Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beaton's 'Last Writes' a Good One!
In "Death of a Scriptwriter," M.C. Beaton brings us the fourteenth installment of the Hamish Macbeth series--and she is in her element!
Set in the Scottish Highlands, in the village of Lochdubh, this series is a nice read--nothing too complicated, full of local Scottish color (with both its characters and its setting), lots of delightful red herrings, and...
Published on 27 Mar. 2000 by Billy J. Hobbs

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good entertainment
if you are looking for an easy to read mystery for on the train or whenever you can spare a moment, this is the one for you. Not too challenging and from time to time a bit of a drag, but never the less a good time-filler if you like your crime with a bit of highland charme and a laugh.
Published on 29 May 2008 by Brigitte


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beaton's 'Last Writes' a Good One!, 27 Mar. 2000
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
In "Death of a Scriptwriter," M.C. Beaton brings us the fourteenth installment of the Hamish Macbeth series--and she is in her element!
Set in the Scottish Highlands, in the village of Lochdubh, this series is a nice read--nothing too complicated, full of local Scottish color (with both its characters and its setting), lots of delightful red herrings, and logical solutions. This series, the titles of which always begin with "Death of a...," is quite a successful one and one which takes little time to read. Macbeth, the local constable, is proud of the fact that he is not an ambitious soul. Despite the fact that he has solved thirteen previous murders, he is still a constable. He refuses to be promoted as he claims he is too happy in Lochdubh to want to advance to a larger city. He is filled with lots of common sense and while often the villagers give him a hard time ("He's too lazy," they claim.), they highly respet him and have come to his rescue more
than once.
He's not so lucky with his own love life, however, and seems to fall in love with any woman who shows interest. The real love, Priscilla Smythe-Halliburton, has moved to London, after he had broken off the engagement, and appears intermittently in all the books of the series.
In "Death of a Scriptwriter," a television crew appears in Macbeth's bailiwick to film a novel written by an English spinster who has moved to Lochdubh. Her books were never much of a success, but this one was picked up by the BBC. She is delighted that at long last, fame is coming her way. She is so overjoyed that she fails to retain the complete rights to her book; a screen writer is hired to "modernize" the plot and characters (in other words, to add lots of sex and violence to the rather staid Victorian tale). Disagreements among the TV crew members erupt and, viola, the screenwriter (an impossible sort, unliked and unloved by anybody, and quite impossible to work with) is found dead; shortly thereafter, the star of the film (who is to appear nude in some scenes) is killed when she "falls" off a boulder; her alcoholic husband has also been found dead! (Bodies seem more plentiful than the last act of "Hamlet"!) Everyone seems to be a suspect! Macbeth, in his plodding, but thorough way, of course, leads us to the conclusion, wherein all deaths are solved, and the reader then is set up to await the next installment.
This book is a fun-read. Ms Beaton is in her element--she's writing about what she seems to know a lot about herself--authors, screenwriters, and television crews (this series is being filmed in England and we can only hope that A&E or PBS will bring it to us over here!). Beaton devotees will love this one!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PLOT THICKENS..., 8 Mar. 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
From the moment that a group of filmmakers arrive in a town near the village Lochdubh in northern Scotland, Constable Hamish Macbeth has his hands full. The filmmakers are there to film a television series based upon some genteel cozy mysteries. The author's work, however, has undergone a complete revamp at the hands of a completely odious scriptwriter, who has changed the author's work into an unrecognizable sexual romp.

It appears that the aging author, in her initial delight at having her cozy mysteries being singled to be televised, did not read the fine print of her contract. Needless to say, the author is outraged at this travesty and is without recourse, having to grin and bear it. After all, she did sign a binding contract giving the filmmakers the right to make any changes in her work they see fit. Moreover, to add fuel to the fire, it appears that the local yokels have become star struck and are acting somewhat foolishly.

As dead bodies start to pile up, the author, villagers, cast, and crew get a thorough going over by Hamish. There are many twists and turns in this book, as any number of the characters in the book have had some sort of axe to grind with the dead. As always, the journey to discover just who the murderer is is great fun. The book is peppered with sly humor, some dotty villagers, and enjoyable characters. Those characters who are bumped off are usually quite unlikable, leaving the reader with no regrets about their departure. In this fourteenth book of the Hamish Macbeth series of cozy mysteries, the author does not disappoint.

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 has created a sure fire winner, who has won over the many fans of the cozy mystery genre. One does not read these books for their literary value. One reads them purely for the fun of it.

One additional point of interest is that I noted that this book was published after the television series based upon Hamish Macbeth was scripted and televised. The televised version bore little resemblance to the Hamish Macbeth of this series of cozy mysteries. So, I wonder if, perhaps, this little book serves as a commentary by the author upon her experience with the dramatization of her beloved character. Clearly, the author has had the last word.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars M.C. BEATON HAVING FUN, 11 July 2011
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
A television film crew descends on nearby dour Drim, the village "a living grave with resident ghouls". Elderly Patricia Martyn-Broyd's genteel detective novel is being dramatised, she unaware of the raunchy updating with a porn star as its lead....

Here is a volatile group comprising director, producer, stars, extras, long suffering assistants. Inflated egos, posturing frauds, ominous undercurrents are rampant - conditions ripe for a death or two. Scriptwriter Jamie Gallagher, an odious drunken bully, is the first to go - he found with crows pecking out his eyes. Hamish Macbeth discovers the body but, as usual, is shoved aside as blustering DCI Blair takes over the case.

One can imagine M.C. Beaton chuckling as she wrote this fourteenth adventure - the television crew that adapted her Hamish Macbeth stories, of course, NOTHING like this lot. Admittedly, though, they DID make many changes which irritated lovers of the books - the series nonetheless immensely popular. Watch out for one or two in-jokes. Plockton in Ross is suggested as a possible location. ("Plockton!" sneered Jamie. "Thon village has been used in two detective series already.") In fact it doubled as TV Hamish's Lochdubh. Anxious to challenge the restraints inflicted on peak time weekend viewing, Jamie asks, "Who the hell is going to object to pot smoking these days?" (Controversy flared when it was leaked Robert Carlyle's Hamish would be doing that on screen.)

The fun here includes the wily, unconventional constable continuing to hack into DCI Blair's computer (the everchanging password always an expletive), a minister's wife destined to shock her dour control freak husband, Hamish yet again triumphing as his bosses gape.

Yes, this is a glorious addition to the series - M.C. Beaton and Hamish both at their best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny witty and warm cozy, 23 May 1998
By A Customer
Septuagenarian Patricia Martyn-Broyd used to be a prolific writer, but has not written anything in years. Her books are out of print and mostly forgotten. However, that changes when executive producer Harry Frome decides to make a movie out of Patricia's novel, The Case of the Rising Tide.
Patricia's ecstasy soon turns to horror when she observes the poetic license the film-maker is taking with her beloved novel. Not only have they changed the time and place, they have added nude scenes that shock the elderly spinster. However, nothing is more shocking than the murder of the screenwriter. Scotsman Hamish Macbeth, the local constable, begins to investigate, but is abruptly removed from the case by his officious superiors, who want a fast solution. A second murder occurs and Hamish believes that the outside investigators are looking in the wrong direction. He renews his inquiries even though he knows that it may cost him his career for ignoring a direct order.
DEATH OF A SCRIPT WRITER is one of the best entries in the long running Macbeth series. The novel is simply an enjoyable who-done-it due to the intriguing puzzle with its many viable suspects. The gentle Hamish's lust for life deservedly makes him a revered character. M.C. Beaton continues to provide some of the top Scottish cozies of the nineties.

Harriet Klausner
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film crew upsets village life, 21 April 2011
By 
A film crew looking for a location in which to film a new detective series for television calls in on Hamish who recommends them to try the nearby village of Drim which has a suitably sinister appearance. He also thinks it might liven up the villagers a little.

The author of the books on which the new detective series is to be based lives locally and is not very popular with the locals because she is a bit of a snob. With a drunken scriptwriter, a leading lady played by an actress who is more famous for her body than her acting ability and a minister's wife who is just about at the end of her tether the scene is set for mayhem if not murder.

Hamish himself joins in the search for the missing scriptwriter though as ever he is not allowed to take part in the murder enquiry thanks to his objectionable superior - Blair. But that doesn't stop him talking to people and having his own opinion about who did it. I enjoyed this story which is rather darker in its elements than some of this series.

Hamish's well known knowledge of human nature is much in evidence as is his attention to detail. Of course he is still pining for the lovely Priscilla but that doesn't stop him looking for another girl friend. Recommended to anyone who likes their crime stories to be based on character.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner in the MacBeth series!, 11 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
Our favorite highland detective does it again! M.C. Beaton returns us to Lochdubh, Cnothan, and Drim to help Hamish solve another case. I read this book in one sitting--now what to do all summer? This book is consistent with the rest of the MacBeth series, the settings and characters are old friends. I find that I personally care less about the resolution of the murder than I do about the wonderfully quirky characters and their daily lives.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Cosy crime-solving, 6 July 2011
By 
T. Bently "tbently" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I much prefer Hamish Macbeth to Agatha Raisin and - for me - Death of a Scriptwriter is one of M.C. Beaton's most enjoyable books. I think this is because the central character (the guest star as it were) is so unusual and vividly described. In fact, she's more than a little similar to Ms Raisin!

Patricia Martyn-Broyd is a middle-aged, some-time English crime writer who hopes a move to the Scottish Highlands will rekindle her creative talents. However, her old-fashioned attitudes do little to prepare her for the arrival of a tv production team led by a short-tempered scriptwriter, hoping to sex up her tame tale for modern audiences. Will the authoress - and her fictional crime-solver Lady Harriet - be able to survive the plunge into late Twentieth century mores?

This book is almost worth reading just for philately joke at the end. The mix of gentle humour and traditional mystery story works magnificently in Beaton's hands. The evocation of Highlands life is particularly deft and it came as no surprise to learn from Wikipedia that Ms. Beaton is Scottish herself, rather than the Cotswold cottager I had initially supposed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good entertainment, 29 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
if you are looking for an easy to read mystery for on the train or whenever you can spare a moment, this is the one for you. Not too challenging and from time to time a bit of a drag, but never the less a good time-filler if you like your crime with a bit of highland charme and a laugh.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another super Hamish book!, 8 Nov. 2014
In this 14th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, author Patricia Martyn-Boyd has retired to the highlands. Although she hasn’t written a word for many years and her books are out of print, a television company decides to adapt one of her novels for television. However, trouble erupts between Patricia and the television company when they decide to make the rather boring books into a rather racy television production. When a murder happens, there are numerous people who wanted the victim dead. Although told to stay away from the case by his counterparts in Strathbane, Hamish decides to conduct his own investigation in attempt to catch the killer. However, as always, Hamish’s superiors in Strathbane just see him as an interfering village bobby.
This was a good, easy but enjoyable read which (like the previous book) kept me guessing to the very end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Best served cold, 21 April 2014
By 
L. Phillips (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Revenge is a dish .... and here it is chilled to perfection. If, like me, you love the wit and wisdom of MC Beaton and were surprised, to say the least, at how little the TV series reflected the books, then this mid-late story in the canon is a treat. What would happen if a mystery writer encountered a TV production unit filming her books in the highlands of Scotland. And found the characters, plots and settings changed with little respect for the original novels... the answer lies here, seasoned with some delicious in-jokes, so deftly placed that if you never noticed them, you'd not feel left out. There's even a double-take with an ironic nod to Dorothy L Sayers. Apart form this, you'll find Hamish and his neighbours on good form as ever, the usual nemeses take a turn on the stage, and the writing just what we want.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries)
Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries) by M. C. Beaton (Mass Market Paperback - 17 Oct. 2003)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews