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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another homerun for M.C. Beaton, 13 Jun. 2005
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is the twenty-first in a series of wonderful mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. In this book, Hamish's life is troubled by a new arrival in the town, a boorish writer whose truest love is himself. But, when he is suddenly found dead, suspicion falls on citizens of the town. It's a sure thing that the Strathbane detectives will not get to the bottom of this thing, so it is up to Hamish to save the day, and bring a murderer to justice.
This is another homerun for M.C. Beaton (pseudonym of Marion Chesney). This book has all of the charm of the earlier books, staying in small town Scotland, and involving all sorts of interesting and quirky characters. Overall I thought that this was a great book, and a great mystery. If you like mysteries, or are merely interest in the Scottish Highlands, then you must get this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE PEN IS NOT MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD..., 8 Mar. 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the twenty first book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, in charge of law and order in the village of Lochdubh and its environs in the north of Scotland. As always, the book is laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, and the dialogue creates a feeling of authenticity of place, making the book highly enjoyable. One does not read these books for their literary value. One reads them purely for the fun of it.

This time, a well-known writer moves to the Highlands and decides to teach a writing course. Unfortunately, this bitter, nasty, self-important man decides that his time would be best spent treating his students like the village idiots. So, when he turns up deader than a doornail, in a manner befitting his occupation, no one is shedding any tears. It is then left to Hamish to discover just who is the murderer amongst them.

Due to the notoriety of the murder and the celebrity of the deceased, the media descends upon the village like a plague of locusts. Along with these unwelcome outsiders, his new boss, Detective Chief Inspector Heather Meikle, also pays the Highlands a visit, discovering that Hamish is just what the doctor ordered. Then things get even more complicated when his old girlfriend and news reporter, Elspeth Grant, returns to Lochdubh.

As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery, and the characters are certainly quirky and entertaining, adding to the charm of the series. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a character that is a winner. I love this series of cozy mysteries!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being a bore can be deadly, 22 April 2011
By 
John Heppel - a prize winning author - moves to the area and decides to hold a writing class in Lochdubh. But the classes consist of John giving a monologue about his career and this quickly leads to discontent among the villagers and they're soon demanding their money back. This doesn't stop them continuing their writing and many computers are delivered to the village.

When John Heppel is found dead Hamish Macbeth is reluctant to suspect the villagers and tries to find other suspects especially among the staff of Strathbane Television which is making an episode of a popular soap from a script by John Heppel. Hamish's boss - the irascible Blair - is keen to pin the blame on the villagers. Hamish's former girlfriend - journalist Elspeth Grant is sent from Glasgow to cover the story.

I think this is one of my favourite Hamish Macbeth stories. There are plenty of strands to the plot and an exciting conclusion. The villagers of Lochdubh feature in the story much more than they do in some of the books and it is far from clear who has committed the murder. I liked the way Hamish was continually trying to escape from Heather - the boss who temporarily replaces Blair - when she starts to pursue him carrying a bottle of whisky. Hamish wonders whether being continually abused by Blair is preferable to such a boss.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of an Egomaniac, 10 Nov. 2006
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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Pardon me, but I found this title to be inapt for the book. The victim, John Heppel, is a bad writer, acts in inconsiderate ways, displays immense egotism, and is generally despicable. But I didn't find him boring . . . just obnoxious. The book, too, is anything but boring.

What distinguishes this book from the run-of-the-mill mystery is the marvelous satirical humor displayed throughout. Hamish Macbeth avoids promotion. His superiors prove to be incompetent, unhappy, and in some cases driven to drink in this book. You can quickly see why he would be skeptical of becoming more like these people. John Heppel wins prizes for his books, has a great story about his gritty beginnings and attracts the interest of those don't know writing. In reality, the man is a phony in every dimension. M.C. Beaton has fun with that point in other ways as a local villager becomes sought after for a book that will be written in Gaelic, a language few can read, but which will look impressive on coffee tables in England. Women keep setting their sights on marrying Hamish, but it doesn't take much to distract them. Hamish finds his dog to be a better companion. It's a marvelously Scottish way of looking at the world that you'll enjoy.

What's the story about? Hamish is deeply concerned for writer John Heppel when Hamish notices that Heppel is offering a writing class. Doesn't Heppel know there's good telly on that night? Hamish, in turn, is astonished to find out that virtually the whole village has signed up for the class, hoping to become famous. The classes turn out to be a disappointment when Heppel displays disdain for his students. Refund is the word most often heard among the curses. In fact, many of the villagers in Lochdubh are captured on film threatening Heppel. When Heppel turns up dead, suspicion centers on Lochdubh . . . but Hamish is unconvinced. He wants to know more about a script that Heppel has written for Down in the Glen, a soap opera about Scotland. Why won't anyone show him a copy?

One of the most delicious moments in the story comes when Hamish gets a lead on information about the television show but is compelled to take the source of his lead out for a drunken evening. Another delightful scene involves Hamish going clubbing with the new schoolteacher, Frida. There's also a wonderful mini-story about a haunted island that will have you chuckling.

The book isn't a five-star novel, however. Why not? The murder plot is pretty silly and won't satisfy you. But the satire will keep you entertained nicely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars death of a bore, 3 July 2012
Minor writer John Heppel has a problem - he's by all accounts a consummate bore. When he's found dead in his cottage, there are plenty of suspects. But surely boredom shouldn't be cause for murder, or so thinks local bobby and sleuth Hamish Macbeth, whose investigation of Heppel's soap opera script uncovers much more than melodrama. Popular reader and actor Graeme Malcolm makes this intricate whodunit set in Beaton's beloved Scottish village a memorable audio experience. This is the newest title in the popular Hamish Macbeth series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hamish Macbeth - a great find, 7 May 2012
By 
Linda (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I found this book on the recently returned shelf in my local library - and as I was in a hurry chose it without looking too closely at what I was getting. What a very excellent find - and I have already added the next in the series to my Amazon basket! This is a really easy, pleasant read - very amusing and yet still with a good plot line. Hamish Macbeth is a great character and his dog Lugs - well a complete star!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great story, 1 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Bore (Hamish Macbeth Book 20) (Kindle Edition)
Another great story from the lady herself. All Hamish fans will love this one. The only downside it's not long enough but they never are!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great series, 5 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Death of a Bore (Hamish Macbeth Book 20) (Kindle Edition)
A lovely Hamish Macbeth tale, they all make me want to be up in the highlands. Nice gentle stories, often with a twist, nothing too horrid with good characters and descriptions. Have read them all, now have to re read them as I can't find anything similar.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Death of..., 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Death of a Bore (Hamish Macbeth Book 20) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book. I liked the pace of the plot and how it was wound up at the end. I like the way things are always just out of reach for Hamish in terms of his love life. It's not written in a frustrating way that would just annoy. It's like one door closes and another one opens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN WATCHING THE RAIN OUTSIDE, 21 Jun. 2013
By 
Dorcas Munday MBE (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Bore (Hamish Macbeth Book 20) (Kindle Edition)
A great read at any time! but much better when it was raining.Lovely to read on a wet dull day
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