Death of a Ghost review


Another Hamish Macbeth story. I enjoyed the story and following Hamish about again as he struggles to figure out the identity of the killer or killers. He is always a colorful character who tries to do what is right but has to dabble in the wrong now and then as well.

I found the ending rather vague – like a quick wrap up of information rather than storyline. But overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one in the series.

I give the book an A – it kind of covers old ground but still, it kept me reading till the end.


Death of a Liar review


Goodreads: Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is alarmed to receive a report from a woman in the small village of Cronish in the Scottish Highlands. She has been brutally attacked and the criminal is on the loose. But upon further investigation, Hamish discovers that she was lying about the crime. So when the same woman calls him back about an intruder, he simply marvels at her compulsion to lie. This time, though, she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must sort through all of her lies to solve the crime.

This is why it is policy in most police departments in America that you have to check out a call no matter what because you just never know when it could be the real deal.  Hamish waits until the next day to respond to the call and finds the poor woman murdered in her garden.

But who would kill her? What did the intruder want and did he get it? Several other murders, seemingly not linked to this one, crop up making one wonder just what the heck is going on.  Which is the same thing Hamish is wondering.

Will these murders end up in the cold case files? They seem rather unsolvable even with the help of both Elspeth and Priscilla.  Dick isn’t much help though he does come in handy here and there, especially when it is dinner time.

Poor Hamish is beginning to think any woman would do for a wife – even ones he just meets, he is that horny.  But oh what a tangle web he weaves.  Women are not his specialty.

Well written and entertaining – I give this last book in the series an A+.  This is the 30th book in the series – Beaton is supposed to have another out in 2016, or so I’ve read.  Now I can take a break knowing I am caught up – those kinds of things bother me.  Hate not finishing a series if I enjoy it.  Of course, these books aren’t long and airy in the descriptions of the décor which makes them way more enjoyable to me.  Pop the Champaign cork, I am DONE!

Death of a Chimney Sweep review


Goodreads: In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager’s fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn’t believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete’s body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it’s up to Hamish to discover who’s responsible for the dirty deed–and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.

Well, multiple murders later and Hamish is once again alone in his police station.  His constable doesn’t even last one day – a new record.  This story is a decent one – not my favorite but still interesting.

Lots of suspects, poor Hamish is truly confused through most of the plot.  It did a lot of twists and turns but the killer is apparent pretty early on – getting to the rest of it and through other murders…well, you will have to figure that out on your own.

Lots of high intrigue, visits by both of Hamish’s women, and even Angela has a larger part in this murder/mystery.  Love the Scottish Moors descriptions – it sounds like a lovely, if volatile, place to visit.

I give this installment in the mystery series an A.  Tomorrow it is Death of a Kingfisher leaving me just a couple more to go.  Really thought I would have tired of the series several books ago but Hamish keeps me going.  What will my favorite policeman encounter next?

Death of a Valentine review


Goodreads: Amazing news has spread across the Scottish countryside. The most famous of highland bachelors, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth, will be married at last. Everyone in the village of Lochdubh adores Josie McSween, Macbeth’s newest constable and blushing bride-to-be.

While locals think Josie is quite a catch, Hamish has a case of prenuptial jitters. After all, if it weren’t for the recent murder of a beautiful woman in a neighbouring village, there wouldn’t be a wedding at all. For it was a mysterious Valentine’s Day package–delivered to the victim before her death–that initially drew Hamish and Josie together on the investigation. As they work side by side, Hamish and Josie soon discover that the woman’s list of admirers was endless, confirming Hamish’s suspicion that love can be blind, deaf . . . and deadly.

So you have to ask yourself right off, why would Hamish marry Josie McSween? She is not the least bit likable despite what it says about everyone thinking he should marry her.  And who is “everyone”? Pretty much Mrs. Wellington.

This story wasn’t as good as the previous one but it still was decent and kept the list of suspects so muddled that it wasn’t until near the end of the book that I figured out who the killer was.

People aren’t what they seem – someone who seems to be a saint can be quite the sinner if you examine them close enough.  Of course, people who seem broken beyond repair, can also be a lot more together than you think as well.

Interesting side story as well making this a good story even if a bit cliché. I give it an A and will move on to the next one tomorrow.  I am almost caught up so will have to find other books to read soon.  On that note, Amanda Stevens is finally coming out, so she says, with two more books in the Graveyard Queen series in 2016.  I can’t wait.  If more of my favorite authors wrote regularly, I wouldn’t be reading so many Hamish Macbeth in a row.  😦

Death of a Witch review


Goodreads: Scottish policeman tall Hamish Macbeth gets repeated forebodings. Newcomer alluring Catriona Beldame supplies “herbs” to Lochdubh village men wanting to exercise “marital rights” their wives deny. Hamish threatens to kill her, finds her slashed; her house burns up as he leaves. Someone from her murdering past or interfering present has taken revenge.

Three other stabbings follow, finally a pair of scissors descend on the back of his old reporter friend Elspeth, after she writes baiting horoscopes “your sin will find you out .. curb your .. violent rages.” Romance also beckons from Strathbane’s former forensics expert Lesley Seaton, who bats “large very blue eyes” and brings home-made dinner.

It had to happen sooner or later – Hamish couldn’t luck out every time, now could he? Nope.

As usual, the above description isn’t correct – I often think they weren’t written by someone who actually read the book.  I’m glad I didn’t read it before reading the book because it tells too many things that I would have been disappointed  knowing in advance.

Hamish is a darling with his Highland hospitality and trying to be a good man while also finding a vicious killer.  Unfortunately, his goodness comes back to haunt him but he eventually gets the upper hand, thanks in part to Priscilla.

Great mystery – took a bit to figure out the killer and the motive but a person gets there eventually.  Couldn’t put the book down – checked it out from the library around 6:30 last night and my daughter-in-law returned it for me this morning on her way to work.  🙂

Have to give this one an A+ – hope the next ones are as entertaining.

Death of a Maid review


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


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.