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Death of a Kingfisher (Review 2)
Hamish Macbeth Murder Mysteries - Book XXVII
M C Beaton

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
15 March 2012 / ISBN: 9781849010221
Mystery / Contemporary / Scottish Highlands

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Nobody had paid much attention to local beauty spot Buchan's Wood before, but in a recession it is necessary to use any means to drum up money and employment. Thus the wood has been renamed The Fairy Glen by the council's new director of tourism, pretty Mary Leinster. It actually belongs to a rich and unpleasant old woman called Mrs Colchester, but she has been persuaded to open it to the tourists. When a kingfisher is found hanged from a branch, the incident sets in motion a very strange case indeed that is going to keep Hamish - and all the other local police - busy for quite a while.

A new Hamish Macbeth novel is a yearly event to be looked forward to. He is on top form here, saddled with a lazy (albeit rather canny) constable, and scratching his red hair over who wants Mrs Colchester dead. Expect a trawler fleet of red herrings, misplaced romance, much well-placed and often black humor, and a rattling good plot. Ms Beaton's forte is, perhaps, her pacing, and her ability to sum up a situation in a few words. This makes for a fast read that, when the final page has been turned, remains in the memory as being a much longer book thanks to being nicely crammed. It's far-fetched and unlikely but a lot of fun, with topical themes, lively characters and more to add to what is now a long serial indeed. This series shows no signs of running out of steam yet.

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 2012