'Death of A Village'
By: M. C. Beaton
(Hardback / 256 Pages / Warner Books / ISBN: 0892966777 / $23.95)
Description:Beaton adds a new twist to the standard murder-in-a-village plot. Something strange is happening in the quiet fishing village of Storye. A pervasive air of evil seems to linger over the cottages and the kirk of this unremarkable hamlet in the Scottish Highlands. Determined to expose the reason why the taciturn local residents are actively discouraging tourists, quirky Constable Hamish Macbeth decides to vacation in Storye for a few days.
Verdict: If you're looking for a quick but good and light mystery novel to indulge in, this latest Hamish Macbeth installment, "Death of a Village," just might do.
Hamish is again being threatened with promotion and a move away from Lochdubh. Of course our canny policeman isn't having any of this. Of course persuading his superiors to leave him where he is at his current rank is going to take some very quick and devious thinking. But can he pull it off? For in between trying to ensure that he is not transferred from Lochdubh, Hamish also gets entangled with a number of perplexing cases that deal with everything from a suspected domestic abuse to murder at a retirement home. And there is the mystery of the atmosphere at Stoyre, a fishing village on Hamish's patch. Even for the normally unfriendly and dour Highland villagers, the closed and cagey behaviour of the people of Stoyre has Hamish suspecting that something untoward is up. But what? No matter what, Hamish is determined to get to the bottom of what's going on at Stoyre...
Not every Hamish MacBeth mystery novel makes for a completely enjoyable and worthwhile read. But I thought that "Death of a Village" was a particularly good installment in the series. M. C. Beaton's dry humour and gentle irony was evident, and was what made this book so very very readable and fun. Filled with quirky and eccentric characters that are not always likeable, beautiful and atmospheric descriptions of the Highlands and more than a few humourous episodes, this light, fast paced mystery novel was just what I needed to help me unwind at the day's end.
Reviewed By Nick Gurney