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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: C & R Crime (19 Sep 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1472105257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472105257
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,708,264 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

Review

An enchanting series... M C Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery. (New York Times Book Review)

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

Review

'An enchanting series ... MC Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery.' (The New York Times Book Review)

'The detective novels of MC Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status.' (The Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
Hamish is invited to spend Christmas at a health farm on the island of Eileencraig by the owner, Jane Wetherby. Jane fears someone is trying to kill her. She has a group of friends staying with her over the Christmas period and she wants Hamish to see if he can find out who has got it in for her. Once Hamish arrives on the island he soon finds out that Jane is not popular and the islanders are hostile.

But it is not Jane who is murdered but one of her friends - Heather who is the snob of the title. Heather is a pretty unlikeable character who finds fault with her fellow guests including Hamish. The plot is complex and there are plenty of people with motives and it is only through Hamish's instinct for a mystery and the help of Harriet a fellow guest and cookery writer that the murderer is finally revealed.

I enjoyed this story even though it has hardly any of the Lochdubh favourites in it apart from Priscilla Halburton-Smyth. Hamish's boss, the irascible Blair makes a brief appearance - by helicopter. There is humour and well drawn characters and a plot which keeps the reader guessing - what more could anyone want in a crime story?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 14 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I love the Hamish Macbeth series but how much I enjoy individual books varies a lot, depending on the setting and the strength of the guest characters.

Sadly, the setting here is too formulaic for a murder mystery - Hamish stays at a hotel on an isolated island - to be of much interest. Also, Priscilla and the other well-loved residents of the village of Lochdubh, don't put in much of an appearance and, despite the humour resulting from Hamish being outside his normal environment, I soon tired of the health farm guests and the new-age prattling of the owner.

Overall then, a little disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Dec 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Police Constable Hamish Macbeth is miserable. He's sick . . . and no one seems to notice. He also is looking forward to visiting his family on his Christmas holiday . . . until he's warned off because his aunt who cannot stand him is coming from America. In a foul mood, he's not too excited when Priscilla Hallburton-Smythe asks him to talk to a guest, Jane Wetherby, at the family hotel (formerly the family castle) about two brushes with death and an inauspicious tea leaf reading. Meeting Jane, he's quickly impressed by her looks, her wealth, and her health farm (the Happy Wanderer) on remote Eileencraig. His mood lifts when he's able to inveigle an invitation for a free trip over Christmas to "look into things there." He leaves the exhausted Priscilla to trek to his parents' home to deliver Christmas presents in a terrible blizzard . . . and promptly forgets about her while becoming intrigued by the widowed cookbook author, Harriet Shaw, who becomes Dr. Watson to his Sherlock Holmes.

Naturally, Hamish is trying to fit in with the other guests . . . and not indicate that he's a policeman on holiday with a purpose. Choosing a cover as a forester, he's ripped up one side and down the other by one of the guests, Heather Todd, who is a social climbing communist sympathizer who favors any trendy left-wing cause for which she can hold a party. But you cannot blame Heather too much for her self-absorption: Her husband mainly likes to admire himself in the mirror. The other guests don't endear themselves to Hamish very much either. He soon wishes that he were anywhere else. And then, mysterious events start to occur. Jane disappears, and Hamish sets out to find her. Then one of the guests disappears and the search is even more challenging.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
It is Christmas time in Lochdubh, and the village constable, Hamish Macbeth, is laid low with a cold with no one to comfort him but his dog, Towser. Feeling sorry for himself, as he will be unable to visit his family for the holidays due to a change in circumstances, Hamish is also suffering the holiday blues.

When a visiting friend of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Jane Wetherby, who runs a health farm on the remote and lonely Scottish island of Eileencraig, stops by for his professional advice, because she believes someone is trying to kill her, Hamish is all ears. Having no holiday plans, Hamish agrees to spend time at the health farm with some of her paying guests, even though he believes Jane is a little wacky.

Soon, Hamish is off to Eileencraig with Jane. Upon their arrival, they are greeted by sullen, unfriendly islanders. The guests at the health farm are no great improvement, as they clearly have issues with each other. One in particular, Heather Todd, is totally obnoxious and a dreadful snob. So, when Heather goes missing and is discovered to have met an untimely end, Hamish is not surprised. His only concern is to discover who the murderer is, before it is too late.

This is the sixth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth. 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. 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 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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