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"Death" in all the right places!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Death of a Celebrity (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries) (Hardcover)
An imminent Texas book critic has called M.C. Beaton the "Barbara Cartland" of police procedurals, if not in quantity in formula! That said, of course, readers of Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series will once again welcome her newest addition, "Death of a Celebrity," the 18th episode about her affable and honest constable from the
affable yet murderous village of Lochdubh somewhere in the Scottish Highlands.
To call "Death of a Celebrity" a "Scottish fling" would be a bad pun, but still. Once again, an outsider has come to the fair village, this time in the role of an irritating local television host who revels in making people miserable. Insufferable herself, TV "star" Crystal French sets about offending yea and nay, giving just about everyone but the Archbishop in Edinburgh a motive for killing her. In true Beaton style (and by page 30), we have our corpse.
Enter our Hamish, still a-fretting about his long lost love Priscilla Halburton-Smythe who's just announced her impending marriage to another, who quickly lines up "all the usual suspects." Thus, Beaton treats us to another littany of local characters, many of whom we've met in previous episodes (after all Lochdubh is a small village!).
Thus, working alone, working with a new boss, and working with a new romantic interest, Macbeth bounces here and there and eventually it is his insight, his perseverance, his knowledge of human nature that lead him, inevitably, to the solution
No surprises here, of course, and perhaps the Beaton followers (and I'm one of them) don't want or expect anything else. A P.D. James or Ruth Rendell she is not; but her fans don't confuse her with those two. They love her as she is.
If you want predictability and you do not wish to have to think about solving the case, any and all of the Hamish Macbeth books are for you. They're fun to read. (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)