This is the first book in the Hamish Macbeth cozy mystery series. While not the strongest book in the series in that both the mystery and the characters are not that well articulated or developed, it does set the groundwork for the books that are to come in this most enjoyable and utterly addictive cozy mystery series.
This book introduces to the reader Hamish Macbeth, a Highlander and local constable for the village of Lochdubh in Scotland, as well as the woman to whom he will lose his heart, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. The mystery involves Lady Jane Winters, a notorious gossip columnist who meets an untimely death while vacationing in Lochdubh with a local fishing club. It seems that someone wanted desperately to silence her vicious yattering by whatever means necessary.
The reader sees Hamish bumbling his was around the powers that be in an attempt to solve the mystery that his boss and nemesis, Detective Chief Inspector Blair, is unable to solve. The methodology that Hamish employs to expose the killer is less methodical than in the rest of the series, as the character of Hamish Macbeth is still in a somewhat nascent stage. Still, it gives the reader a glimmer of the treats that are to come with this series, which is one that fans of the cozy mystery genre will enjoy.