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4.4 out of 5 stars122
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 29 December 2009
My introduction to M C Beaton and her PC Hamish Macbeth. A missing cat, a stolen Christmas tree, a reclusive widow, an over-expectant school teacher, an officious Inspector, Calvinist parents, the residents of an old people's home - all are ingredients of a story told in (welcome) large type in just 164 pages. Easy to distinguish between the goodies and the baddies and to be charmed by the occasional conversion.

For hard-boiled mystery and detection it would be better to seek elsewhere. For an easy, undemanding holiday snack - recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 29 March 2000
M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series takes a holiday in "A Highland Christmas"! And for her fans, naturally, it's a good read: full of the Christmas spirit in everyway, from the local Grinches, Scrooges, and other no-good-niks, to Lockdubh's own angels with their own Spirits of Christmas presents! It's full of holiday cheer and joy, to offset the negative side of the season.
Someone has stolen the Christmas lights! The villagers are in an uproar and naturally our Hamish, the local bobby of Lochdubh, is called upon to solve the crime. The book is a "feel good" read, rather short, but still it holds the interest of Ms Beaton's fans. Naturally, Hamish has ANOTHER love interest. Will it be a lasting one?
So--deck the halls with boughs of holly, trim the tree, pour a delicous glass of pure Highland malt (neat, of course), and be prepared for a nice read. Happy Hols!
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on 2 June 2003
This is the sixteenth in a series of mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. It's Christmas time, but there is no rest for Hamish Macbeth. When a mean old woman from outside of town insists that her cat was stolen, Hamish begins to investigate. And then, he begins to wonder why the woman is so mean and lives a fearful and solitary life behind locked doors. A second mystery materializes when the Christmas decorations for a neighboring town are stolen. For Hamish this is a Christmas of finding things that were lost (sometimes a long time ago), and finding new friends.
My wife introduced me to Hamish Macbeth and made a fan of me. Although there are no murders, this is a great book, with an interesting storyline, setting and characters. (Sherlock Holmes stories rarely revolved around murders, as I recall.) I really enjoyed this book, and proudly proclaim it my favorite so far. If you are interested in a story set in modern Scotland, or just a good mystery, then I highly recommend this book to you.
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In this, the sixteenth book in a delightful series of cozy mysteries, the author returns to those elements that makes this series so addictive. It should be noted, however, that the book is decidedly shorter in length than usual, and the type face used is much larger. Even with the larger typeface, the story runs only about one hundred in thirty one pages, almost more of a novella than a novel.

That being said, this slim tome is an enjoyable read, despite the fact that there are no murders involved. Instead, the mystery involves a relatively minor crime, but this slight change in the author's formula does not serve to mar the reader's enjoyment of this book. The author serves up a heartwarming holiday tale of village life in northern Scotland with our lovable Highlander, Constable Hamish Macbeth, at its heart.
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on 18 August 2013
I have always been a fan of Hamish so I may be biased, this was the first of the actual books that I had read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I think I read it in one long sitting!! It's gentle and amusing, not action packed but just the thing after a busy day at work to unwind to. My only criticism would be that it was too short and left me quite sad when it was finished!
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on 2 August 2013
A very bland tale without much of a story line. Not up to the usual standard for an Hamish Macbeth - a bit like the author has run out of ideas.
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on 14 August 2013
Very enjoyable and easy to read. Would recommend these books, the characters are very lifelike and feel like old friends when you are reading other books in the series.
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on 27 April 2013
There's certain things you just have to partake of at Christmas - mince pies, copious amounts of turkey & alcohol, the Snowman & Father Ted. I like to read a few 'Christmas' stories to add flavour to mine - starting off with the classic A Christmas Carol (& I usually watch the Muppets version to round it off!). So I choose this book as a new addition to my Xmas run-in. At first I felt it was so totally un-Christmassy with no-one but Hamish having any Christmas spirit and was about to put it to one side. But I persevered & was so glad I did, because it turns into a enjoyable feel-good Xmas tale. Of course its simplistic and straight-forward and easy to read, but isn't that just what you want & why we end up watching syrup like Miracle on 34th Street and Elf?! Exactly what I wanted a Yuletide yarn - not a classic but definitely a good wheeze that's on my pile of reading for next December.
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on 14 May 2013
This is a very light gentle easy read, but with no murders for MacBeth to solve. Instead a woman's cat goes missing, some outdoor Christmas tree lights disappear and a young girl who seems self sufficient starts buying cat food when she doesn't have a cat.

Here Hamish solves little nigglie problems and organises a group of people from Lochdubh to go to an old folks home on Christmas day to do a concert for them.

Not seat of your pants read, but certainly a read that is in keeping with the festivities of Christmas.

Would recommend.
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on 30 July 2013
What a writer who can really send you down the wrong path and then shock you with a solution you never expected
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