No wonder she's been crowned Queen of Cosy Crime' Mail on Sunday
Now that Priscilla Halburton-Smythe has agreed to marry him, Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth can't imagine a more perfect life. There's not much crime in his remote Scottish village of Lochdubh, nothing much at all to do but fish, drink coffee, and slouch around. And now to spend time with lovely Priscilla.
But his days aren't as tranquil as his dreams. For one thing, Priscilla's renovation schemes are driving him out of his cottage. Not to mention her ambitious plans for his career as a policeman away from Lochdubh. This might be a good time to find out why Peter Hynd's arrival in nearby Drim was causing so much trouble.
An attractive, unmarried man with an independent income would always attract attention in such a small place. But this time Hynd's arrival seems to have caused bitter rivalry among the women of Drim. Hamish finds their petty fights amusing and a clever excuse to avoid Priscilla and her schemes for a new electric stove (to replace his beloved woodburning appliance), a posh new bathroom, and virtuous nutrition. Amusing, that is, until death threats, physical abuse, and murder make statistical history in one of Scotland's most picture postcard-perfect towns.
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.