M.C. Beaton is the author of bestselling Hamish Macbeth mystery series which has won international acclaim. She is also the author of the Agatha Raisin series. She also writes romance and mystery stories under the name Marion Chesney.
This is Beaton’s eighth mystery featuring Scottish police constable Hamish MacBeth. It is charming, humorous, and clever as the first seven. Hamish has been promoted against his will. As Sergeant, he makes more money, but must suffer more work as well, and the enthusiasm of his new helper, Police Constable Willie Lamont. Willie Lamont has less talent for police work and more talent for cleaning, polishing, and scrubbing. His insistence on keeping the police station spotless and super clean is driving MacBeth crazy. But Hamish has other troubles too. His lady friend Priscilla, is being standoffish too.
It all starts when a suspicious drifter Sean and his girlfriend Cheryl park their van behind the minister’s manse. This “”devastatingly handsome”” drifter Sean charms four women out of their money and harasses Hamish’s ladylove, Priscilla. Reports of stolen drugs, money missing from church funds, and Cheryl’s sudden departure are preliminaries to the discovery of Sean’s battered corpse. Hamish seeks out the young man’s girlfriend and unhappily discovers a blackmailing scheme that incriminates some locals. Hamish finds plenty of motives as he tries to protect the reputations of several village matrons until he traps the killer. To find out more read this interesting book.
As usual, Beaton makes Lochdubh and its inhabitants come alive in this story. The characters are wonderfully original, the plot is cleverly crafted and intriguing to the end. There’s lots of humor and even the darker, bleaker parts of the story adds to its appeal. If you like to read light mystery filled with some humor and action then this is definitely going to be your choice!