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Death of a Charming Man [Mass Market Paperback]

M. C. Beaton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 1995 Hamish Macbeth Mysteries
All Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wants to do is fish and drink coffee with his fiance. Then a mysterious stranger moves into the neighboring village--a rich, unmarried heartbreaker, causing rivalry among the local women. It is amusing until death threats, assault and murder shatter the tranquil countryside. Hamish must investigate the darker side of love and desire.

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Death of a Charming Man + Death of a Macho Man + Death of a Hussy
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

One of the warmest and quirkiest mystery series around boasts a new publisher and a welcome burst of fresh energy. Making his 10th appearance (following Death of a Travelling Man ) is lanky, tousle-haired Scottish Highland copper Hamish Macbeth, in the company here of his lazy dog Towser, his higher-born fiancee Priscilla and the quixotic inhabitants of the village of Lochdubh. Hamish, known for his slovenly lifestyle and crafty detecting, meets handsome newcomer, Peter Hynd, whose suave looks send the village womenfolk running to the hairdresser and aerobics classes. Soon they are at each other's throats and queueing up for a place in his bed. The Lothario goes missing and soon the body of one of his conquests is found on the beach, leaving Hamish with two mysteries to solve while his domestic life deteriorates. Beaton's tremendously likable policeman stars here in a tightly wrought tale, with a gem of an ending in which Hamish manages to be both dead right and dead wrong. Further good news is that the series has been optioned by Zenith Productions, the team responsible for the absorbing TV series starring Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Hamish MacBeth is a stubborn, silent, gloomy Scotsman who's also kindhearted, intelligent, and intuitive. A Lochdubh native, he knows his village, the surrounding countryside, and the local folk like the back of his hand. His life is satisfyingly settled--he's engaged to the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, and there have been no serious crimes in Lochdubh for months. Then incredibly handsome Peter Hynd comes to town, charms all the women, antagonizes all the men, and generally turns the town on its ear. Hamish senses trouble brewing, but when a body is discovered, it's not Hynd after all--at least, the first body isn't. Other coppers might be baffled by the case, but not laconic, methodical, determined Hamish, who persists until he unravels the puzzling mystery. Beaton's low-key police procedural doesn't offer white-knuckle suspense, blood and gore, fast-paced action, or stunning climaxes. What it does offer is an intimate look at life in a small Scottish village, striking insights into human nature, carefully detailed, highly accurate descriptions of police work, splendid dry humor, and a story that's as satisfying as a cozy cup of tea. Emily Melton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Charming Man Aug. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Death of a Charming Man" is the 10th Hamish Macbeth mystery by M.C. Beaton. Hamish is now engaged to the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. Priscilla is making changes to make Hamish more respectable, and it is cramping his style. Hamish travels to the small village of Drim which is in his territory to check out a very handsome and rich Englishman, Peter Hynd, who has moved there. The middle-aged women of Drim are all going to the hairdresser and taking aerobics classes in order to impress Mr. Hynd. He is even sleeping with some of the women, most of whom are married. Suddenly he disappears from Drim, and sells his house. Hamish senses that something is wrong and believes that Peter Hynd may be dead, and possibly murdered, perhaps by a jealous husband from the village. To get away from Lochdubh and Priscilla, he vacations in Drim to try to find out exactly what happened to Peter Hynd. This was not my favorite Hamish Macbeth novel, but it is an important one in the personal life of Hamish, and is a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can this Pseudo-Engagement Be Saved? June 6 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hamish MacBeth, the unamibitious and unlucky in love Police Constable of village of Lochdubh, finds himself both promoted and unofficially engaged to the cooly beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. However, a new inhabitant of the nearby and slightly sinister village of Drim is stirring up passions, and Hamish MacBeth is sensing trouble. The beautiful young man even tries to romance Hamish's unofficial fiancé, while the matrons of Drim flock to the hairdresser and the exercise classes and their men simmer and stew. Hamish smells something amiss when a local woman is found dead. Though it is labeled an accident - where has the charming man disappeared to? Who is covering up what? With a dose of highlands persistence, a strange pagan child, and a wee dram here and again, Hamish takes his mostly gentle persistence all around the countryside, despite instructions from headquarters and contrary to the gentle guidance of Priscilla, who seems to be more interested in just about anything than a passion for Hamish. Well written and sketched, an absolutely delightful cozy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Dread Scot' Decision! Feb. 9 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Death of a Charming Man," as a novel, is just that--"charming"! And probably this is an apt word to describe all the Hamish Macbeth books by British sleuth writer M.C. Beaton (who also writes the popular Agatha Raisin series). Beaton's Macbeth books (all beginning with "Death of a ...") takes us to the Scottish Highlands and the village of Lochdubh. Hamish is a low-keyed police constable who'd rather be out poaching salmon or chasing the odd deer than tending to his constabulary duties; in fact, most of the townspeople consider him a bit lazy and unmotivated. He refuses to work toward promotion within the police department and often lets his superiors take credit for his solutions, which are always the correct ones by the books' endings.. No matter. Hamish is happy. He loves the Highlands, his dog Towser, and small town life (and here we are talking of VERY small town life!); however, even small towns fall prey to murderers and, as it has been in all the Macbeth stories, it is the constable's slow, plodding--but accurate--detective work that brings the murderer to justice. Beaton's works are not like the complex books of P.D. James or the skilled stylistics of Ruth Rendell or the literary awareness of Martha Grimes (all tremendous writers themselves), but they are worth reading. She captures, indeed, an essence of Scotland rarely seen since that earlier Macbeth, in thunder, lightning, and rain, managed to flood the stage with all those bodies a few centuries ago!). Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Crucial Book in this Series Dec 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a crucial book in the series because of what happens in Hamish's personal and professional life as a result of his uncovering this mystery. Hamish is sleuthing on his own in the small neighbouring village of Drim. He's the only one that thinks that murder most foul has been committed there. He puts his professional life on the line to first of all prove that murder was done, and then to show who actually committed it. Hamish is his usual laconic, endearing self. No wonder that the books of Hamish Macbeth have started a cult of followers over here across the pond from where MC Beaton and her fictional characters live. As in other books there is a sense of despair but a true sense of warmth as well. Her books in this series in particular are prime examples of black comedy. And her characterizations are absolutely wonderful with each outing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat grim and also somewhat funny! Sept. 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really like Hamish MacBeth and I like the way M.C. Beaton develops her characters. I am definiely reading these out of order, so I am coming to the engagement of Hamish and Priscilla somewhat out of season, but I am impressed with the way that Beaton develops the serious ambivalence in their relationship and the poignant loss at the end of the novel at the same time that she is able to have some very funny, lighthearted scenes.
There is a lot of human sadness here--I really felt for the poor, excitement starved women of Drim who yearn so much for the Charming Man of the title. I was also really drawn to the child, Heather, old beyond her years with Celtic wisdom.
I really like the layers of meaning and strength of the characters in these books.
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