Death of an Honest Man

by M.C. Beaton
My source: Netgalley

35397718Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat.

He attended church in Lochdubh. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat and in these days of increasing obesity it was her duty to show a good example. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie–who repeated all the last words of her twin sister–that she needed psychiatric help.

“I speak as I find,” he bragged. Voices saying, “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.

And someone did.

Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects. And he’s lost the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who has resigned from the force after Chief Inspector Blair berated Charlie one too many times, and the policeman threw Blair into the loch. Can Hamish find the killer on his own?

I’ve been reading these Hamish MacBeth books since the first one. Their always a good, light, easy read. I enjoy re-visiting the village of Lochdubh and all the inhabitants. But the last two I’ve read seem tired and formulaic. I suppose after 33 books in a series Ms. Beaton can write it in her sleep.

I did enjoy the the array of policeman assigned to Lochdubh and the camaraderie between them and Hamish. But,¬†will we ever find out what has made Priscilla a cold fish? Will Elspeth ever come back and marry Hamish? Will Blair ever get his? ¬†‘Honestly’ I don’t think I care anymore. It would be nice if Ms. Beaton brought Elspeth back, she was a great character and I think there would be great possibilities for good storylines with her and Hamish married. Something needs to shake up the tired formula.

This was my last read of 2017.

Death of Yesterday by MC Beaton

A dead witness. A forgotten crime. Hamish Macbeth never had it so hard as in this newest Highlands mystery!

A dead witness. A forgotten crime. Hamish Macbeth never had it so hard as in this newest Highlands mystery!

When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn’t remember what happened the previous evening, he’s not unduly worried. After all, she’s been out drinking and he’d prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman.

But when her body is discovered in a ditch, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness – now dead – has forgotten…

This is the 29th book in the Hamish Macbeth series. I’ve read them all. Light, easy read. I enjoy Hamish, but I think its time he actually gets married. How many times is he going to be engaged to Elspeth let alone other women? The books are getting a little stale for those of us who have been reading from the beginning I think. I did like this one better than Death of a Kingfisher. I really didn’t like that one and swore I’d never read another. But Hamish is a charmer:)

Peggy Ann

‘Death of a Kingfisher’ by M.C. Beaton

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I have read every one of the Hamish MacBeth books, loved everyone and counted the days until the next one came out, but this one was a disappointment!

It just wasn’t the Hamish we’ve come to know and love. Dick Fraser, the new constable they gave Hamish to help him was a decent addition. The mystery was too jerky and disjointed. In all there were 6 murders (and that’s not counting the Kingfisher and his family!) It really was all over the place and hard to keep track. The two children, 16 and 12, were quite unbelievable (can’t give you more details about them without spoiling it for you) and the end left you very deflated.There just wasn’t enough interaction with all of the old friends we look forward to seeing when we venture back to Lochdubh.

Maybe there have been too many in the series and Ms. Beaton is running out of ideas or losing interest in our lovable Hamish. Maybe she should marry him off to Elspeth and end the series on an up note!

Snobbery with Violence by Marion Chesney

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This was my first foray into Ms. Chesney’s Edwardian mysteries. I have enjoyed all of her Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books written under the name M.C. Beaton. It was a a decent mystery with decent characters, but I prefer the books written as M.C. Beaton. I did figure out the murderer before the end of the book. I thought it was pretty obvious. She went into detail about the rigamarole the poor women of that time had to go through to get dressed (thank goodness I was born when I was!). The effort that went into a girl’s season or coming out to find a husband was ridiculous! And the belief that someone with Syphilis could be cured by having sex with a virgin is incredible! For that time period and the propriety that came along with it there sure was a lot of sneaking into rooms in the middle of the night and hanky panky going on in this book. I liked Rose, the main character. She pretty much was her own person and didn’t conform to ‘the image’ of a proper young lady (but not by joining in the hanky panky) by having a mind of her own and having some intelligence. I have the second one in the series on the shelf so I will read it but I don’t think I would bother to buy anymore of them. It was okay but not the greatest.