Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth) Paperback – 28 Mar 2013
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The detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. (The Times )
Beaton, a Scot herself, excels at giving readers a taste of Highland life and creating a believable character in the lonely, brilliant, continually frustrated-in-love Macbeth. (Booklist )
Looking for escape? Tired of waiting for Brigadoon to materialise? Time for a trip to Lochdubh... where M C Beaton sets her beguiling whodunits featuring Constable Hamish Macbeth (New York Times Book Review )
'Offbeat, utterly endearing.' (Booklist)
'The detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status.' (The Times)
'Beaton, a Scot herself, excels at giving readers a taste of Highland life and creating a believable character in the lonely, brilliant, continually frustrated-in-love Macbeth.' (Booklist) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here we have Hamish wheeched away from Lochdubh and sent to the even more remote Cnothan to cover the prolonged holiday taken by its established policeman. Hamish is not going to be welcomed with open arms, but he has the wit and charm to warm the locals to him. He does not have the means, however, to warm to the demands of a particularly obnoxious white settler, an objectionable English incomer who has managed to alienate the whole village and most of the surrounding countryside. Should this man meet a suspicious end, there will be no end of suspects. And, of course, like Poirrot, wherever Hamish goes, murder most foul is certain to be his travelling companion.
It's a very nicely written mystery, lovely characterisation, witty, well paced, a real page turner. Marion Chesney writes very entertaining stories - real curl up in bed or in front of a decent fire jobs - and this is one of her best. Hamish is an endearing character - he's not a genius, but his little grey cells do get there eventually, and he has excellent social skills, if alarming social graces. There are some neat little swipes at the English (well, Home Counties), and some tongue-in-cheek asides about Highland lifestyle, so it will keep you amused as well as engaged. Very good read.
Unhappy at this turn of events, Hamish tries to make the best of it, though the villagers are far from friendly. Things start looking up for Hamish, when he catches the eye of Jenny, a pretty young local artist. She helps Hamish take his mind off Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, who has taken off for London. Then, a murder takes place, and Hamish is firmly in his element, despite obstacles thrust in his way by none other than Deputy Chief Inspector Blair.
Laced with sly humor and engaging characters, this series gets better with each book. 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, a born storyteller, has created a sure fire winner, who is bound to win many fans of the cozy mystery genre.
We join him disgruntled, he and mongrel Towser forced for three months to leave his beloved Lochdubh to replace a sergeant in cheerless Cnothan, a town dominated by Struthers, its hellfire Minister.
The most unpopular person around is Mainwaring, still regarded as an outsider although he has lived there eight years. An officious busybody and know-all, he relishes alienating everybody in sight. How the outsider becomes an insider (in every sense of the word) makes a deliciously macabre read - circumstances best not known, though, by London's elite.
Enjoying much coffee and gossip (not to mention the charms of neighbour Jenny), Hamish solves all. Though by nature easy-going, he is a force to be reckoned with. Witness his instant revenge on the ghillie and crony who play a cruel joke. Even Blair, his blustering bully of a boss, has occasion to be wary.
With allegations of witchcraft, a skeleton found inside a ring of standing stones, this book throughout is a quirky delight - Hamish himself its greatest pleasure. There is something enormously appealing about a policeman who, when happy, secretly performs cartwheels.
This was my favourite so far; whether this is because I know the characters a little more or just because the plot is an especially good one with some nice twists along the way, I'm not sure - I think it's the latter.
In this book Hamish is forced to cover for a policeman in another area, Cnothan, a place where you're the new arrival for many years, and without many friendly faces. It works well, and could easily be read in its own right without having read the prior two books in the series. Another gentle and easy read, but a page turner to boot - a perfect relaxation novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read, can't wait for the others in the series to be at the same price!Published 8 months ago by Dorothy
A nice read if you don't want to have to think too much about the plot,ideal for reading at the airport.Published 8 months ago by emily f