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5.0 out of 5 stars Can this Pseudo-Engagement Be Saved?
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...
Published on June 6 2000 by Mamalinde

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3.0 out of 5 stars Along the Beaton Path
The Hamish Macbeth mysteries are most noteable for their Scottish highland settings, light tone and rapid plot progression, and lack of detail- characteristics that assure they can be read in one day, if not in one sitting. "Charming Man" is an unexceptional entry in which Macbeth investigates a crime- that may not even have occured- by jumping from one...
Published on Feb. 14 2001


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4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Charming Man, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (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
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (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
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (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!). Beaton manages to incorporate just enough romance into her stories so that readers find themselves genuinely interested in whether Hamish will EVER be able to settle down and marry Priscilla, a high-born lassie with a mind of her own and who often as not assists in the investigations. Beaton, too, is able to add touches of wry humor here and there, and, granted, after getting into the series, the reader is generally able to predict much of the action. Still, this is a series that is a delight and shouldn't be missed. The Brits have begun filming a Hamish Macbeth series, which should hit the PBS circuit, too, we hope!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Crucial Book in this Series, Dec 10 2003
By 
S. Schwartz "romonko" (alberta canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (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
By 
Martha E. Nelson (Watertown, Wisconsin) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Along the Beaton Path, Feb. 14 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (Mass Market Paperback)
The Hamish Macbeth mysteries are most noteable for their Scottish highland settings, light tone and rapid plot progression, and lack of detail- characteristics that assure they can be read in one day, if not in one sitting. "Charming Man" is an unexceptional entry in which Macbeth investigates a crime- that may not even have occured- by jumping from one conclusion to the next armed, not with facts, but with good old highland instinct. The plotting and logic fall below Beaton's usual standards, with the twist ending particularly unconvincing. Still, another visit from these lovable characters is always welcome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wry commentary on menopause and a darned good mystery!, May 13 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (Mass Market Paperback)
Beaton seems to like to include children in her stories and has created an exceptional one here, twelve-year-old Heather who can raise the power of Celtic gods when needed. This is a wry commentary on the vulnerability of menopausal women ("the men's pause," it's called in these pages) and a darned good mystery to boot, which you won't fully appreciate until the very last page!
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5.0 out of 5 stars HANDSOME IS AS HANDSOME DOES..., April 10 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (Mass Market Paperback)
When Constable Hamish Macbeth decided to check the far reaches of his beat, Hamish ostensibly does so because someone new has moved into the dreary village of Drim. The real reason for Hamish paying Drim a visit, however, may have something to do with his wanting to escape the ministrations of the coolly collected but beautiful Pricilla Halburton-Smythe, who is now his fiancée and seems to want to change his way of life.

While Hamish is in Drim, he notices that the village females are all agog over this outsider, Peter Hynd, who just happens to be the best looking man they have ever seen. Peter's move to Drim is simply the most exciting thing ever to happen in that village. Charming, as well as extremely handsome, this lothario has the village men seeing red, while Hamish sees that this is a potential recipe for disaster.

When a dead body turns up and our charming man goes missing, Hamish has some sneaking suspicions. Between trying to figure out what is going on in Drim and what is going on at home with his fiancée, Hamish certainly has his hands full. Unfortunately for Hamish, he is a lot better at figuring out what happened in Drim than what is happening in his own personal life.

This is the tenth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth. In this book, village life once again takes center stage, and the village characters give the book that cozy feel. The recurring characters are further developed, enmeshing the reader into their lives. The book is also laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and highly enjoyable.

As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mysteries are intriguing, they are the framework around which the characters evolve. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hamish Tests His Limits, March 3 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death of a Charming Man (Mass Market Paperback)
Don't read this book yet if you haven't read any others in the series. At least go back to Death of a Glutton and follow that with Death of a Travelling Man before taking on Death of a Charming Man. But if you can go to the beginning, Death of a Gossip, that would be best.

At the end of Death of a Travelling Man a false rumor spreads that Hamish and Priscilla Halburton-Smythe are engaged. Faced with everyone believing so, Hamish and Priscilla agreed to a sort-of engagement . . . just to see how things go. Hamish is wildly happy, and Priscilla is pleasantly open to the experience.

At the start of Death of Charming Man, Priscilla's well-organized ways are driving Hamish a bit batty as a new electric cooker is installed to replace his old wood-burning stove at the police station. Matters are made worse by Superintendent Daviot's wife who is out searching for homes that Hamish and Priscilla can buy in Strathbane. Hamish wants to stay in Lochdubh and live in the police station with Priscilla (without the cooker).

Wanting relief from all this, Hamish heads on Drim (a dreary place on his beat) to meet the new English arrival, a gorgeous young man named Peter Hynd who knows how to turn on the charm. There's something about Hynd that bothers Hamish. Those concerns grow when Hynd begins flirting with all of the middle-aged women in Drim who turn a bit batty themselves over the attention. Hamish is less pleased when Hynd invites Priscilla for dinner and later makes trouble over wanting to buy her scarf.

Matters are made worse in the Hamish-Priscilla relationship when the receptionist at the Tommel Castle Hotel decides to thrust herself on Hamish and create a scandal. Finally, Hamish warms Priscilla up a bit when police business intrudes.

When Peter Hynd leaves Drim, the men cheer and the women weep before going back to the old ways. Hamish is suspicious that there's foul play involved but cannot prove anything. An apparently accidental death follows that makes Hamish even more suspicious. But he's alone in his concerns. Feeling abandoned, Hamish takes his vacation to sleuth on his own. Before the book ends, Hamish finds that he's met his match in more than one way in this entertaining mystery.

Hamish Macbeth fans will find this to be one of the top books in the series. The development of the Hamish-Priscilla relationships is very find. The portrayal of the Peter Hynd character is well done. The villagers in Drim become interesting as well. The mystery is a challenging one, and most people probably won't get it until M.C. Beaton drops two clues to get you on the right track. The ending is full of interesting humor in which M.C. Beaton makes fun of her typical Hamish Macbeth endings.

Savor this one. It's very fine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hamish Tests His Limits, March 3 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Don't read this book yet if you haven't read any others in the series. At least go back to Death of a Glutton and follow that with Death of a Travelling Man before taking on Death of a Charming Man. But if you can go to the beginning, Death of a Gossip, that would be best.

At the end of Death of a Travelling Man a false rumor spreads that Hamish and Priscilla Halburton-Smythe are engaged. Faced with everyone believing so, Hamish and Priscilla agreed to a sort-of engagement . . . just to see how things go. Hamish is wildly happy, and Priscilla is pleasantly open to the experience.

At the start of Death of Charming Man, Priscilla's well-organized ways are driving Hamish a bit batty as a new electric cooker is installed to replace his old wood-burning stove at the police station. Matters are made worse by Superintendent Daviot's wife who is out searching for homes that Hamish and Priscilla can buy in Strathbane. Hamish wants to stay in Lochdubh and live in the police station with Priscilla (without the cooker).

Wanting relief from all this, Hamish heads on Drim (a dreary place on his beat) to meet the new English arrival, a gorgeous young man named Peter Hynd who knows how to turn on the charm. There's something about Hynd that bothers Hamish. Those concerns grow when Hynd begins flirting with all of the middle-aged women in Drim who turn a bit batty themselves over the attention. Hamish is less pleased when Hynd invites Priscilla for dinner and later makes trouble over wanting to buy her scarf.

Matters are made worse in the Hamish-Priscilla relationship when the receptionist at the Tommel Castle Hotel decides to thrust herself on Hamish and create a scandal. Finally, Hamish warms Priscilla up a bit when police business intrudes.

When Peter Hynd leaves Drim, the men cheer and the women weep before going back to the old ways. Hamish is suspicious that there's foul play involved but cannot prove anything. An apparently accidental death follows that makes Hamish even more suspicious. But he's alone in his concerns. Feeling abandoned, Hamish takes his vacation to sleuth on his own. Before the book ends, Hamish finds that he's met his match in more than one way in this entertaining mystery.

Hamish Macbeth fans will find this to be one of the top books in the series. The development of the Hamish-Priscilla relationships is very find. The portrayal of the Peter Hynd character is well done. The villagers in Drim become interesting as well. The mystery is a challenging one, and most people probably won't get it until M.C. Beaton drops two clues to get you on the right track. The ending is full of interesting humor in which M.C. Beaton makes fun of her typical Hamish Macbeth endings.

Savor this one. It's very fine.
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Death of a Charming Man
Death of a Charming Man by M. C. Beaton (Mass Market Paperback - July 1 1995)
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