Death of a Liar (Hamish MacBeth #30) by M.C Beaton

Book Description:

Published: February 3, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is alarmed to receive a report from a woman in the small village of Cronish in the Scottish Highlands. She has been brutally attacked and the criminal is on the loose. But upon further investigation, Hamish discovers that she was lying about the crime. So when the same woman calls him back about an intruder, he simply marvels at her compulsion to lie. This time, though, she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must sort through all of her lies to solve the crime.

Review –

For anyone who hasn’t read or listened to at least one of the Hamish MacBeth series, here is a bit about the likable character.

He lives in Lochdubh’s police station and keeps some sheep and chickens and grows some vegetables. He is occasionally guilty of poaching a salmon, sometimes for himself, but often as a gift or bribe for others.

Hamish has a reputation for laziness. He loves the town of Lochdubh (meaning ‘black lake’ (loch) in Gaelic and pronounced Lokh-DOO) and is content and at peace with his life and lacks ambition. Of great concern to Hamish and his fellow villagers is the threat of possible closure of Lochdubh’s police station,something his superior and archenemy, Chief Inspector Blair, would like to see. Hamish avoids promotion, occasionally even deliberately destroying attempts to give him recognition for his accomplishments. His position as “local bobby,” sees him sometimes left out of official investigations and he must often work outside official channels, as the detectives from neighbouring Strathbane CID do not appreciate his help. Despite this, it is Hamish’s natural “Highland curiosity” and local knowledge and intuition that combine to solve crimes.

All that being said, this book did not hold my interest and I found myself wishing the book would hurry up and be over. There was nothing different from this book to differentiate it from all the others.I like all the characters but I hope the author can come up with more timely and “edge of the seat” plots.

 

Death of a Macho Man (Hamish MacBeth #12) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: 2009

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Randy Duggan is the macho man of the title of this work of fiction. He claims to be a professional wrestler and he becomes known in the small village of Lochdubh for his tall stories. When Randy is found murdered, Constable Hamish Macbeth hopes that the killer is not one of the villagers. However, there is enough local resentment against Randy, that someone in quiet, peaceful Lochdubh may have been driven to slaying this macho man.

 

Review –

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.

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Dragonfly In Amber (Outlander #2) By Diana Gabaldon

Book Description:

Published: November 2, 1993

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones … about a love that transcends the boundaries of time … and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart … in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising … and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves….

Review –

Five stars *****. That about says it all.

As I listened to this, the second book in the Outlander Series, I found myself often holding my breath as I traveled along with Claire and Jamie on their adventures and misfortunes in England, France and Scotland. I laughed and cried and at the end I was left with my mouth agape and a feeling of awe and wonder filling me.

Excellent series.

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Outlander (Outlander Series #1) by Diana Gabaldon

Book Description:

Published: June 1, 1991

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.


Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

From Publishers Weekly

Absorbing and heartwarming, this first novel lavishly evokes the land and lore of Scotland, quickening both with realistic characters and a feisty, likable heroine. English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she’s somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank’s evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack. Scenes of the Highlanders’ daily life blend poignant emotions with Scottish wit and humor. Eventually Sassenach (outlander) Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of Frank and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie. Claire’s resourcefulness and intelligent sensitivity make the love-conquers-all, happily-ever-after ending seem a just reward. Doubleday Book Club main selection, Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review –

Five stars ***** hands down. 

There are really no words to describe this book, for who can resist a man with a Scottish accent and in a kilt no less.  The narrator, Divina Porter, does a magnificent job with the voices and accents of all the characters in the audio version that I purchased from audible.com  and makes the sights and sounds of the past become the present for the time your listening.

I don’t have Showtime so haven’t seen the series but as soon as it is on DVD I’ll be first in line to get a copy and I have already started the second in series, Dragonfly In Amber, which has the same narrator and was surprised where it picked up and can’t wait to see what happens.

If you haven’t read Outlander, don’t be intimidated by the length of the book (800+ pages) or audio (33+ hours) because the journey you will take will be well worth it.

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Death of Yesterday (Hamish MacBeth #29) by M.C. Beaton

Product Description:

Published: February 25, 2014

Scottish Highland Sergeant Hamish Macbeth disbelieves summer student Morag – she lost memories of her pub night and sketchbook – until she turns up dead. As does witness, layabout Fergus. In Cnothan, “sour locals” take “pride in keeping themselves to themselves”, to keep their jobs at the Gilchrist dress factory. Past amorous attentions and police politics lie answers.

 

Review –

Another good book in the Hamish MacBeth Series but not one of the author’s best. Still a fast pleasant read.

 

 

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Death of a Policeman(Hamish MacBeth #30) by M.C. Beaton

Product Description:

Published: February 25, 2014

Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair’s plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

Review:

I have read every book in this series and it is one of my favorites because the books are fast reads with pleasant (maybe not the right word) murder mysteries involving Hamish MacBeth, a Scottish policeman who doesn’t want to move up in ranks because he would have to leave the station where is now assigned. There isn’t a lot of crime so he spends time with his dog and cat and drives around the country side and sometimes goes fishing.

Of course, some in the series are better than others, and I found this one a little lacking. But all in all, I enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next installment.  Hopefully soon Hamish will find the love of his life, which may be a good thing and maybe not.

 

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The Witches Stone by Dawn Brown

 

 

 

 

 

Book Description

 

 April 24, 2012

 

A devastating tragedy cost history professor Hillary Bennett her job and her marriage. Desperate to rebuild her life, she travels to the quaint Scottish village of Culcraig to research a legend and salvage her career. But when she arrives, she finds her hostess dead and her hopes for the future pinned to the woman’s black sheep heir—Caid Douglas.

The last thing Caid needs is a decrepit manor house to remind him of his estranged family, but he does need the money selling the house would bring to pay off his debts. When haunted, down-on-her-luck Hillary offers to pay him to stay at Glendon House and view his great grandfather’s journals, he sees a way out of his mess.

But Glendon House harbors a sinister secret behind its great stone walls. And a killer will stop at nothing to keep it.

Review –
Great read for a lazy afternoon. Takes place in Scotland, has spooky graveyards, an old creepy house, murders, and sexual tension and romance. What could be better than that ?

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Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea by Nancy Atherton

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Book Description

Release date: February 6, 2007 | Series: Aunt Dimity Mystery
Another page-turning installment in Nancy Atherton’s beloved cozy mystery series featuring Aunt Dimity, phantom detective

Lori Shepherd is no stranger to trouble and intrigue. But when Bill, her high- profile attorney husband, receives a number of chilling death threats aimed at his family, danger hits close to home. With Scotland Yard on the case, Bill decides to send Lori and their five- year-old twins to the safety of a remote island off the coast of Scotland. There, another mystery begins to unfold- Lori suspects that the locals on the island are making a fortune running an illegal smuggling operation. What else could explain their luxurious lifestyles? But after finding a human skull washed up on the beach, Lori fears something even more sinister is going on. With Aunt Dimity’s help, Lori begins to piece together the clues, unaware of the growing danger on the island. Will the murderous threats against her family finally catch up with her?

Review –
I don’t think I was really in the mood as I read this book because my mind kept wandering and I had to re-read passages over again to refresh my memory as to what I had read.  I still love the series because its not it’s fault that I was having a bad day.

The Witch’s Stone by Dawn Brown

Book Description

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
A devastating tragedy cost history professor Hillary Bennett her job and her marriage. Desperate to rebuild her life, she travels to the quaint Scottish village of Culcraig to research a legend and salvage her career. But when she arrives, she finds her hostess dead and her hopes for the future pinned to the woman’s black sheep heir—Caid Douglas.
The last thing Caid needs is a decrepit manor house to remind him of his estranged family, but he does need the money selling the house would bring to pay off his debts. When haunted, down-on-her-luck Hillary offers to pay him to stay at Glendon House and view his great grandfather’s journals, he sees a way out of his mess.
But Glendon House harbors a sinister secret behind its great stone walls. And a killer will stop at nothing to keep it.
Review-
This story starts off with a bang and keeps going and I read it in one sitting.  I loved the locale, Scotland, the characters, and the mystery/romance plot.  It does have some sex in it so it that bothers you best not start it.  I loved it and will be reading more Dawn Brown from now on.

Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton ( a Hamish MacBeth Mystery )

 

 

 

 

Book Description

Series: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery | Publication Date: December 27, 2011
 
In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager’s fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn’t believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete’s body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it’s up to Hamish to discover who’s responsible for the dirty deed–and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
 
Review –
 Some don’t think that this installment of the Hamish MacBeth Mysteries  lives up to the other 25 in the series but I loved it because Hamish didn’t seem as bumbling and at loose ends.  He’s never really been appreciated by his superiors (until after he has solved a murder) and probably never will be but that just adds to the enjoyment of the series because I keep routing for him to get his due approval and acceptance. 
After reading the book I’m a bit unsure that the title was apropos because the chimney sweep was just collateral damage.  The murder that everyone was trying to solve was Capt. Davenport’s, the man who was stuffed up his own chimney, but I guess maybe that’s why the author named the book for the lesser involved-maybe she felt sorry for him.  I did, he maybe got a total of 3 pages written about him. 
No matter what the title, I love the story and found it to be a very pleasurable read.
If you’ve never read an M.C Beaton book you really should put it on your New Year’s Resolution List.