Death of a Maid review

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Goodreads: Mrs. Gillespie is famous around the northwest of Sutherland for being the best charwoman ever. Of course, if anyone has any social pretensions one does not say charwoman, one talks about “my maid”. Hamish Macbeth wins Mrs. Gillespie’s services in a church raffle but spends most of the day trying to avoid her. She is a malicious gossip and she bangs around the furniture and clanks pots–he wonders how on earth she managed to get such a good reputation. Then she is found dead in a large house belonging to a retired professor who was out the day she was killed. She has been struck down by a metal bucket of water. Remembering Mrs. Gillespie’s malicious gossip, Hamish is sure she delighted in finding out secrets and probably searched through the drawers of the houses she cleaned, which means everyone whose home she cleaned could be a suspect.

Really don’t know where they get the above descriptions but the maid did not die in the house belonging to a retired professor but in the garden on her way to her car.  Nor was the maid famous for cleaning.  In fact, her cleaning was positively terrible.

Is it blackmail? Is it power? Money? Maybe it is all three – a trifecta of crime.  Poor Hamish, always getting the short end of the stick.  Blair is particularly vicious to many of the characters – his callous, racist attitude comes to light in ugly ways.

Oh the horror of it all.  The story flowed quite well and I enjoyed reading it – I do believe I will take a break now.  Yes, I know I keep saying that but I’m going to take a break from all reading for several days – maybe a whole week.  My eyes have been bothering me so think they could use the rest.

I do believe Hamish is going to stay alone for quite some time and though I don’t care for Priscilla, I did like Elspeth for him but he prefers his animals.  He hates his little peaceful life disturbed by women.  Poor man, so misunderstood.  :-)

Give the book an A.  Wish I could write like this.

Death of a Dreamer review

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Goodreads: The rugged landscape of Scotland attracts dreamers who move north, wrapped in fantasies of enjoying the simple life. They usually don’t last, but it looks as if Effie Garrard has come to stay. When Constable Hamish Macbeth calls on her, he’s amazed that she weathered the difficult winter. But Effie is quite delusional, imagining that she’s engaged to local artist Jock Fleming. Later, Effie is found in the mountains, poisoned by hemlock.

OK, I’m fairly certain that Effie was poisoned by anti-freeze, not hemlock.  Not sure why the summaries get it wrong – unless, of course, hemlock is Scottish for anti-freeze.  But whatever.

Effie is one not playing with a full deck and imagines that Jock is head over heels in love with her – though from the very beginning he tries to avoid her.  She is pushy, stalking, and quite delusional.  You almost feel sorry for Jock…almost.

Hamish has a lot of woman problems himself for there is a plethora of them vying for his attention.  Gossip goes around having him attached to each of the women in some way or another, leaving Hamish ready to swear off women altogether.  Yeah, like he ever would.

Have to say, I guessed the murderer the moment they appeared in the book.  It didn’t take away from the storyline but the motive was hard to comprehend.  You will have to read it to see what I mean.

Great story – well worth the time.  There were a few things that I thought was a bit slow.  Love the personalities of Hamish’s cat and dog.  Splendid! I give the book an A.

Death of a Bore review

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Goodreads: Minor writer John Heppel has a problem–he’s a consummate bore. When he’s found dead in his cottage, there are plenty of suspects. But surely boredom shouldn’t be cause for murder, or so thinks Constable Hamish Macbeth.

Rather interesting little tale but not one of my favorites.  Hamish is dandy but the story was a trifle “eh”.  Hamish has a murder to solve – that of the pseudo writer who seems to fancy himself a popular writer.  He bores the entire village to death and someone finally plugs him but good.

Elspeth makes a come-back and one has to wonder if her and Hamish will have a thing but, alas, the copper remains celibate.  The author has some notion that Hamish and Priscilla belong together which I disagree 100% with.  I have never liked Priscilla and don’t see how their relationship could ever work without a major overhaul to her character.  Why would Hamish want a cold fish like her when he could have myriads of other women? She acts so superior all the time – which, yes, that is the author’s fault but it leaves very little to like about the character.

The book was decent and moved along relatively quickly but seemed to lack something.  I give it a B+ for scenery and the like.

Pretty sure it is past my bedtime.

 

Death of a Poison Pen review

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Goodreads: When the residents of Lochdubh begin receiving poison pen letters, no one takes them seriously. But Constable Hamish Macbeth fears them, and his instincts prove correct when the postmistress is found hanging from a rope with a vicious poison pen letter at her feet.

Oh Hamish, how do you get yourself into such messes? Why can’t you just take the “easy” way out and let the lackeys higher up classify a murder as a suicide, just this once? Because he is Hamish Macbeth, defender of the poor, downcast and adamant believer in justice for all!

Still, he doesn’t win any points for butting in on murders, especially from that prig Blair.  But the poor little postmistress lived a quiet, uneventful life – so he thinks – and deserves justice for an obviously sneaky murder.  Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg and before you know it, others are dead or kidnapped.

His love life is fully covered – whose blouse is on the floor? Could it be the cold Priscilla, the fun Elspeth, or the newcomer, Jenny?  Ah, I’m not going to read and tell!

Another fun book by M.C. Beaton.  High in intrigue and quick-moving, the book flew by and I had that usual let down feeling because I didn’t want it to end just yet.  Lugs, his faithful companion, is a dear…but is he so faithful? Where does he sneak around to when his master is out solving crime? Hmmm.

Have to give this one an A and am trying very hard not to go on to the next one tonight.  My eyes are too tired and I have a massive headache so probably should take a day off from reading…probably. :-)

Death of a Village review

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Goodreads: Trouble is afoot in a Scottish fishing village as Constable Macbeth finds the pub empty, the church full, and the air permeated with fear. With the help of a journalist, Macbeth begins to ferret out the truth. 

What is the truth – that my life is so pathetic that I read one Macbeth book after another trying to prolong my voyage into this policeman’s life – or that the writer is go good that she traps me into reading one after another with her descriptions, lovely little villages, and a policeman who’s like none other? I lean toward the latter but maybe I’m just fooling myself.

This village changes from a bustling place where residents are all but rude to the visitors – to a village that won’t speak to a soul and goes to church every day of the week.  What is up with that? Hamish realizes right away that something very queer is going on but it takes him a while to get down to the truth.

But is that the only mystery? What about residents dying at a retirement home in another town? Or a bar owner whose bar is broken into? How many people will die? Will Hamish sleep with the lovely reporter at long last or will he continue to be celibate? Just what is going on out there?

Loved the descriptions of the cliffs and caves – it is a nice addition to the landscaping of previous books.

The book goes through so many different mysteries yet flows like Hershey’s chocolate syrup over a creamy mound of ice cream.  Really was sad to see this one end.  I give it an A+ and look forward to the next one.  Reading the books so closely together, I can see how M.C. Beaton has improved and grown along with the glorious Hamish Macbeth.  :-)

Death of a Celebrity review

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Goodreads: Murder on the Telly Lochdubh, a remote village reached only by a one-track lane, nestles serenely amid Scotland’s hills…until well-known TV reporter Crystal French races into town in her bright BMW. And Constable Hamish Macbeth, dourly wed to duty instead of the fiancee who dumped him, promptly gives her a summons for reckless driving. Outraged, Crystal makes Macbeth’s life a misery with a TV report on policing in the Highlands. When she also rakes up old local scandals for her new hit show, Macbeth notes that someone besides himself might be dead keen to stop her. Then someone does-with stealth and violence. Now, finding out who did it will lead the laconic Macbeth down roads he never envisioned, into a dark story of passion and vengeance…and perhaps a crisis of the heart all his own.

Ah, Hamish – such a fascinating copper who finds himself attracted to all the eligible ladies, yet almost always goes to bed alone.  Beaton makes him sound so romantic but at the same time, female readers realize he’d be hell to live with in real life.  Set in his ways, he hates change and is always a day late and a dollar short in love.

This story has it all – murder, suicide, attempted suicide, attempted murder – you begin to believe no one is safe…and you’d be correct.  Loved the descriptions – even of the victim who is using her beauty and sex appeal to sleep her way up the ladder, though felt she was a bit of a stereo-type.  Though she isn’t in it much before she dies, the reader still feels a sense of satisfaction and justice that she does because she is everything we love to despise.

Hamish could “envision” passion and vengeance…this was his 18+ murder for crying out loud. But whatever.  This story is fast moving with many little twists.  The author gave Blair a break and put in another detective who actually got along with Hamish better than any detectives before.  That was a bit refreshing.

Hamish has a lively time solving the murder and romancing the different characters.  His style makes me always look forward to the next book which I will probably read tomorrow if I get the chance.

Gave the book an A for how intriguing it was and also that it was a refreshing 180 pages.  :-)  More of Hamish is always a good thing.

 

Death of a Dustman review

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Goodreads: Dustman Fergus Macleod, abusive drunk, collects Lochdubh (Lok-doo) trash under Councillor Mrs Freda Fleming, TV star wannabe publicizing ‘green’ model village. Everyone laughs at his new uniform. The bully swears revenge and ends up dead in a wheelie bin. Can Sgt Hamish Macbeth solve murders, hide blackmail, and save lazy gourmet cook Constable from wedding new widow? 

So what, you may ask, is a “dustman”? Yes, a garbage collector.  Who would have thunk it?

Hamish has a murder to solve when Fergus goes and gets himself murdered.  People in town find him a bully as he takes his revenge on them for various imagined infractions, by not picking up their garbage.

Everyone seems to have a reason for wanting the man dead and most of them have a secret of some kind that they are keeping from Hamish, much to his dismay.  So many suspects.  Than another murder happens leaving Hamish totally confused about who could have done such a thing.

This book seemed to have a lot of running around talking to the same people over and over until I would gladly have killed half the town.  It was slower than any in the series thus far – it was harder to stay interested in the killings or even the grand landscape.

Blair is his obnoxious self – I found myself hoping he would be tossed from the police force because I don’t like his character in the story – but I guess there has to be one of those people.

Anyway, for the headache it gave me, I give the book a B-.