In dark, wintry Lochdubh, Christmas Cheer is about as welcome as a flat tyre on a deserted road. The Calvinist element in town has always resisted what they view as secular frivolity, so for most of the townsfolk there'll be no carols, feasting, gifts - or even whisky on Christmas Day! And for PC Hamish Macbeth there's no holiday from crime - he finds himself hunting for a missing cat belonging to a lonely spinster. Curt and unfriendly, the woman is convinced her pet has been stolen but once behind her heavily-bolted door, Hamish can spot her true problem - she lives in fear, though of who or what he cannot guess. Then someone steals a Christmas tree and lights from the nearby village of Cnothan. So it is up to Hamish to sort all these problems out and he had better do it quickly, for the church bells will soon peal on the eve of Christmas.
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.