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by M. C. Beaton
Mysterious Press, February 2005
256 pages
ISBN: 0892967951

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Hamish Macbeth is the police constable of Lochdubh, a small village in the Highlands of Scotland. Hamish is contented with his job, his life, even with his dog, his only problems seem to stem from the woman he's romanced and that he's far and above a better detective than his superiors who all seem to be inclined to transfer him to the big city.

When a self-proclaimed famous writer, John Heppel enters his village and starts a class for hopeful writers, Hamish, though annoyed by the writer's character, doesn't think there will be many takers in the sleepy village. But he's amazed to see publishing fever take hold of the population, all who seem to feel they are going to write the next runaway bestseller.

At the crowded class, when Heppel shows he's more interested in talking about his own boring life than in helping the budding writers, the village insists he give them feedback. Heppel then proceeds to insult every new writer in town, thus incurring the wrath of the population. When the next day the bore is found poisoned and his tongue coated with ink, it's up to Hamish to figure out who murdered the man.

In this, the 20th of the series, M C Beaton brings forth the refreshing clear morality and insight-filled humor that her fans expect from their hero, Hamish. Along with his problems in solving the murder and the other crimes on his beat while manipulating his superiors to permit him to remain in the Highlands, this time Hamish must also fend off the romantic interests of the new teacher in town and the reappearance of his last love, reporter Elspeth Grant.

Even though M C Beaton's energy seems to waver at the middle and end of the story, there's still a lot to recommend about DEATH OF A BORE. I'd suggest that a new reader might better start with another of the series, but old fans won't be disappointed. A fun and fast read, DEATH OF A BORE will hold Hamish Macbeth admirers spellbound.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, January 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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