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on 3 March 2005
This is the twelfth in a series of mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. A loudmouthed bruiser of a man has established himself in Lochdubh, but when he starts to bully those smaller than himself (everyone), Hamish decides that it is time to deal with him. But, when the man is found dead (drugged, tied up, and blasted with a shotgun), Hamish sets out to find out who did it and why. And when a second person is murdered, the plot continues to thicken...
Being a dyed-in-the-wool Hamish Macbeth fan, I can tell you that this is another great Hamish mystery, just as good as the rest. The story was quite fascinating, and I have always enjoyed M.C. Beaton's (pseudonym of Marion Chesney) Highland setting - the characters are quite fascinating as is the environment of the Highlands themselves. 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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It's always a challenge keeping a mystery series fresh. Many times readers will react negatively to changes you put in place. In Death of Macho Man, M.C. Beaton does something few mystery writers could accomplish: She builds up enough plot complications for two mysteries and lets her characters be much more active than usual. The result is immensely satisfying for giving you more of what you like about Hamish Macbeth stories: Mysterious deaths; unexpected motives; romantic complications; prickly interactions with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe; failed attempts by Detective Chief Inspector Blair to get Hamish fired; by-play with the Lochdubh villagers; and exciting action sequences. Don't miss this book!

As usual, an outsider is causing problems in Lochdubh. Randy Duggan claims to have been a professional wrestler in America and likes to brag about his exploits. He has plenty of muscles and tattoos, but his stories don't always ring true. Duggan can usually gain an audience by buying drinks all round with his wad of cash. But after awhile, even free drinks begin to pale as Randy's need to brag nonstop in unconvincing ways becomes boring. Physical confrontations start and Hamish has to sort things out. Duggan wants a piece of Hamish and Hamish makes the mistake of agreeing to fight Duggan while Hamish is off duty. The whole area gets a bet down and arrives to watch the fun. Things turn nasty, however, when Duggan is found dead with his head blown off by a shotgun. Naturally, Hamish is the top suspect.

From that taut beginning, the story builds in intensity as Hamish works in secret to find the real killer. Priscilla Halburton-Smythe has her biggest role in many books, and all of the challenging dimensions of their relationship are put to a test (including teaching Hamish how to use a computer). The mystery deepens as Hamish begins to find out unpleasant facts about two local residents. Everything is up in the air once the pathologists realize that Duggan has had plastic surgery. What was he trying to hide?

A great subplot in the book is the attention paid to Hamish's relationships with his friends among the villagers. As the investigations continue, Hamish finds himself in trouble with the villagers as well as with the police leaders in Strathbane.

You'll also like seeing Hamish become a lot more reckless and less lazy. It shows a side of him that only occasionally is revealed in the earlier books.

Highly recommended!
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When blustery, braggart Randy Duggan takes a holiday cottage in Lochdubh, little does he know his days are numbered. In the short time before this macho man meets his maker, he manages to get the locals, men and women, all riled up. He even challenges the local constable, Hamish Macbeth, to a fight. Waiting patiently for his opponent at the appointed time, little does Hamish know that the macho man will not be making any more appointments.

Unfortunately, Detective Chief Inspector Blair is determined to wreck Hamish Macbeth's career and manages to get him off the investigation. Still, Hamish will not be silenced, working behind the scene to discover just who hated the macho man enough to murder him in cold blood.

This is the twelfth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, the constable for the sleepy village of Lochdubh in northern Scotland. In this book, village life takes center stage and the village characters beguile the reader, giving the book that cozy feel. Moreover, readers will enjoy the dynamics between Hamish and is ex-fiancée, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, as they try to achieve a détente and resolve their relationship. The book is 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. In the endearing character of Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a sure fire winner, who has won over the many fans of the cozy mystery genre.
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on 4 November 2014
In this 12th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, we find Hamish back in Lochdubh after his ill-fated holiday in Skag.
Randy Duggan is causing upset in Lochdubh although the locals find his tall stories entertaining and his willingness to buy drinks for all those that listen, some people are starting to get unhappy with his antics. Randy also manages to upset Hamish and challenges him to a public brawl. During all the build up to this much anticipated fight a murder is committed and although it saves Hamish from taking a severe beating, it means that he now has to find a ruthless killer.
This was a good, easy but enjoyable read which (like the previous book) kept me guessing to the very end.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 January 2014
Hamish briefly becomes a suspect when the Macho Man, an incomer with a bullying personality, is found shot to death because they were due to have a fight. CI Blair takes full advantage of the situation to get Hamish off the case and a confession to the crime. Hamish goes off grid to find the real killer. This is a different Hamish: he is extremely reckless in his actions, not as easy going and rather dedicated to the task. The charm, however, of this series lies in Hamish's relationships with the supporting cast and it is out in full force - his love/hate relationship with the villagers and his ongoing non-relationship with the cool Priscilla. It's all very well done with the usual sly humour. Well worth a read.
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on 8 September 2014
I'd taken a bit of a break from the series before returning to read this one. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, where I know it's not really cutting edge literature, a bit old fashioned, sometimes mildly offensive in it's portrayal of (particularly) women and minorities, but somehow quite endearing all the same. As entertainment, it's really rather good. If you like others, you will probably like this too, if not, I doubt this would change minds.
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on 3 August 2014
I love the Hamish MacBeth stories. I know they will be ridiculed by the purists but for light and enjoyable reading they are hard to beat. You know who is going to be murdered from the early beginning but it is the process by which the murderer is eventually caught that is so enjoyable. The author has certainly tapped into the Highland way of thinking and all the books have a high humour content. They are Midsummer Murders in the Highlands.
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on 10 July 1998
Much like Gregory McDonald's "Flynn," Hamish Macbeth is a local police officer who has a nack for uncovering the truth: be it crime, unfaithful sweethearts, or tall tales told in the local pub. Macbeth is tenatious, like a bloodhound that will not give up once the sent is found.
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on 1 June 1999
I found this an easy novel to read. Entertaining even though I rather figured out the villan(s) before the final page, which is a coup for me. But definetly a fun novel to read when your head space doesn't allow you room to get mired down in too much complexity.
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on 21 April 2013
Although not her best Hamish, this is still a relaxing read. Here we meet Randy Dugan, a macho man - or so he claims. He is the life and sole of the party with many a story to tell - or is he just a Walter Mitty? So, the locals are starting to question the truth in these stories and sparks fly and Hamish gets involved and ends up agreeing to have a fight with him. Before this takes place Randy is found dead and Hamish is the prime suspect.

A very relaxing and easy read. Would recommend.
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