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Death of a Village: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery Hardcover – Feb 18 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (Feb. 18 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892966777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892966776
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,935,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 18 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the nineteenth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, in charge of law and order in the village of Lochdubh and its environs in the north of Scotland. As always, the book is laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, and the dialogue creates a feeling of authenticity of place, making the book highly enjoyable. One does not read these books for their literary value. One reads them purely for the fun of it.

This time, Hamish is called to the isolated village of Storye, where something is just not quite right, as the normally god fearing, Calvinist population has seemingly taken fear of the Almighty to new heights, and are now seemingly fearful of everything. Just what is going on in Storye? Well, that is what Hamish tries to discover, that is, when he is not daydreaming about his ex-fiancée Priscilla, who is now engaged to be married to someone else, or sparring with local news reporter Elspeth Grant, who seems to have taken a shine to our local constable.

As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery, and the characters are certainly quirky and entertaining, adding to the charm of the series. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a character that is a winner. I love this series of cozy mysteries!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Village has to be the most intriguing title in the Hamish Macbeth series. In all of the other titles, there's a reference to a death of a single person . . . who can be spotted in the first few pages of the book. In this case, you'll have a strong suspicion which village is doomed . . . but you won't know what's coming until it happens.

Normally, Hamish Macbeth manages to solve one major crime during the course of a book. Well, in Death of a Village, Hamish is a positive crime-stopping superman . . . with a little help from his friends.

The book opens in an odd fashion: Hamish makes a rare visit to off-the-beaten-path Stoyre and finds a curious quiet and reticence in the town. But he's even more amazed to find that the church is full for services during the day on a Monday. That's some religious revival!

Intrigued by the change, Hamish recruits local reporter, horoscope writer, and frustrated Hamish-chaser, Elspeth Grant, to help him find out what's going on. Nosing around and taking in Sunday services reveals nothing out of the ordinary . . . except to confirm the curious quiet and reticence that Hamish spotted on the first visit. But, before long, there's a surprise in Stoyre. Hamish eventually decides to take a holiday and spend it in Stoyre to get the lay of the land.

His concern is quickly distracted by a break-in at the grocery in Braikie, where all the wine and spirits have been taken. But Hamish senses that something funny is going on. Using his initiative, Hamish checks out the records of the grocer's supplier and makes several surprising finds. But the success backfires when Hamish adds to his local reputation as a woman chaser.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
MC Beaton pens another winner with "Death of a Village". No one can write a village mystery like her, and her Hamish is a wonderful character. I like him more each time out. In this book Hamish is on a winning crusade against crime in his patch. He cracks open a fraud ring, a nursing home scam, saves a little girl's life in a catastropic flood and uncovers a salvaging ring that is stripping a German submarine from World War II that had been downed somewhere near the village of Storye which is a village on his patch. Usually nothing much goes on in Storye, but when Hamish makes a routine visit there, he finds that the villagers are secretive and scared. He and his young reporter friend Elspeth try to determine what is going on in the tiny village. Hamish is hard pressed to keep his good deeds "off the radar screen" so to speak because the last thing he wants is promotion to a larger police station. The only thing I'm sad about after reading this book is that I have only one left to read in this long-running series. The series has been a total delight!
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Format: Hardcover
Scottish police constable Hamish Macbeth likes his life and dreads the idea of a promotion. If only he could get his love-life under control, he thinks things would be about perfect. But Hamish can't help offending pretty reporter Elspeth Grant and can't get over being abandoned by his ex-fiance. Besides, his dog can't stand the idea of a woman moving in with him. Instead, Hamish solves mysteries. Even in the Scottish Highlands, crime does take place--including insurance fraud and spousal abuse. But Hamish's police instincts are most intrigued by a small village which seems to have no crime at all--and be suffering from a religious revival. Something odd is happening and the always taciturn residents are being even more closed-mouthed than usual.
The rest of the police force is hopeless and Hamish ends up being a one-man crime buster, assisted by the beautiful Elspeth and a pair of aging sleuths.
Author M. C. Beaton creates a charming character in Hamish Macbeth and a properly cozy world of small crimes and mostly cheery people with deep Scottish accents and deep Scottish accents. Hamish can be annoying--both to Elspeth and the reader--by his judgemental attitude and his thoughtlessness to Elspeth's feelings, but Beaton's stories are strongly written and intriguing.
In DEATH OF A VILLAGE, more than in some of the other Macbeth stories, Hamish seems to be going through the motions--his emotions don't feel quite real. Still, while this may not be the best of the series, it is a well written and enjoyable story.
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