Article

Death of a macho man by M. C. Beaton

Very short synopsis:

Unpleasant guy gets killed, but is he really who he says he is? Hamish investigates independently once more.


Cover Death of a Macho Man by M. C. Beaton

I read it in: English

I liked it:    no

For people who like: cozy mysteries, the Scottish Highlands, who are hardcore Hamish fans

 

This is definitely the weakest of all Hamish Macbeth books so far. No reader can possibly be interested in finding out who killed the victim. Not because he is an unpleasant lout (most victims are), but because we don’t really get to know him. Then the little that we do know turns out to be a complete lie, the victim has taken on a false identity, so in the end it seems like we never knew the victim at all.

The solution to the problem is so disconnected to the story that it is impossible to guess why the victim was killed, so reading the mystery was no fun at all. Just like a Deus ex machina the solution is there. Yes, we have met the murderer before (so it was not as bad as it could have been, I guess), but still the end was extremely unsatisfying.

Not to speak of the “Gentleman Jim” gangster character appearing! How trite can you get? Gentleman Jim! I was surprised that Gentleman Jim didn’t wear spats!

This felt like a book that needed to be cranked out at an even quicker pace than usual and the story was made up as the author went along.

And just really quick on the “relationship” between our hero and the Belle of the village…

It is obvious why Hamish and Priscilla had to split up and can never be a couple. More than once Priscilla used her social position to get Hamish out of trouble, either by just being who she is and at the same time being a friend of Hamish’s (obviously being friends with the rich and noble is enough for Hamish to be above suspicion or reproach) or by using her status deliberately to pull strings with Hamish’s superior’s wife. That woman’s social aspirations would all fall to pieces if Priscilla wasn’t friends with her anymore, so she does everything (including dissuading her husband from firing Hamish) to stay on Priscilla’s good side. What sort of light this throws on her husband I don’t even want to think about.

If Priscilla was married to Hamish, she would be reduced to being a constable’s wife, living in a cottage, and where would that leave her social influence? No superintendent’s wife would beg for an invitation to a Bobby’s cottage! So for Hamish’s sake he and Priscilla need to stay apart under any circumstances.


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a macho man
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781845299071
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of a Macho Man, though I advise against it

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

What I like…besides books: TV – Hamish Macbeth

I really like the Hamish Macbeth books by M.C. Beaton, so I thought it might be nice to watch the TV series which is based on the books.

There are three seasons and so far I am in the middle of season two and can compare books and TV series. Nothing could be further apart. As far as I can see, only the name of Hamish and the village Lochdubh, a few aspects of the plots and a very loose resemblance of some of the other characters remind us of the books.

Hamish Macbeth Title Screen

Most of the names have been changed, there are many characters who never turn up in the books and the personality of Hamish is quite different. However, the series is quite good and cozy in its own right, just do not expect to find the books in it. And, oh, the Scottish accent is to die for.

Hamish himself.

Hamish’s looks are not at all like in the book. No tall, lanky and red-haired Hamish here. But this is not the only difference. Yes, he is rather indulgent when it comes to not abiding by the law, but on the other hand he shows some traits that are definitely not nice, not to say disturbing.

Like in the books he is jealous, but here his jealousy manifests itself in deliberately damaging other potential suitors’ cars and generally harassing the guys in a petty way.

Then there is one episode where his dog (Wee Jock, not Towser) gets killed in a car accident. A dog, by the way, that is so used to being fed by John McIver that he won’t even take food from Hamish. What does Hamish do? He goes out, follows the two convicts who ran Wee Jock over, befriends them, lies to them and lures them to a certain spot to kill them. Only the arrival of his Lochdubh friends stop him. Now, don’t tell me that he would not have been able to shoot them! It doesn’t change a thing.
Apart from the fact that at the time of their rescue the two men were only holding on to a rope and could have easily allen into an abyss, resulting in their death with Hamish not even shooting them, the idea that he planned to go after them with a gun in his pocket, becoming their friend and leader through the rough Scottish landscape, pretending to wanting to help them only to take them to a safe spot to kill them shows a rather nasty and evil disposition. The fact that that man is a police officer makes it only worse. And to top this all, the two men only killed his DOG by accident! I find this side of his personality rather disturbing and from that episode on I am not sympathizing with him anymore.

The women

Priscilla is now called Alex and is not the beauty she is supposed to be. Also she is extremely jealous and behaves rather idiotic. Hamish and Alex are engaged by now (different situation but also rather awkward), but already one can see that this is not a match made in heaven.

Isobel is a new character that loves Hamish and that Hamish fancies in spite of his engagement with Alex. Tension everywhere.

Villagers

There are many new characters that do not appear in the book.

  • TV John McIver is Hamish’s “housekeeper”, part Hamish’s counsellor, part helper, part stand in for the seer Angus MacDonald with his premonitions.
  • Rory, the shopkeeper, stand in for the Indian Patel. Obviously an Indian wouldn’t fit into the Scottish setting. Rory has an affair with
  • Esme, the teacher. They are quite an interesting couple, those two.
  • Barney and his wife Agnes are the pub/hotel owners.
  • My favourite characters: Father and son McCrae. Lachlan and Lachie jr., the local entrepreneurs. Those two are so funny and make sure the necessary comic relief is there.
  • Doc Brown, a young doctor instead of the old fellow, who is Hamish’s pot smoking buddie (yeah, really!)

I would recommend the series to everyone who likes cozy mysteries (not necessarily with murder) in an interesting setting. You don’t have to know the books, on the contrary, knowing the “real” characters you might even be disappointed a bit. But it is entertaining nevertheless. Do not forget to put on the subtitles on your DVD player, though!

Article

Death of a charming man by M. C. Beaton

Very short synopsis:

Beautiful young newcomer to a dreary village charms all the women. Eventually he gets killed which was practically unavoidable. Hamish saw it coming.


Cover Death of a Charming Man by M. C. Beaton

inanutshell 

I read it in: English

I liked it:    Yes

For people who like: I don’t know whether M.C. Beaton does not like women very much or whether it is just coincidence that again the women are all daft and gullible. They seem to be all over Scotland, too, as this time we are not in Lochdubh, but in another backwater village called Drim.

Hamish’s and Priscilla’s engagement is a joke! I can’t find fault with Hamish; Priscilla knows he is unambitious, but the second they are engaged she starts to try to “change” him – and when has that ever worked? On top of that she is a cold fish and not responsive at all to his romantic advances. What a couple! Oh, well, the engagement only happened by accident, so to speak, so what can you expect? Not surprised to see them split up at the end of the book.


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a charming man
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781845297336
I got this book from I bough it
Buy link Buy Death of a charming man

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

In my mailbox

 

 

Actually this is not my doing, really. John keeps pestering me to get more Hamish Macbeth books because they are such comfy reads, and with Awesome Books’ low prices and additional coupons you can’t not buy books there. So I complied.

I bought

    Nothing else turned up even though I have been waiting for a Titanic book that I mooched at Bookmooch. It seems it takes months for a book to arrive from Australia.
    Cover Death of a dentist by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a scriptwriter by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a dustman by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a celebrity by M. C. Beaton

 

What was in YOUR mailbox recently? 

Article

Death of a travelling man by M. C. Beaton

Very short synopsis:

Hamish takes an immediate dislike to a travelling man and newcomer to Lochdubh. Needless to say the unpleasant bloke gets his head smashed in.


Cover Death of a Travelling Man by M. C. Beaton

inanutshell 

I read it in: English

I liked it:    It was ok, but for me one of the weaker books in the series. I never understood the lure of the victim and how he “seduced” the women of the village. So my interest in seeing his murderer brought to justice was was low. I couldn’t have cared less. The women of Lochdubh are painted in a rather unfavorable light. They are all easily seduced (not necessarily sexually, see "Death of a perfect wife”) and rather simple and one-layered.

Hamish’s engagement with Priscilla happens quite unexpected and under unusual circumstances. We will see how long that relationship lasts. My prediction: Not very long.

For people who like: Cozy mysteries, the Highlands.


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a travelling man
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN  
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of a travelling man

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Death of a glutton by M. C. Beaton

Very short synopsis:

Disgusting woman is being killed in an eccentric way. Hamish encounters eccentric suspects galore to choose from.


inanutshell 

I read it in: English

I liked it:    Yes.
The victim was such an unpleasant creature that you could only root for the murderer. A group of visitors in a hotel are always a great cast for a mystery, and the story set in Tommel Castle adds a little extra flair. However, the way that hotel is being run makes me wonder how they make any money at all. A luxury hotel where people have to replace the light bulbs in the rooms themselves? This is unheard of! Shows that the Halburton-Smythes as owners are just amateurs who have their upper class status going for them.

For people who like: very cozy mysteries, the Scottish Highlands


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a glutton
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781845297350
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of a glutton
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

I have been on a bit of a cozy binge with the help of a coupon from Awesome books. Totally love that shop!

 

I bought

Another book in the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith. I am still waiting for the first book to turn up.

Cover Death of a Glutton by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a Travelling Man by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a Charming Man by M. C. Beaton

Cover Death of a Nag by M. C. BeatonCover Death of a Macho Man by M. C. BeatonCover Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

 

What was in YOUR mailbox recently?  Check out other In my mailbox participants here.

Article

Agatha Raisin and the walkers of Dembley

dembleyBlurb:

After six months in London, Agatha Raisin returns to her beloved Cotswold village and her dashing neighbor, James Lacey. Well, sort of. James might not be so interested in Agatha. But soon enough, Agatha becomes consumed by her other passion: crime-solving.
A woman has been found dead in a lonely field nearby. Her name is Jessica Tartinck, a hiker who infuriated wealthy landowners by insisting on her hiking club’s right to trek across their properties.
Now it’s up to Agatha, with James’s help, to launch an investigation. Together, they will follow no shortage of leads; many of Jessica’s fellow Dembley walkers seem all too willing and able to commit murder. But the trail of a killer is as easy to lose as your heart and your life. So Agatha and James had better watch their every step . . .


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: cozy mysteries combined with affairs of the heart


My thoughts: 

This book introduces us to an interesting concept and the resulting fanatism of some people. The English right of way and the ramblers. According to “The walkers of Dembley” there must be some pretty weird groups of people out there who like to cause trouble and love confrontation with landowners. I understand not all ramblers are militant but the murder victim here certainly is. Why someone would want to walk across the land of someone else with no other purpose than to get into an argument with the landowner and insist on his/her right of way is beyond me. There are other paths to use without less trouble after all.

From what John told me it seems that a right of way expires if it is not used for a certain amount of time (we are not talking weeks or months  here), but why someone would like to uphold the right of way straight through a field of rapeseed God only knows. This must be one of those peculiarities like train spotting or plane spotting that other nations don’t understand.

Spoiler:

Agatha gets weirder and weirder. Somehow that woman must think that her life has nothing to do with reality.

At the end of the book James asks her to marry him (I can’t imagine why, but that is neither here nor there) and she agrees. The fact that she is still married and has no clue as to the whereabouts of her drunkard of a husband doesn’t seem to fluster her in the least. Instead of saying to James, who later recalls to have heard something to that effect, that she needs to divorce her husband first and that is that, she just claims that everybody remembers wrongly what she said and that her husband, indeed, has been dead for years. Is she insane? She is vaguely aware of what she is about to do is called bigamy and illegal, but so what?! She even goes so far as to say to Bill Wong that she will kill anybody who will stand in her way to marriage. I bet this is going to cause quite a bit of trouble for her in the next book in the series “Agatha Raisin and the murderous marriage”, especially since her former friend, now arch enemy Roy is already calling detective agencies in order to find Jimmy. How fun! The next book will be a blast, if I can get myself to reading it, I hate big time liars.


Location: The fictional village of Carsely, Cotswolds, England, UK

Cotswolds mapFootpath


Product info and buy link :

Title Agatha Raisin and the walkers of Dembley
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781849011372
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy Agatha Raisin and the walkers of Dembley

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Agatha Raisin and the potted gardener by M. C. Beaton

gardenerBlurb:

Agatha is taken aback when she finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbour, James Lacey. The beautiful Mary Fortune is superior in every way, especially when it comes to gardening. So when Mary is discovered murdered, Agatha seizes the moment and immediately starts yanking up village secrets by their roots.

 

 

 

  


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: Cozy mysteries with quirky characters and extremely unusual killing methods


My thoughts: 

M. C. Beaton comes up with quite a few unusual killing methods. To pot a gardener isn’t your run-of-the-mill murder method, is it? Where is the poison typical for cozies?

Anyway, I can’t say the victim didn’t deserve it, she is a right bitch from the start. Not that you’d notice from chatting to Mary superficially but after her murder it turns out that she was evil. I wondered what was wrong with James Lacey. How on Earth could he ever get involved with that woman? And not only on a friendhsip basis either! Agatha is abrasive, but at least she has got her heart in the right place. He would have been better off getting together with her.

Agatha is her usual cheating self. As if the quiche of death hasn’t been enough, she – together with Roy who is rather selfish once more – concocts this elaborate plan to present her magnificent garden on Garden Open Day to the public after buying an instant garden in secret. Give me a break! Everybody in the village knows that she has not exactly a green thumb! Her desire to impress (and win competitions) borders on the ridiculous.

Again the on/off friendship with James is annoying. He really should make up his mind over whether he wants to be friends (or more) with Agatha or not. My other bugbear is the luring London. Agatha must come to a decision soon! Does she want to go back to London because life in the Cotswolds is boring or not? The everlasting temptation to go back into PR gets on my nerves. Either go or stay, for Christ’s sake!

In spite of these misgivings, I very much like Agatha and her fellow “Carselyians”, most of all the vicar’s wife, and will definitely stay with the series.


Location: The fictional village of Carsely, Cotswolds, England, UK

Cotswolds mapBibury cottages


Product info and buy link :

Title Agatha Raisin and the potted gardener
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781849011365
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Agatha Raisin and the potted gardener

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet by M. C. Beaton

vetVery short synopsis:

Vet who hates small pets gets killed in what looks like an accident and Agatha investigates together with her stand-offish neighbour James.

 

 

 

 

 

 


inanutshell 

I read it in: English

I liked it:    Yes, but the constant up and down in the “relationship” of Agatha and James got on my nerves. It’s like a childish “Help, she fancies me!” – “Thank God, she fancies me not!” on his side and a “I must come on stronger” – “I need to back up and play it cool” on hers. Too much, that. They are not sixteen anymore, you know.

For people who like: Cozy mysteries where people get killed in not so cozy ways.


Product info and buy link :

Title Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781849011358
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Death of a perfect wife by M. C. Beaton

Death of a perfect wifeBlurb:

Although the Thomases were not initially liked by villagers, Trixie Thomas had become a model of domestic efficiency – the perfect wife. So it came as a great shock to everyone when she was found dead – to everyone but police inspector Hamish Macbeth.

 

 

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: Very cosy mysteries, Scotland


My thoughts: 

After his short stay in Cnothan Hamish is back in Lochdubh now. The murder victim is Trixie, a scrounger par excellence who always needs a few pet projects she can work on only to discard them when she is finished with them. Good riddance! Hamish has got his work cut out and his old nemesis Blair isn’t helping either. A new superior officer has the chance to see them both in action and draws the right conclusions about them both, however, towards the end of the book, we get a hint that Blair’s days might not be numbered still.

Hamish finally goes off Priscilla, which doesn’t please her one bit. Serves her right. The way she is going on, dragging one "fiancé" after the other to Scotland is a shame. Not only has she got a terrible taste in men in general, not only is she weak willed and has no spine, she also changes those men like there was no tomorrow. You get the impression as long as she has ANY man at her side she is validated. I dislike her more and more in each book.

Apart from the annoying women in this book (one of them gets killed fortunately, bless the killer) this is again another pretty good mystery with an enjoyable cosy atmosphere.


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

Map HighlandsHighlands

Images from wikipedia and sxc.hu user theoneill


Movie tip

Hamish Macbeth TV series

 


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a perfect wife
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781845296674
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of a perfect wife
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the quiche of deathBlurb:

Agatha has moved to a picture-book English village and wants to get in the swing. So she buys herself a quiche for the village quiche-making contest and is more than alarmed when it kills a judge. Hot on the trail of the poisoner, Agatha is fearless, all the while unaware, that she’s become the next victim …

 

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Very much

For people who like: Cosy mysteries, the Cotswolds, the English countryside, Miss Marple atmosphere with a tougher touch


My thoughts: 

This is the first book in the Agatha Raisin series. After reading some of M. C. Beaton Hamish Macbeth books I decided to give Agatha Raisin a try and I was not disappointed.

Agatha Raisin is not a very likeable heroine, at least not at the beginning. She is a tough business woman who usually gets her way by bullying and/or flattering others and that’s about all she can do. Being nice doesn’t come naturally to her. When she – very uncharacteristically – gives all the credit for a local charity event that she organized to a friend, she immediately regrets it when he benefits from her action.

Obviously she also does not learn any lessons from previous events. She buys a quiche to enter it into a competition, someone dies from eating it which gets her into an awkward position. However, a little later she has no scruples to take a cake from a communal freezer to offer it to someone as her own, even though she has no idea whose cake it is and what might be in it. She just does what gets into her mind, not considering any consequences.

This also brings me to another question. Don’t they have to keep retained samples from food at such occasions? That should be standard procedure on occasions like the competition or even the storage freezer! That way the mystery would have been solved a little earlier.

All characters in the village were interesting and entertaining, and the Cotswolds are a great setting for the whole idea of a hardened ex-PR agent trying to ingratiate herself with the locals. The whole story was a pleasure to read; humour, atmosphere and a cosy mystery all combined to a very nice package.

Oh, the cover! Isn’t that a lovely cover?I don’t read chick lit but always like those illustrated covers and fancy fonts. So I am more than pleased with the covers of these Robinson editions.


Location: The fictional village of Carsely, Cotswolds, England, UK

CotswoldsChipping CamdenChipping Camden


Product info and buy link :

Title Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson Publishing
ISBN 9781849011341
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
More info The Agatha Raisin series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Death of an outsider by M. C. Beaton

outsiderBlurb:

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 sxc.hu 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 Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Death of a cad by M. C. Beaton

Death of a CadBlurb:

When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, the whole town is delighted — save perhaps for love-smitten bobby Hamish Macbeth. But the morning after a posh engagement party, one of the guests, Captain Bartlett, is murdered on a grouse hunt.
Unfortunately, the prime suspects are the party guests. And a second murder soon follows the first. Now Hamish Macbeth must cut through the alibis before the killer strikes again . . . all the while trying to woo the lovely Priscilla from her jealous boyfriend.

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: Very cosy mysteries, Scotland, the British upper class


My thoughts: 

This is the second instalment in the Hamish Macbeth series and this time we meet a few more locals. However, the locals are mostly gentry from the wider area, not so much the Lochdubhians (or whatever the inhabitants of Lochdubh call themselves).
I liked Hamish in the first book already, but now I like him even better. He really is Mr.Nice. Unfortunately, his sidekick, well, not really, Priscilla is not his sidekick but rather his crush, left a bad impression this time. Not only did she get engaged to a guy who she knew was a total prick, she also stayed engaged even though she realizes that they are not suited at all to put it mildly. And why? Because she doesn’t want to stand up to her parents! I hate women like that. Whining about their own weakness, but nevertheless not doing anything about it.
The mystery was a good one. It might be me but again I had no clue who the murderer was but was pleased with his/her identity. Hamish is a clever one indeed.
For cozy mystery lovers this series is a must read.


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

Map Highlandscoast

Map from wikipedia, landscape by macleod from sxc.hu


Movie tip

Hamish Macbeth TV series

 


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a cad
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781845296667
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Death of a cad
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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

Article

Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

Death of a GossipBlurb:

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joins the local fishing class she wastes no time in ruffling feathers – or should that be fins? – of those around her.
Among the victims of her sharp tongue is Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth, yet not even Hamish thinks someone would seriously want to silence Lady Jane’s shrill voice permanently – until her strangled body is fished out of the river.
Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must steer a course through the choppy waters of the tattler’s life to find a murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren’t willing to talk, and the dead woman telling no tales, Hamish may well be in over his head for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers when cornered usually do strike again.


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes      

For people who like: very cosy mysteries, Scotland, lovely scenery, plots that don’t make your heart beat faster


My thoughts: 

After reading a couple of Isabel Dalhousie books I thought there is nothing more cosy out there, but I was wrong. This Hamish Macbeth book is even less nerve wrecking than The Sunday Philosophy Club series. Considering there was a murder in the first and nothing even close to petty theft in the latter this is no mean feat.  At the moment I am in the mood for some very easy and unexciting reading, so M.C. Beaton was just right for me.

I very much enjoyed the quiet setting in a Scottish village in the Highlands out in the sticks. Our hero, the village bobby, solves the crime and leaves his detective colleagues from the big city far behind. Hamish Macbeth is calm, apparently rather slow (don’t let appearances deceive you, he is rather witty and had some great comeback lines in this book) and easy going.

His love interest (unrequited, but then again maybe not altogether so) and her father, the local land owner, are just the stereotype characters you would expect, at least so far. She, down to Earth, independent thinker, turns down all suitable marriage candidates; the father, the loud, irate, “my daughter is too good for you” type. Perfect! We didn’t meet any other village people here as the plot revolves around a group of tourists who have come to Lochdubh for a week to learn the tricks of the casting trade. All the sleuthing and snooping is done among them, so there was not much room to get to know the locals.

The mystery was an ok plot, there were some hints as to the murderer, but I never knew who it was until the end. However, had it been more obvious, I wouldn’t have minded, this series clearly lives from the setting, the local characters, its hero and the atmosphere.

Great for light reading! There are many more books in this series and I am curious to read M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series as well. Thanks, Caroline, for pointing me to those books.


Location: the (fictional) village of Lochdubh, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Map Highlands Highlands Highlands

Map from wikipedia, photos by chris1961 and brO at sxc.hu


Movie tip

Hamish Macbeth TV series 


Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a Gossip
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781845296650
I got this book from I bought it, because Caroline recommended the series to me
Buy link Buy Death of a Gossip
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. 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, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

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