Death of an Honest Man (Hamish Macbeth Series)
By M.C. Beaton
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
Expected Publication: 20 February 2018.
Sergeant Hamish Macbeth–Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman–returns in M.C. Beaton’s new mystery in her New York Times bestselling series.
Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat.
“I speak as I find,” he bragged. Voices saying, “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.
And someone did.
Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects. And he’s lost the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who has resigned from the force after Chief Inspector Blair berated Charlie one too many times. Can Hamish find the killer on his own?
Sometimes when I write a review I need to tell you where I sit before I tell you where I stand. In this case, it’s M.C. Beaton and her Hamish Macbeth series. This is one of my favorite series to read. I look forward to a new outing with Hamish and the small Scottish village of Lochdubh every year. These are fun cozies usually featuring an interesting mystery, but the villagers and their antics are what I enjoy the most.
That being said, I’m pretty sure I put on a pair of rose-colored glasses before beginning any Hamish book. As I thought about writing this review, I wondered – what would starting with book #33 in this series feel like to a new reader?
For all you Hamish fans out there:
- Blair is back with a vengeance and crazier than ever in his plans to rid the force of Hamish Macbeth.
- Remember Sonsie, Hamish’s pet wild cat? She’s back. Or is she?
- Hamish continues to lose the policeman assigned to his station to other occupations.
- I feel like by the end of this book we finally might have a resolution to the Priscilla or Elspeth question. Maybe?
Hamish fans will be delighted to read the latest adventure. (At least, I was.) But I’m not so sure if this latest outing is a good place for new readers to start. I hate to say this, but after 33 cases, some of the characters may be feeling more like caricatures at this point, especially Blair and the Currie sisters. (I should point out that other characters have grown over the course of the series, especially the last few books — I’m looking at you Colonel Halburton-Smythe.) Hamish’s relationships with the villagers are so fleshed out at this point that the quick check-ins with the regulars are nice for long-time readers, but may feel unnecessary to new readers.
As a long time reader, this book was just what I wanted — time to sit down with a cuppa, spending an afternoon with some of my favorite characters, catching up on their latest antics, and solving a mystery with the help of Scotland’s least ambitious policeman.
All of you fans of Hamish will enjoy spending time in Lochdubh for his latest case. For all of you newbies interested in seeing what Lochdubh is all about, I would suggest starting with an earlier book. I started in the middle with Death of a Village, and I was hooked.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.