In the isolated villages in the north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the chimney sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until the day that Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. It's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed--and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
©2011 Marion Chesney (P)2011 AudioGo
SuseADoodle - "Audiobook Addict!" - Please disregard my "guided" reviews since it appears that a lot of what I wrote has been chopped off.
I enjoy the books that M. C. Beaton writes. The Hamish Macbeth books (as well as the Agatha Raisin books) all follow a sort of "formula." For Hamish, Blair kicks him off the case immediately, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe and/or Elspeth Grant show up to complicate things romantically but also help solve the mystery, Jimmy Anderson wants whiskey in return for information of how the investigation is going, Sonzy and Lugs follow Hamish and try to mooch food around Lochdubh, and the crazy residents of this often dreary (weather-wise) Highland village add comic relief, and lots of possible suspects, though this time Hamish focuses in rather quickly on a set of possibilities, etc.
Fluffy, fun reads. Not great writing of "literature" level -- but pleasant, quick read. It's easier to forget the whodunit-culprit than with an Agatha Christie novel, so I often relisten to the Hamish Macbeth stories after about a year.
Some reviewers may claim Hamish is lazy or bumbling. He is neither. He isn't lazy. He just likes his life too much to let anything change it -- especially any kind of promotion that would move him out of the village police station or force him to get rid of his beloved pets.
I enjoyed this story. The descriptions of the Scottish Highlands make the book enjoyable for me, and I found the characters in this particular story interesting and fairly well developed. This is a book in a series, so you might want to begin with the first one rather than jumping in with this one as I did. One thing: there are a lot of murders in this book, and some of them seem unnecessary to me. The ending is a little pat with regard to the murderer specifically, but extra time is taken to wind down the other plot lines, and I appreciated that. Fine narration.
Online Grad Student, I prefer audiobooks to bound books. Preferences: history, disasters, Preston/Child, Lee Child
Only listen to MC Beaton's Hamish Macbeth's audiobooks when they are narrated by Graeme Malcolm. Davina Porter totally butchers his character.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
Yes, after awhile I may listen again. It is only 5 hours, pleasant narrator voice, & set in the Scottish Highlands.
It was a good story told without gore or heavy sex. It is set in one of my favorite regions (Scottish Highlands) & peopled with clever villagers & Police Constable Hamish Macbeth.
Malcolm is a great voice for Hamish Macbeth and manages the different accents and genders as a pro.
In several places I did laugh out loud. The book evokes pleasant memories of traveling in Scotland.
I haven't read the book, only listened to the audio version. I don't know that it's any better, per se, but the story is certainly enhanced by a good narrator. The narrator for this story was a perfect choice!
The story has many twists and unexpected turns. While the story is mainly based on rather grim murders, I found several occasions to laugh out loud. It was a wonderful listen.
One of my favorite scenes is when one of the old twin sisters' calmly take care of an intruder. This was one of the parts that made me laugh.
Anyone who enjoys audio books, especially one read by a very talented narrator, will find themselves lost in this story....if you listen while you're walking, you'll go another turn or two around the park just to find out what happens next. I recommend this audio book.
Nice murder mystery, the end was quite satisfying. It is nice to read a book where the author actually writes an ending! Loved the narrator, did a great job (as far as I could tell) with the different Scottish accents.
The Hamish MacBeth series is one of my favorites, but this book is a Hamish MacBeth mystery inside a comment (or perhaps, a fit?) by MC Beaton, I guess about publishing today. It seems to have a murder and some kind of non-lethal accident or crime in each chapter! By the end it's almost tongue-in-cheek humor. Odd.
Another great Hamish story & it was narrated by Graeme Malcolm who fits the character better than Davina Porter except he did not sound as Scottish in this one. Why? That is part of the charm of the audio books vs. Reading.
A procedural with local humor set in rural Scoootland, the story is simple and refreshing as a mist off a moor. Great car listening as it is fun without requiring all that much concentration. So you can text while you listen, and someday be the center of your own murder mystery.
Ms. Chesney paints a very insightful portrait of human nature in this episode of the perils of Hamish Macbeth. Even Hamish is colored with the flaws of selfishness as he seeks to unravel the mystery of why a retired army officer is murdered and stuffed up a chimney. In fact, just about every character in this landscape of life in the isolated villages of northern Scotland is colored with some shade of flawed nature, ranging from fearfulness to an egotistical and insane pride that destroys the lives of at least twelve people and deeply affects the rest of those pictured. And what is the focus of all this trouble; stolen money and the deceitful promise of power and wealth. In the end it tells with a smell that can't be covered. If you're a student of human nature you will find in this painting a depth worth viewing.
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