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
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.
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