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Death of a Dreamer
Hamish Macbeth mystery, No. 24

by M C Beaton

      Artist Effie Garrand comes to the village of Lochdubh to sell her paintings and enjoy the simple life. In spring, after an unusually severe winter, Hamish Macbeth drives up to her remote cottage to check on her welfare. She seems fine until a landscape artist from Glasgow, Jock Fleming, moves into the village. Effie stalks him and convinces herself that they are engaged and she is pregnant. He denies this and there is a violent argument. Shortly thereafter Effie is found dead on the mountain, poisoned by hemlock in a bottle of wine.

She is believed to be a suicide because of Jock's rejection. Hamish is not convinced and digs deeper into Effie's past to find she was passing off another artist's paintings as her own. Hamish's superior and nemesis, Detective Chief Inspector Blair, has an accident which puts him in the hospital and out of Hamish's way. His assistant, Jimmy Anderson, lends support to Hamish in his search for the truth.

Hamish's private life becomes more complicated than usual. He is urgently becoming interested in Betty Barnard, an artist's agent interested in Effie's works. But Pricilla Halburton-Smythe, a former frustrated love interest, returns to help out in her family hotel. Then Elspeth Grant arrives from Glasgow to cover Effie's murder, and renews her affair with Hamish.

This is another refreshing adventure with the brilliant, lonely, frustrated-in-love Macbeth. He is a likeable and believable character. The plotting is intricate with a cast of characters who are people you would come in contact with in your every day life. The story is absorbing and enjoyable with a taste of highland life and breathtaking descriptions of the Scottish landscapes. It is amusing to observe poor Hamish's dilemmas in his love life. You can only hope that he finds someone besides his pet dog, Lugs, and cat, Sonsie, to share his life.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Death of a Gossip #1
Death of a Cad #2
Death of an Outsider #3
Death of a Macho Man #12
Death of a Dentist #13
Death of a Scriptwriter #14
Death of an Addict #15
A Highland Christmas #15.5
Death of a Dustman #16  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Celebrity #17  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Village #18
Death of a Poison Pen #19
Death of a Bore #20  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Dreamer #21 [audio] [book 1 ] [book 2]
Death of a Maid #22  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Gentle Lady #23  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Witch #24  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Valentine #25  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Chimney Sweep #26  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Kingfisher #27  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of Yesterday #28  [audio] [ book]
Death of a Policeman #29  [audio] [book]
Death of a Liar #30  [audio] [book]
Death of a Nurse #31  [audio] [book]
Death of a Ghost #32

The Book

Mysterious Press/Warner
Feb 22,2006
Mystery - Scotland

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2006
© 2006