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Death of a Travelling Man
Hamish Macbeth - Book IX

by M C Beaton


Hamish Macbeth is no longer a humble constable, but a sergeant after his commendable crime solving in Death of a Glutton (also reviewed on this site).† He even has a constable of his own to boss about—but PC Willie Lamont has no talent for police work and seems obsessed merely with cleaning and housework.† To make matters worse, a soi-disant "gypsy" couple have arrived in a caravan, and instantly everything changes for the worse.† Handsome Sean Gourlay seems to be evil, but quite how, and exactly what he has done, is going to take some police work to uncover.† None of which is going to be accomplished with any help from Willie!

The Tommel Castle Hotel and its posh guests take a back seat this time, and at last we have a mystery centered almost entirely on the village.† This means that we finally get to know the villagers a little more, although this is not Ms. Beatonís best work.† Some of the sparkling satire is missing, and the "story so bizarre" mentioned on the back cover of the edition I read is fairly easily guessed.† This set me thinking that maybe social satire—particularly that which centers around anybody with pretensions to be posh—is truly Ms. Beatonís metier, whereas this type of village drama is not.† There is still plenty to enjoy however, with the hopelessly domestic Willie, the Italian restaurant and its denizens, and of course Hamish his own delightful self.

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)
January 2009
1845297342 / 9781845297343
Mystery / 1993 Highlands, Scotland
NOTE: US edition is different

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009