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Hamish Macbeth Mysteries By M.C. Beaton

hamish-macbeth-mysteries-by-mc-beatonThese grey, late fall days are perfect for hibernating with a light “cosy” British mystery and M.C. Beaton is as comforting as a cup of tea on a rainy day. M.C. Beaton is one of several names that are used by Marion Chesney for the different series that she writes.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland she stated her writing career while working as a fiction buyer for a bookstore in Glasgow. The author sets her Hamish Macbeth mystery series in the tiny village of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands.The village is full of eccentric characters, but it is often an outsider who comes into their midst who become involved in the murder that takes place in each new novel.

Hamish Macbeth loves his small village and the surrounding countryside, where he is happy and content - his only ambition is to be left alone to do his job - with a little poaching on the side. He must constantly prevent anyone from promoting him to a more prestigious job in a bigger town or city. Hamish is a lazy man by nature and has developed all sorts of devious ways to prevent his superiors from forcing him to do things as they expect. Hamish is a bachelor, and happy for the most part, although he does have an on-going desire to be married and have a family.

But after some splendid sexual encounters, each relationship, however exciting, comes to an end when Hamish cannot quite bring himself to make it permanent. He is always, secretly, greatly relieved to be on his own again with only his faithful dog for a companion.

In order to make a series of this character it is necessary for there to be any number of murders in this bucolic village simply to keep this series alive.

Death of an Addict

Death of an Addict finds Hamish concerned that the death of a former drug addict is being considered a death by overdose without enough investigation. Hamish believed that the young man found dead had conquered his addiction, and that his death is in fact a murder.

On his own time he begins to investigate - there just seem to be too many people acting suspiciously and too many willing to close the case. Hamish feels he owes it to the parents of the murdered man to prove that he did not take his own life, purposely or accidentally.

Chief Inspector Olivia Chater comes to town to assist when it becomes clear that there is drug smuggling going on. Hamish and Olivia are as alike as water and oil but they must co-operate in order to solve the case - and as the danger increases.

Poor Hamish finds himself in a situation far beyond his expectations - with hilarious results for the reader. These novels are as funny as they are suspenseful.

Death of a Bore puts in conflict with many of his fellow villagers when an author - a self-acclaimed “famous author” - John Heppel, takes up residence in Lochdubh and offers to present writer's workshops for the villagers. Much to Hamish's amazement half the town enrolls. But when John criticizes every one of them for their poor skills before he is murdered, Hamish must try to sort it all out - and find out if any of the many suspects are the true murderer.

Hamish greatly fears that it is one of the villagers - as it turns out they all have motive and opportunity.

Yet another female Chief Inspector arrives on the scene, as this is considered to be too much of a high profile case for the local bobby to manage.

But manage his does, with the assistance of the Chief Inspector, and a former girlfriend who appears on the scene as a journalist.

There are two too many women here for even Hamish’s healthy appetite. Happily, however, it all ends well as usual, leaving Hamish alone and the reader laughing.

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