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Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

M. C. Beaton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: 4.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2013 Hamish Macbeth Mysteries
"Offbeat, utterly endearing. . ." Booklist
A Hamish Macbeth Mystery
Nobody in the Scottish town of Cnothan had much liked William Mainwaring. The abrasive Englishman rubbed everyone the wrong way. And now that he's been murdered, nobody seems to mind. Constable Hamish Macbeth happens to be on temporary duty in Cnothan when the killer strikes, and now, like it or not, he's got to solve the crime and bring the killer to justice. But the closed-mouthed locals seem to be hiding many secrets. And as Hamish slowly pieces together a tale of illicit romance, secret vices, real-estate swindles and witchcraft, he begins to wonder if he will soon be joining Mainwairing . . .
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries) + Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth) + Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (30 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455524077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455524075
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M C Beaton was born in Scotland. She worked for many years as a journalist on Fleet Street.

As well as the bestselling Agatha Raisin series, she is the author of the acclaimed Hamish Macbeth mysteries.

She divides her time between the Cotswolds, where she lives in a village very much like Agatha's beloved Carsely, and Paris.

Product Description


The detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. (The Times )

Beaton, a Scot herself, excels at giving readers a taste of Highland life and creating a believable character in the lonely, brilliant, continually frustrated-in-love Macbeth. (Booklist )

Looking for escape? Tired of waiting for Brigadoon to materialise? Time for a trip to Lochdubh... where M C Beaton sets her beguiling whodunits featuring Constable Hamish Macbeth (New York Times Book Review ) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The third in the much loved Hamish Macbeth series from the author of the bestselling Agatha Raisin series - reissued and rejacketed. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine Beaton recipre 4 Mar 2009
First published in 1988, the third of Marion Chesney's (writing as M.C.Beaton) Hamish Macbeth Mysteries (following 'Death of a Gossip' and 'Death of a Cad' - 'Death of a Perfect Wife' follows in the sequence). And an excellent little whodunnit this is. Chesney is a very skilled writer - she writes under a number of pseudonyms and has written romance as well as mystery - and she varies her style and 'voice' very professionally (you can contrast her Agatha Raisin series, something of an ironic and acerbic take on Miss Marple, with her Hamish Macbeth - the characterisation, the style, the dynamic of the books is radically different ... and Hamish bears no comparison with Poirrot).

Here we have Hamish wheeched away from Lochdubh and sent to the even more remote Cnothan to cover the prolonged holiday taken by its established policeman. Hamish is not going to be welcomed with open arms, but he has the wit and charm to warm the locals to him. He does not have the means, however, to warm to the demands of a particularly obnoxious white settler, an objectionable English incomer who has managed to alienate the whole village and most of the surrounding countryside. Should this man meet a suspicious end, there will be no end of suspects. And, of course, like Poirrot, wherever Hamish goes, murder most foul is certain to be his travelling companion.

It's a very nicely written mystery, lovely characterisation, witty, well paced, a real page turner. Marion Chesney writes very entertaining stories - real curl up in bed or in front of a decent fire jobs - and this is one of her best. Hamish is an endearing character - he's not a genius, but his little grey cells do get there eventually, and he has excellent social skills, if alarming social graces. There are some neat little swipes at the English (well, Home Counties), and some tongue-in-cheek asides about Highland lifestyle, so it will keep you amused as well as engaged. Very good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In this third book in this cozy mystery series, Constable Hamish Macbeth, along with his dog, Towser, is parted from his beloved village of Lochdubh, when he is temporarily transferred to the village of Cnothan for several months to cover for a fellow officer who is on an extended vacation.

Unhappy at this turn of events, Hamish tries to make the best of it, though the villagers are far from friendly. Things start looking up for Hamish, when he catches the eye of Jenny, a pretty young local artist. She helps Hamish take his mind off Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, who has taken off for London. Then, a murder takes place, and Hamish is firmly in his element, despite obstacles thrust in his way by none other than Deputy Chief Inspector Blair.

Laced with sly humor and engaging characters, this series gets better with each book. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mysteries are intriguing, they are the framework around which the characters evolve. In the endearing character of Hamish Macbeth, the author, a born storyteller, has created a sure fire winner, who is bound to win many fans of the cozy mystery genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS MORE LIKE IT! 19 May 2010
Hamish Macbeth's third murder mystery, and easily the best so far. Here he is very much centre stage, without the previous two novels' dated contrivances to create a setting for victims and suspects.

We join him disgruntled, he and mongrel Towser forced for three months to leave his beloved Lochdubh to replace a sergeant in cheerless Cnothan, a town dominated by Struthers, its hellfire Minister.

The most unpopular person around is Mainwaring, still regarded as an outsider although he has lived there eight years. An officious busybody and know-all, he relishes alienating everybody in sight. How the outsider becomes an insider (in every sense of the word) makes a deliciously macabre read - circumstances best not known, though, by London's elite.

Enjoying much coffee and gossip (not to mention the charms of neighbour Jenny), Hamish solves all. Though by nature easy-going, he is a force to be reckoned with. Witness his instant revenge on the ghillie and crony who play a cruel joke. Even Blair, his blustering bully of a boss, has occasion to be wary.

With allegations of witchcraft, a skeleton found inside a ring of standing stones, this book throughout is a quirky delight - Hamish himself its greatest pleasure. There is something enormously appealing about a policeman who, when happy, secretly performs cartwheels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Policeman Hamish Macbeth is pulled away from his beloved Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands to the dark village of Cnothan, where undercurrents run faster and deadlier than any native river. It isn't long before he's come up against the local Sassenach outsider, William Mainwaring, and not long after that he's dealing with his death. In his short time here, Hamish has already learnt Mainwaring was the type to collect enemies like a jam jar does wasps, but had he ever stirred up enough to incite murder? It seems that once again, Hamish must go against the tortoise shell-like investigation techniques of his superior and nemesis Blair to solve this crime, as well as discover a missing drunkard, head of the suspect list...

To me, Hamish Macbeth is a little like the early male version of Agatha Raisin, of which books I've read a fair few; they each have certain characteristics that can get a little irritating after a while, the way they're portrayed. And having never seen the programme version, which seemed to endear itself to millions, I couldn't warm to this series, though I tried to read a couple of them.
However, this particular story was much more readable, in my opinion, with a fast pace, sufficient puzzles to keep you turning pages and just the right mix of romance, mystery and real life to make it a good read. On the strength of this, I may try another...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A new village, a new murder...
I've been reading these in order, so this is the third of the series.
This was my favourite so far; whether this is because I know the characters a little more or just because... Read more
Published 14 days ago by YeahYeahNoh
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I love all the Hamish Macbeth books, they are very entertaining.
Published 14 days ago by CarolM
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful Hamish MacBeth tale
I love the tales of Hamish MacBeth; I have read each novel & can't wait until the next book is available. Read more
Published 25 days ago by David Bailie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read from M C Beaton
In this 3rd Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, Hamish is told to temporarily relocate to the nearby village of Cnothan to cover the police station there whilst the resident police... Read more
Published 2 months ago by E Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamish MacBeth
Fantastic book, as are all the Hamish MacBeth books; once I start one I cant put it down. Even better than the Agatha Raisin books.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. H. M. Lackey
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy and entertaining read
I thought I remembered a series featuring a person called 'Hamish Macbeth' so thought I would try reading this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Susan Brittain
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant Hamish Macbeth story
Another excellent light-hearted detective storey set in the Scottish Highlands, with Hamish Macbeth as the main character. A good, relaxing read.
Published 6 months ago by S E. Skelton
5.0 out of 5 stars a cut above the rest
as a devotee of Hamish Macbeth I found the storyline of this particular book both full and intriguing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by judith anna beaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Love all the series
A lovely Hamish Macbeth tale, they all make me want to be up in the highlands. Nice gentle stories, often with a twist, nothing too horrid with good characters and descriptions. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mrs susan leedale
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the rest
Always a good read but this was not as good as the other titles I have read.
Still a great light hearted read.
Published 10 months ago by Mimms
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