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Death of a Poison Pen (Hamish Macbeth) Paperback – 5 Nov 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (5 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849012776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849012775
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


First rate... deft social comedy and wonderfully realized atmosphere. (Booklist)

Entertaining... [it will] keep the fans turning the pages. (Publishers Weekly)

An excellent yarn with a conclusion that I certainly did not expect. Hooray for Hamish! (

Book Description

The 19th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery from the bestselling M.C. Beaton

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Hamish Macbeth is a self-effacing village policeman who just wants a quiet life, and lives in perpetual dread of being promoted and having to move to Strathbane, or , even worse, Glasgow. The trouble is he is brilliant at solving crimes and has difficulty hiding his light under a bushel.
This time he has to investigate a nasty case of poison-pen letter writing, everyone is being targeted, and then one of the letter-writer's victims apparently kills herself, but Hamish is convinced it's murder.
As well as solving the crime, Hamish has to cope with Jenny Ogilvie, a friend of his old flame Priscilla, who has come to the Highlands to check him out, and is disappointed to find him less glamorous than she imagined.
Hamish is an engaging hero, and there are plenty of likeable supporting characters, and lots of humour, not to mention a charming Highland setting, which make his adventures enjoyable to read. In this episode, he finally manages to get it together with the lovely Elspeth, but unfortunately the tiresome Priscilla turns up at the end of the book. I do hope Hamish isn't going back to her, Elspeth is a much more interesting character.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Poison Pen represents a new high in the Hamish Macbeth series in terms of integrating a number of different story lines in neat and interesting fashion. Long-time fans of the series will find this book to be one of their favorites.

Jenny Ogilvie is jealous of her London colleague, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. Priscilla is engaged to be married while Jenny has just lost her boy friend when she mentions marriage. Yet Priscilla seems obsessed with her old friend (and former unofficial fiancé) from Lochdubh, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, and the cases they've worked on solving together. Jenny decides she would like to disturb Priscilla's cool exterior by attracting Hamish's attention. Feigning illness, she heads for Lochdubh.

Once there, Jenny is disappointed to see that Hamish doesn't fit her idea of a handsome Highlander . . . and is engaged in speaking with Elspeth Grant, a local reporter and astrologer. A lot of funny scenes follow as Jenny chases Hamish and ends up being paired instead with new reporter, Pat Mallone, who had fancied Elspeth until Jenny arrived.

But Jenny remains obsessed with the idea of solving a crime . . . even if Hamish ignores her. In the background, Jenny's London-based ideas of how to live keep getting her into trouble with the Highlanders.

Elspeth, in the meantime, finds her interest in Hamish to be dwindling as he continues to avoid becoming involved. But she recognizes Jenny as a rival and finds he competitive juices stoked.

There are also some goofy poison pen letters being received in Lochdubh and Braikie. Mrs. Wellington, the minister's wife, got one accusing her of having an affair with Hamish. Well, hardly!
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the twentieth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable highlander, Hamish Macbeth. In charge of law and order in the town of Lochdubh and its environs in Northern Scotland, Hamish wishes nothing more than to tend to his little plot of land and make sure everyone lives in peace. Unfortunately, murder sometimes rears its ugly head, and it is up to Hamish to discover just who the miscreant is that is causing all the trouble.

As always, the book is laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, and the dialogue creates a feeling of authenticity of place, making the book highly enjoyable. One does not read these books for their literary value. One reads them purely for the fun of it.

This time, Hamish is initially confounded when a series of malicious poison pen letters start circulating among his constituency. When a local postmistress is discover dead by hanging, with a poison pen letter left by her swinging body, Hamish believe it to be murder and not a suicide. Just who is sending these letters and murdering the locals is what Hamish seeks to discover. Of course, waiting in the wings to assist him is intrepid local reporter Elspeth Grant, who has her eye on our handsome highlander. Believe me, it is not only a story that she is looking to get.

As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery, and the characters are certainly quirky and entertaining, adding to the charm of the series. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a character that is a winner. I love this series of cozy mysteries!
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Format: Paperback
There's been a spate of poison pen letters and Hamish is struggling to get to the bottom of the mystery when the post mistress is found hanging. What appears to be suicide proves to be murder. Hamish has an admirer - a friend of his former fiancée Priscilla - who has come to stay in Lochdubh. But Hamish has other fish to fry and soon realises what Jenny is up to.

I found this a really enjoyable to story to read and the plot was quite complex with many twists and turns before the murderer is finally unmasked. Hamish's marvellous knowledge of people - and the villagers especially - is much to the fore and he proves once again he is better at his job that his hated superior - Blair would like to think.

This is an excellent series with many memorable characters and some intriguing plots. I recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed this author's other series - Agatha Raisin, and to anyone who enjoys novels by such authors as Veronica Heley, Hazel Holt or Rebecca Tope.
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