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Death of a Scriptwriter
Hamish Macbeth - Book XIV

by M C Beaton


Strathclyde Television wants to make a series based on the books of Patricia Martyn-Broyd. Out of print since the 1960s and rather dated even then, they feature an aristocratic Scottish detective called Lady Harriet Vare who lives in a castle. No wonder that the village of Drim, not far from Lochdubh is so perfect, and the writer even now lives nearby herself. But the TV company’s version of the books is nothing like the author wrote, and she is about to be confronted by that fact. When somebody gets murdered, the author is keen to get her friendly local bobby Hamish Macbeth to solve the case himself.

Having seen the TV series based on these books I cannot help but imagine that was what the author was thinking of when she wrote this, and so perhaps this is the most satirical of all her books. The scene of the crime returns to the strange village of Drim, and there is plenty to enjoy as the series starts being filmed and everything starts to unravel. This is a rather linear story that lacks some of the body of the series’ strongest titles, but is still very entertaining as Ms Beaton sets about lampooning modern TV companies and their tendencies when dramatising books, weird villages and old fashioned writers. Just sit back and enjoy.

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] [uk 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 [audio] [book]

Death of an Honest Man #33 [audio] [book]

The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
July 2009
1845299094 / 9781845299095
Mystery / 1998 / Highlands, Scotland
More at US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009