to putting together the pieces of their investigation. Leaving them open to the guilty party to come after Agatha, her detectives, and friends are so closes that it is becoming more dangerous for everyone around her. After all many attempts to silence everyone, Agatha decides to take matters in her hand, so no one else would get hurt. She finally traps the psycho murderer and puts the pieces together to solve this murder.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked how the Agatha was different in this book because she was brave and less focused on her insecurities.

Best scene in story: I like the scene when Agatha, Charles, and Toni are following the suspects to this house. Charles and Toni get out to get a better look inside to find a drug operation. The two are taken hostage by forced to talk or they would burn Toni's face with a torch. Then, suddenly Agatha drives toward the house to damage her car but rescue the two. She called the cops who arrested those on the scene. It was bold for her to go after the bad guys without even thinking about it. She was very brave to go after the bad guys without batting an eye.

Opinion about the main character: I liked how Agatha was less poor me but focused on finding the criminals. I also like how she has an attachment to Toni and how she is always looking out for her. She has a loyalty and a soft spot for those around her, but when she is insulted by others Agatha comes back with something just as insulting to say.

The review of this Book prepared by Millicent Schrock a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of As the Pig Turns

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   20% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Murder of certain profession?    -   lawmen Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   private investigator Ethnicity/Race    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Cynical or arrogant


Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   decapitated Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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M.C. Beaton Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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