little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of
it is absolutely fatal.
-- Oscar Wilde
back to the Scottish Highlands with Sergeant Hamish Macbeth.
Hamish is still avoiding praises and promotions. His wild
cat has been replaced by a small white poodle called Sally
(he still misses Sonise). Constable Charlie is still living
at the Castle Hotel, and Elspeth is busy with her job.
and Charlie are responsible for the whole county so when a
new chap moves to Cnothan the two head out for a visit. Paul
English is a retired banker who “speaks as he finds.”
Hamish finds him just plain rude. Paul insults Hamish and
Charlie during the visit, and they soon learn Paul hasn’t
missed a chance to be “honest” with any of them.
Paul’s behavior is so crude, Hamish threatens to charge
him with a hate crime. Paul calls Hamish’s superior
Blair to file a complaint and it snowballs from there. Paul
is murdered and Hamish has a long list of suspects. The local
murder is just the beginning for Hamish. Various side stories,
including a change of constables in Lochdubh, and the usual
tussle with Blair keeps Hamish busy.
can expect a busy storyline. There isn’t as much humor
as in past mysteries, but it’s still entertaining. Beaton
introduces the new characters with clarity. The storyline
moves at a clip pace, and the wild cat/Sonise thread is very
imaginative. I think what I like about Beaton’s mysteries
is she say a lot with a few words. She engages the reader
with her characters, conversation, and humor all the while
giving them a lesson in human nature. I always come away from
an MC Beaton mystery satisfied.
Reviews of other titles in this series