The Barnes & Noble Review
Fans of the critically acclaimed Hamish Macbeth whodunits are in for a real treat with Death of a Poison Pen. Police constable Macbeth knows that, in most cases, the wild accusations and scandalous suppositions in poison-pen letters are an annoyance, not a genuine threat. But, from the first, Hamish suspects that what's going on in the remote village of Lochdubh is no ordinary case. When the village postmistress is found dead with a poison-pen letter at her feet, the coroner confirms Hamish's worst fears, that the woman's apparent suicide was in fact a carefully concealed murder. Now it's up to Hamish to trace the letters and the escalating violence to the source. His efforts are both aided and complicated by the arrival of Jenny Ogilvie, a lovely lady whose passion for Hamish is only equaled by her dangerous curiosity about the murderous poison pen who is her rival for Hamish's attention. Sue Stone
Only established fans will enjoy M.C. Beaton's Death of a Bore: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery, this predictable series' soporific 21st installment (after 2004's Death of a Poisoned Pen), in which the contrary constable investigates the mysterious death of a self-styled "literary writer" and world-class bore in that Scottish Shangri-La, the village of Lochdubh. Should the U.K. TV series based on Beaton's Hamish Macbeth novels reach the U.S., expect more readers to wake up and pay attention. Agent, Barbara Lowenstein. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
After a writer moves to the Scottish village of Lochdubh and initiates a well-attended writing circle, then browbeats the participants, most of whom are friends of policeman Hamish Macbeth, one of them murders him. Hamish gets the case, but must tread carefully. And new female boss Heather comes to town and complicates matters by trying to get involved with Hamish. For most collections. Beaton lives in England. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-Poison pen letters have been appearing all over the Scottish Highlands town of Braikie-and then a spate of murders and suicides ensues. Hamish Macbeth, the local constable of a nearby village, must get to the bottom of things without drawing too much attention to himself. If he sorts out another local mystery, he risks being promoted, and that would take him away from all that he loves in sleepy Lochdubh. As the Highlands' weather veers wildly from one extreme to another, Hamish dodges pesky superior officers and follows his own paths among the people he understands better than any outsider can. The place has no shortage of eccentrics but most of Lochdubh's regulars take a back seat to several 20-somethings who become an integral part of the story as it develops. They include a vacationer from London with dangerously poor judgment; an enterprising local reporter as unconventional as Hamish himself; another reporter, a caddish but "charming Irishman"; a bullied young secretary at the local school; and away in London, but never far from Hamish's mind, his star-crossed soul mate. Readers unfamiliar with the series can easily begin with this volume, but if they do, they are likely to seek out the earlier novels. This fictional world-part cozy, part unsparing-can be highly addictive.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Egotistical TV personalities, an obnoxious boss, and a tidal wave of villagers bent on marrying him off can't stop Constable Hamish Macbeth from finding out who murdered Lochdubh's writer-in-residence. John Heppel has written Tenement Dust, an account of growing up poor in Glasgow, and his script for the soap opera Down in the Glen is being filmed by Strathbane Television. No wonder the village hall is packed to the rafters for his writers' workshop. Unfortunately, his brutal critiques of their works prompt the villagers to pelt him with tomatoes, leaving Hamish (Death of a Village, 2002, etc.) a plethora of suspects when Heppel turns up dead in his crofter's cottage in nearby Cnothan. Detective Chief Inspector Blair wants Hamish to pound the pavement in Lochdubh and interview the likes of twin spinsters Jessie and Nessie Curran. But Hamish's eye is trained on Strathbane, where producer Harry Tarrant hectors secretary Alice Patty but is fiercely protective of the late scriptwriter, and prima donnas of both sexes, from actresses Ann King and Patricia Wheeler to director John Gibson, have tantrums on and off the set. Meanwhile, schoolteacher Freda Garrety has her eye trained on Hamish. So does reporter Elspeth Grant, Hamish's ex-girlfriend, who thinks maybe she made a mistake leaving the highlands for urban opportunity in Glasgow. Quirky but well-plotted: Hamish's 20th offers humor, intrigue, and local color galore. Agent: Barbara Lowenstein/Lowenstein-Yost Associates