Customer Reviews


47 Reviews
5 star:
 (22)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Cad
Having devoured all the agatha raisin books I was aprehensive about reading the Hamish macbeth series, however, yet again, M C Beaton has you in her clutches with a mild start on a Scottish estate for the engagement prty for Priscilla Halburton-Smythe to Henry Withering who is reported to be a playwright, but other beg to differ about the quality of his stage plays...
Published on 24 Feb. 2010 by Mr. John E. Todman

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could like them more!
I have tried to warm to M.C. Beaton's books. I really have. I've tried two Agatha Raisin novels and have just finished a second Hamish McBeth. But while they are all enjoyable in a non-demanding way, I find them rather lightweight and predictable. The characters are stereotypes, the dialogue stilted and the plots contrived. I think in every one of her books that I've...
Published on 1 Aug. 2012 by Livvy M


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

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Cad, 24 Feb. 2010
By 
Mr. John E. Todman "JohnT" (Salisbury UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having devoured all the agatha raisin books I was aprehensive about reading the Hamish macbeth series, however, yet again, M C Beaton has you in her clutches with a mild start on a Scottish estate for the engagement prty for Priscilla Halburton-Smythe to Henry Withering who is reported to be a playwright, but other beg to differ about the quality of his stage plays. Naturally we are led astray right from the beginning with side bets being laid as to who cloud bag the first brace of grouse between the boorish Captain peter Bartlett and Jeremy Pomfret. Naturally there is a death in suspicious circumstances and Hamish macbeth is called in to investigate and immediately falls foul of his superior officer, the officious DCI Blair plus two officers. Macbeth gathers clues from the murder site and keeps quiet. One thing leads to another and you are kept on a knife edge, waiting for the next twist in the tail and in the end it turns out to be someone with a fishy background = now for further details, read the book, I AM HOOKED and can't wait for the next read - Death of an Outsider.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could like them more!, 1 Aug. 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have tried to warm to M.C. Beaton's books. I really have. I've tried two Agatha Raisin novels and have just finished a second Hamish McBeth. But while they are all enjoyable in a non-demanding way, I find them rather lightweight and predictable. The characters are stereotypes, the dialogue stilted and the plots contrived. I think in every one of her books that I've read there has been a patronising description of working class living rooms decorated in vulgar colours with tasteless ornaments. How good it must be to be the arbiter of good taste! And then there's the vicar/minister figure and the vicar/ minister figure's wife. And the upper class snobs. It's all a wee bit twee for my liking. But the lady has produced dozens of books, so somebody must like her.
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 CHARM OF THE HIGHLANDER..., 6 Mar. 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the second book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring red-haired Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, the constable for the sleepy village of Lochdubh in northern Scotland. Hamish, who is smitten with the blonde and cold beauty of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, daughter of the local laird, has just discovered that she has recently become engaged to snooty London playwright, Henry Withering.

When Priscilla brings Henry to Lochdubh to meet her family, they throw a party in his honor. Unfortunately, one of the house guests, the highly unpleasant Captain Peter Bartlett, meets an untimely end while on a grouse hunt. Although Detective Chief Inspector Bair quickly declares the death to be a suicide, Hamish begs to differ, persuading Blair, much to his chagrin, that it was, indeed, murder.

During his investigation, Priscilla's enthusiasm for her fiancé begins to wane, while Hamish just keeps looking better and better in her eyes, until the seeds of a budding romance are firmly sown. Moreover, the book is laces with sly humor that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and 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. 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 is bound to win many fans of the cozy mystery genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition, filled with romance and suspense, 18 May 1999
By A Customer
Quite the most brilliant of all the 'Hamish MacBeth' novels I have read to date. The careful development of the characters and the gentle unfolding of the plot, heightens the suspense to an unpredictable climax.
Beaton excels in providing the reader with photographic clarity of the locations ambiance through her vivid expression. One is left suspecting everyone and trusting no one, unsure whom may fall next. Underlying the harshness of murder weaves an impossible relationship and a love that seems class bound to fail.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars P.G. Wodehouse Meets Sherlock Holmes, 1 Dec. 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Death of a Cad is the second book in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series. M.C. Beaton has her tongue stuck firmly in her cheek as she creates a quasi-Wodehouse country-castle romp mixed up with a murder mystery. To make matters more fun, one of the leading characters, Henry Withering, is an acclaimed playwright based on his latest upper class drawing-room work.

Here's the set-up. Priscilla Hallburton-Smythe has taken up a job in London to be able to find eligible men. Henry Withering spots her and decides his publicity shots will look much better with her at his side. He quickly proposes and Priscilla accepts based on her desire to please Mommy and Daddy. On the way home to introduce him to family and friends, Priscilla begins to have her doubts about the wisdom of the match. Matters quickly degrade when an unpleasant dinner is followed the next morning by a death, an apparent accident. But Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, the pride of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands, is skeptical. Soon, his doubts turn into evidence of foul play. (And that's a pretty good pun for a hunting accident involving a grouse shoot -- even if the high and mighty have been complaining about the shortage of grouse . . . you could even say they've been grousing.)

There are three stories intertwined in the book:

1. The engagement
2. The murder mystery
3. Conflict between Hamish and his superiors

In typical country novel fashion, the engagement story is really the best. The humor is improved by being warm, broad and nonstop.

The intellectual content of the book is raised by the subtle ways that Macbeth tracks down the murderer while fending off his superiors.

The least interesting part of the book is the actual murder mystery.

But don't mind that, you'll have a lot of fun with this one.

If you like to listen to audio books, I suggest you also enjoy Davina Porter's deft reading of the tale. Ms. Porter's sense of timing is perfect . . . even if her accents struggle from time to time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Second in the Hamish Macbeth series, 23 April 2011
By 
Peter Bartlett is murdered when he is a guest at Tommel Castle, the home of Colonel and Mrs Halburton-Smythe. The verdict is accidental death until Hamish Macbeth the local police constable based at nearby Lochdubh works out that it is murder. Almost everyone staying at the castle turns out to have a motive for wishing the victim dead.

This is the second book in the Hamish Macbeth series and already his boss the obnoxious Blair has it in for Hamish. But his desire to punish Hamish gets in the way of the investigation into the murder and causes him to make serious mistakes. Hamish is distracted by the beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe who has brought her fiancé with her from London putting an end to one of Hamish's favourite day dreams.

I enjoyed this book with its humour and well drawn characters and picture of village life. The snobbery of many of the characters is well done and the motives are believable. I love the little touches which lift this author's work out of the ordinary - such as the small boy Hamish talks to on the train. The series does not need to be read in order but it helps if you do so as then it is possible to follow the ups and downs of Hamish's relationship with Priscilla.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars HAMISH SUPREME AMONGST THE CONTRIVANCES, 18 May 2010
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
A cad indeed. He even swipes a fellow house guest's toothbrush to scrub his toetails. Clearly Captain Peter Bartlett - sponger, womanizer, thief - thoroughly deserves an early violent demise. Enter Lochdubh's gangly, redhaired constable Hamish Macbeth to investigate his second murder mystery....

The main mystery is why the Halburton-Smythes held such a house party in the first place. Officially it was to show off acclaimed playwright Henry Withering, their daughter Priscilla's fiance. Yet they have invited people they do not like and have allowed others virtually to invite themselves. Hence a creakily contrived setting for a killing with lots of suspects.

As ever, easy-going Hamish is the most interesting person around, especially as he fancies Priscilla himself. Despite top brass again descending as befits local "dignitaries", Hamish proves more worthy than the lot of them.

Although aspects irritate a bit, here is a read full of chuckles. Full marks to those who identified the killer! For this reader at least it came as a great surprise.
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 a good light read, 1 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a perfectly pleasant read but it has limited depth, although Hamish is a potentially interesting character. It has a light touch-limited sex and violence and some humour. I am a quick reader and would prefer my fiction to have more depth and detail.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 15 Nov. 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Read this book in two days I loved it that much. This time Hamish's jealousy comes out when he finds that Priscilla is engaged to be married and is back home celebrating her engagement by having a party.

At that party is a man who thinks he is Gods gift to women and despatches as many as three in a night without flinching (busy boy). As a result of his behaviour and antics with women, he finds himself dead.

Lots of suspects, but the killer is the least likely one of the lot. A very fast paced novel, but the description and atmosphere that is generated of the Scottish Highlands is just brilliant.

Great book. Would recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, enjoyable read, 22 May 1999
By A Customer
As a huge Hamish Macbeth fan I was a little disappointed by this particular book. Although still an enjoyable read, I found the cultural stereotypes a little irratating. The plot takes an unexpected twist and leaves the reader wondering "who done it" until the very end (in true M.C. Beaton style). For fans of Hamish Macbeth it's still worth reading even though it's perhaps not quite the standard of her previous books. Scottish readers may cringe at some of the stereotypes!
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 Cad (Hamish Macbeth)
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth) by M.C. Beaton (Paperback - 4 April 2013)
£6.37
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews