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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery
This is the eleventh in a series of mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. In this story, Hamish sets out for a quiet (and cheap) vacation at the North Sea resort town of Skag. However, when he discovers the body of one of his fellow vacationers (a loud-mouthed nag of a husband), Hamish suddenly finds himself...
Published on 18 Feb 2005 by Kurt A. Johnson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars read her books in order
The book is intresting i think you need to read her books in order as they are not as good out of sequence you begin to see a repeating pattern in the storyline
Published 10 months ago by caroline jennings


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery, 18 Feb 2005
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is the eleventh in a series of mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. In this story, Hamish sets out for a quiet (and cheap) vacation at the North Sea resort town of Skag. However, when he discovers the body of one of his fellow vacationers (a loud-mouthed nag of a husband), Hamish suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. And so, with his faithful dog Towser in tow, Macbeth sets out to find out who caused the death of a nag.
My wife has been a big Hamish Macbeth fan for years, and she has now brought me into the fold. This was not my favorite Hamish Macbeth novel, in particular I found the ending sadly cynical, but I did enjoy reading it. I liked the setting and the characters, and think that M.C. Beaton is an excellent. So, 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth takes a holiday!, 19 Jan 2001
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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In "Death of a Nag," M.C. Beaton returns with her eleventh Hamish Macbeth mystery, and he is continuing to keep Lochdubh safe and sound. And the Scottish Highlands couldn't be in better hands! Aside from his on-again, off-again romance with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Macbeth takes his responsibilities quite seriously (there are those in the village who think of him as lazy, no-good, and quite irresponsible for "letting" Priscilla go!). In this episode, Macbeth has taken off a few days
to "recharge his batteries," but, alas, the charming seaside resort (Friendly House) is teeming with the usual Beaton characters. Macbeth finds the company tiresome, the food inedible, and, sure enough, a body: that of one of the guests, a terrific nag. And who better is the suspect that the victim's wife, whom he publically ridiculed (and nagged!). Beaton makes sure that all of the characters are suspects (a "regular" ingredient of Beaton's works!), but only Macbeth is able to sort
out the culprit. Charming, easy-to-read, and worthwhile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to love Hamish!, 1 Sep 2009
This review is from: Death of a Nag (Paperback)
I like M.C. Beaton's 'Agatha Raisin' the grouchy, feisty, middle-aged amateur detective, but I find the Hamish Mcbeth books even more enjoyable. If you want a 'serious' crime novel, look elsewhere, but if you are out for a lighthearted, often tongue-in-cheek whodunnit, this series is for you!
In 'Death of a Nag' we follow Hamish on a coastal holiday to get away from the villagers' disapproval of his break-up with Priscilla. But, of course holiday it is not - before he knows it Hamish finds himself involved in a case of murder amongst his fellow lodgers in a cheap, but sadly not cheerful B&B. Red herrings, side plots and human nature make for an entertaining read. And the ending is truly and wickedly malicious! Well done again, M.C. Beaton!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Light Read, 1 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Death of a Nag (Paperback)
This is only the second Hamish McBeth book I've read and I must say I shall be buying more.

If you are looking for a nice relaxing read then this is the book for you. Whilst this is a light read, it isn't boring and it will hold your attention.

Hamish McBeth comes through as a really caring character in so much as he's the one who suggests different things to do for the other guests and himself to do, and when everybody gets questioned after the murder he feels rather guilty in that he feels that the fellow holiday makers are his friends and doesn't like to see them go through police questioning.

It reminds me of the Agatha Christie books where the murderer is the least person you would expect it to be.

Good read will be reading more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday House of Horrors, 10 April 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This is the 11th Hamish Macbeth mystery. At the end of Death of a Charming Man, Hamish breaks his unofficial engagement with Priscilla. It wasn't just that she tried to run his life; she was too good at it! Also, Priscilla couldn't warm up to him at male-female level which left him feeling bereft. Naturally, the sturdy citizens of Lockdubh and his police colleagues think that Hamish must have lost his mind. He gets full blame for the breakup. Hamish is also demoted back to police constable for his mistake at the end of Death of a Charming Man. Feeling pretty bad, he decides he needs a wee holiday. Finding a low-priced boarding house in Skag, Hamish heads off with Towser.

Arriving in Skag, Hamish finds that he's jumped out of the pot into the fire. The boarding house (so-called Friendly House) serves inedible food that seems spoiled, and the owners are openly hostile. Not only that, someone has been into his things. His next-door neighbors never stop arguing, and the husband is always nagging his wife about something or the other. The only respite comes when Hamish slugs the nag in self-defense and threatens to kill him if he doesn't stop on his wife. Naturally, the husband calls in the local constabulary. Hamish is saved from jail by the wife's willingness to defend him. After that contretemps, Hamish tries to organize outings with the more amiable of the fellow guests and starts to have a good time . . . when he suddenly spots the nag's body in the water. Naturally, Hamish is suspect number one . . . until a retired teacher gives him an unexpected alibi.

Hamish finds himself drawn into the investigation, but he's got a tagalong, police constable Maggie Donald, who wants to use her female wiles to get ahead. Through some pretty unusual detective methods, Hamish begins to uncover the secrets of his fellow boarders . . . and plenty of motives for murder.

Before the book is done, Hamish has suffered another great loss. The book concludes on a sad note that strikes against optimism about love conquering all.

In many ways, this story has better development than most of ten books that preceded it. But the book lacks charm and appeal. Frankly, it's a bit of a downer.

But for a continuing series, this story fits nicely and lays the groundwork for further series developments that I'm sure will reward readers in the future.

But if you don't feel like you need to read every book in the series, you could skip this one.

I usually devour one the Hamish Macbeth books at one sitting. In this case, I found myself going very slowly. It was just such a downer. I give Ms. Beaton great credit for being able to capture that mood and transmit it to me.

Ultimately, the story's weakness is that the characters aren't very attractive. Even the ones you don't like in a normal Hamish Macbeth story are interesting enough that you want to know more about them. In this case, I didn't find any of the new characters to be particularly interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another murder on holiday for Hamish Macbeth, 26 July 2014
By 
YeahYeahNoh (Willenhall, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth Book 11) (Kindle Edition)
Following the break off of his engagement to Priscilla Hamish finds himself feeling somewhat rejected by the locals, so decides to take a holiday in a small town on the Moray Firth. At the cheap B&B he finds himself once again drawn into a murder enquiry, when one of the guests, a terrible nag, is found drowned with an obvious blow to the head having occurred.
This was perhaps a little different to the books before it, with very little movement in the story of Hamish's personal life, and more time therefore on the murder plot. As usual (so far) there are two murders. As usual, Hamish uses his laid back methodology and wide range of contacts to eventually work out the murder. That familiarity though is part of what is good about these books, they're like an old friend, and an easy comfortable read. This one came close to challenging that, and for once, it was easy to feel sorry for the murderer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WONDERFUL COZY MYSTERY..., 6 Mar 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Nag (Paperback)
Poor Constable Hamish Macbeth, as if it were not bad enough that he has been demoted, his engagement to the coolly beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe is over, and the villagers of Lochdubh all blame him for the break-up. In hopes of putting some distance between himself and the villagers' hostility, Hamish decides to go on a holiday to the northern seaside village of Skag.

Hamish decides to stay at the Friendly boarding house, which is anything but that. There, Hamish endures unpleasant hosts who serve inedible food, as well as a motley crew of fellow guests. Of course, this would not be a mystery if someone were not murdered. So, it is no surprise when one of his fellow vacationers, an unpleasant fellow who delights in berating his fellow man, is the one to meet his maker. Unfortunately, Hamish becomes the number one suspect, given the fact that just prior to the victim's death, Hamish had an altercation with him.

This is the eleventh book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth. The book is also laced with sly humor throughout 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. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a character that keeps his many fans looking forward to the next book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GENTLE, APPEALING READ, 8 July 2011
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Nag (Paperback)
Doubleglazing salesman Bob Harris is the nag, alienating all at the seedy Skag hotel where PC Hamish Macbeth is on holiday. Long suffering fellow guests wish him dead. Soon he is found, battered and drowned - Hamish himself one of the suspects.

So who is the culprit? Bob's bullied wife; her admirer; the dodgy proprietors; the former schoolmistress; the two teenage girls with attitude (and police records); the seemingly happily married couple with their three children? Secrets abound, with motives increasing. It is fun trying to identify the culprit.

The book's greatest strength, as ever, is Hamish himself. By nature easy going, he longs for a quiet life. When circumstances dictate, he rises to the challenge. Once all is done, he gratefully retires into the background - content that others, less worthy, take credit for what he achieved.

Another strength is the description of northern Scotland's remote villages. Transformed by the car, so many are losing their individuality and charm. Pubs and eating places are becoming cheap and nasty, and what need of shops with supermarkets so near?

In contrast, Hamish's own village - Lochdubh - is portrayed with affection. In fact this eleventh novel is likely to be most remembered for how its residents react to some very sad news. Hard-hearted the reader who is not genuinely moved! (It has to be said, though, this demise puzzles a little. So easily and effectively it could have been an integral part of the investigation, the result of a dastardly deed, but it comes out of the blue - not really fitting in.)

Hamish addicts will know what to expect and should be well pleased. Newcomers may quickly be seeking other books in the series. There are lots, they will be happy to learn.

Gentle entertainment which beguiles - recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Busman's holiday for Hamish, 22 April 2011
By 
This review is from: Death of a Nag (Paperback)
Hamish Macbeth decides to get away from Lochdubh for a while so he goes to stay at an isolated village called Skag. There is he stays at a B&B that can only be described as the B&B from hell. Among his fellow guests are Bob Harris and his wife Doris. Bob is the nag of the title. He is always criticising and belittling his wife and even hitting her. Hamish and his fellow guests are soon united against Bob and when he is found dead in the river there are plenty of suspects - including Hamish.

I loved all the characters of Hamish's fellow guests - the retired school teacher; the two young girls form Glasgow, the retired soldier and the family with young children. Everyone gets on together and then soon start to look on Hamish as a leader. I liked the interaction between the characters and the surly owners of the B&B. The local police are suspicious of Hamish but after they realise he is not the perpetrator they start to use him as a mole so what should have been a holiday for Hamish turns out to be more work than holiday.

This is a complex plot with plenty of different motives and opportunities for committing the murder especially as everyone almost feels like getting together to shield whoever is the murderer. I thought the book was well written and there is plenty to keep the reader guessing before the murderer is finally unmasked. An enjoyable mystery with believable characters and dialogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best Hamish book so far!, 25 Oct 2014
In this 11th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, Hamish is fed up. Fed up because of his breakup with Priscilla and doubly fed up because the villagers in Lochdubh cannot speak to him without mentioning his relationship failure, Hamish decides that it is time he took a holiday. Not wanting to be too adventurous he decides to travel to the seaside town of Skag with promises from the holiday brochures that do not come true.
Hamish finds himself stuck in a boarding house which is cheap but certainly NOT cheerful with a group of rather odd people and a man who just nags and nags his wife.
Unfortunately, murder has a nasty habit of following Hamish around and it follows him to Skag where he is destined to spend what was meant to be a relaxing holiday not only trying to solve a murder but also as a suspect.
I really enjoyed this book and the twist at the end kept me guessing.
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