08 December 2008

Bibliophile reviews Death of a Hussy by M.C. Beaton (mystery)

I wrote this review ages ago, but for some reason I never got round to posting it until now.

Series detective: Constable Hamish Macbeth
No. in series: 5
Year of publication: 1990
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Police
Setting & time: Lochdubh village, Scotland, contemporary
Number of murders: 2
Some themes: Family ties, money, inheritance

I was familiar with M.C. Beaton in her guise as romance writer Marion Chesney long before I read this book. I enjoyed some of her light-hearted Regency romances, but knew her to be a very uneven writer after having read an Edwardian romance of hers that was such a horrible collection of bad clichés that I ended up throwing it in the trash (I wrote a review, but upon reading it over I thought it was unfit for publishing. Let's suffice to say that I do not recommend Chesney's Kitty to anyone, not even her most ardent fans).

My first attempt at reading an M.C. Beaton mystery ended with me returning the book to the library unfinished. This was an Agatha Raisin novel that I simply couldn't get into, but this didn't stop me from picking up this Hamish MacBeth mystery – having first tested it on my mother who has a similar taste in mysteries as I do. So without further ado:

Story: Hamish MacBeth's post as village constable has been eliminated and he is unhappily serving on the police force of a bigger town and missing peaceful Lochdubh. The inhabitants organise a crime wave to get him back, but soon enough a real crime is committed and laid-back Hamish uses his natural curiosity, his way with people and his considerable insight into human nature to solve the case.

Review: The writing is deft, the story is funny and the character descriptions well-drawn and rounded. I may have found another series to glom.

Rating: A light and humorous mystery with an endearing sleuth. 3+ stars.

No comments: