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Death of a Sweep
Hamish Macbeth Series – Book XXVI
M C Beaton

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
24 February 2011/ ISBN 9781849010214
Mystery / Contemporary Scottish Highlands
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Hamish Macbeth is summoned to the dour village of Drim when a body is found stuffed up a chimney. The body belongs to bullying husband and ex-military man Captain Henry Davenport, and the main suspect is the sweep, Peter Ray, who was sweeping the chimney at the time. When Pete’s body is found on the moors the police conclude that he must have done the deed and driven away in a rush, crashing his car. Hamish thinks otherwise, and sets into motion a tale that will take some of the people involved to a variety of other countries.

This is perhaps wrongly classed as a “mystery” as you don’t have to wait long to discover whodunit. The fun lies in how long they will get away with it before Hamish runs them to earth, and of course in reading the latest entry in a very long-running series. By now we know many of the Lochdubh inhabitants and it is as much about them as the actual crime, although this being the work of an experienced author everything does have a bearing on the case. It is certainly a tortuous tale, taking place not only in the Highlands but also in London, Brazil, Florida and various other locations and of course it is a lot of fun. Nobody does this sort of thing quite like Ms Beaton, and by now any similarities with a certain TV series or even the earlier books seems far away and what is left is perhaps in a sub-genre all of its own. If you like this series, you will enjoy this exuberant frothy romp of a story.

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]


Reviewed 2011
© 2011