Nobody loves an honest man--or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish's beat, where he immediately started to stir up outrage among his neighbors.
Paul first attended church in Lochdubh and told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He then told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat and should set a better example in these days of increasing obesity. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and that she should write real literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie--who compulsively repeats all the last words of her twin sister--that she needed psychiatric help.
"I speak as I find," he bragged. A refrain of "I could kill that man," could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.
And someone did.
Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects, this time without the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who resigned from the force after one too many confrontations with Hamish's incompetent boss, Chief Inspector Blair. But can Hamish find the killer on his own?
At the start of bestseller Beaton's diverting 34th Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2017's Death of a Ghost), the Lochdubh, Scotland, policeman and his amiable sidekick, Constable Charlie Parker, drive to the neighboring village of Cnothan to welcome a new resident, retired banker Paul English, whose first words to Hamish are: "You gay men are always dyeing your hair." Hamish protests that his deep red hair is natural. He and Charlie endure further insults from English before their abrupt departure. After someone murders English and dumps his body in a bog, the police have plenty of suspects, since most everyone who was a target of his insults hated him. Hamish navigates the various traps and trappings of his job with his usual ease. Beaton keeps this lighthearted series fresh by introducing several important changes for some recurring characters and assigning Hamish a surprising new assistant. Series fans will eagerly await the next installment.
Death of an Honest Man
As always M. C. Beaton doesn’t disappoint. Couldn’t put it down. Great story, great characters. What more could you ask for. A great read.
Typical Hamlish Story
Charming, but very choppy editing. Story line was all over the place. Weird.