Publish date February 23,2016
You may think I’m a bit nutty, but I like, A Hamish Macbeth Mystery, by M.C. Beaton. For those of you who do not know anything about this series, Hamish Macbeth is a lazy Scottish policeman who whines about never ‘getting the girl’, slacks off when ever he can, and can be brisk when he finds others annoying. His personality is a bit like Colombo, professional associates and his neighbors think he’s ‘one off’, but ultimately it’s Hamish who solves the crime with his unorthodox methods.
Mrs. Beaton’s main characters, Hamish Macbeth, and in her other series Agatha Raisin, I’ve found the lead characters to be self-deprecating, cranky and bossy, but they’re also clever, witty and underneath their exterior personality, lovable.
Beaton’s methodical mind is on fire in this newest installment. Followers of Hamish’s world and his unique pets will have a bit of an upset as a new 4-legged member of the station is revealed.
As for Hamish’s cast mates, his primary past loves, Pricilla and Elspeth, along with his fellow police officers from Strathbane, float in and out of the story as a sounding board for Hamish and the reader to solve the crime.
Just when you think you’ve figured out who the murderer is and why they did it, Beaton takes the reader back to square one and has us following Hamish through hill, dale and concrete jungles to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
In Death of a Nurse, Hamish’s cynicism and womanizing ways in the first 3rd of the book had me mentally and emotionally cringing. Thankfully, chapter 5 finds Hamish back to his cranky lovable self, focusing on the murder with a dash of flirting he’s known for, along with second chances for those who need it.
One thing I’d like to mention–this installment seemed to have a darker theme– what could be described as sexual harassment; an abundance of illicit affairs, inappropriate flirtations, and a general unpleasantness (for me) wove its way through the book, more so than in past books. I don’t know if it’s just me at this particular time reading the book or if someone else will notice it, but I’d just like to say this installment has a different feel than the 30+ prior books.