Death of an outsider by M. C. Beaton


Murder is a Tasty Dish. The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fishes, or-more accurately-dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remain of the murdered victim are his bones. But after the lobsters are shipped off to Britain’s best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth.
Exiled with his dog, Towser, to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, his formerly beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, and his days of doing nothing but staring at the sheep grazing in a nearby croft.
Now the lawman has to contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the modus operandi hushed up, a dark-haired lass who has an ulterior motive to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his victim-and without doubt will strike again …

In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: the Highlands, cosy mysteries

My thoughts: 

I can’t say I was too thrilled with the murder method. Not that I ever am, mind you, but the corpse in the fishtank being completely eaten is rather unsavory. The whole idea has been done more tastefully (but maybe tasteful was not M. C. Beaton’s intention anyway) by David Wishart in Food for the Fishes.

All that aside, this time the setting was different again. Where in book one there were tourists to be questioned, in book two the local gentry, here they are hostile villagers. There is quite a surprising variety of characters in those books.

One word to Blair. Why this oaf is still leading the investigations is a mystery to me. Why do the “rival” police officers always have to be so mind-numbingly dumb and antagonistic. Instead of securing Hamish’s cooperation (after all, he has solved the last two crimes single handedly and made Blair look rather stupid) he gives him mundane tasks and does everything he can do be an ass. By rights he should have been sent packing after book two.

Priscilla is becoming more and more of a nuisance mystery. She turns up at the end of the book and acts kind of jealous because of another woman’s affection to Hamish. Of course, her own various fiancés and guys she drags up to Scotland are perfectly ok. Strange double standard. Can’t say I like her.

Location: The fictional village of Cnothan, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Map HighlandsHighlands

Images from wikipedia and user arinas74

Movie tip

Hamish Macbeth TV series


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of an outsider
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781845296681
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of an outsider
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

4 Comments Write a comment

  1. I have read parts of this series sporadically – but always love them because of the quirky characters. The kind of people you want to get to know and spend some time with.


    • I agree. And he wasn’t only nibbled on either, but eaten down to the skeleton. Quite yucky!


Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

CommentLuv badge