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Publisher's Summary

A classic title from M.C. Beaton's New York Times best-selling Hamish Macbeth series about the death of a practical joker.

Admittedly, there's a touch of black humor in the case. Rich, old practical joker Andrew Trent summons his kin to the remote Arrat House in the dead of winter for a deathbed farewell. They arrive to find him in perfect health and eager to torment them with a new bag of unfunny jokes.

But this time the body that falls out of the closet is Andrew Trent's own. And nobody's laughing. Especially not Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is hard put to glean any information from Trent's unappealing nearest and dearest. And when the lanky constable's former flame Priscilla Halburton-Smythe inserts herbeautiful self into the case, Hamish must muster all his native guile to carry him through. Fortunately, he has a few clever tricks up his own sleeve which enable this most endearing of crime fighters to get the best - and last - laugh.

©2013 Blackstone Audio; 2012 M.C. Beaton

What listeners say about Death of a Prankster

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good listen - horrible characters!

The story is intriguing as always with the Mcbeth mysteries. This was not one of my favorites, mainly because I hate practical jokes or pranks. Fortunately the prankster is bumped off early on, so one only has to put up with his relatives, who are mostly shallow and selfish.

The subplot with Priscilla continues. It's hard to keep up with their relationship as it evolves from book to book, but it is always interesting. She likes to keep him dangling but he is growing wiser these days.

I recommend this book and this series if you like to hear about the people and places in remote northern Scotland and don't demand too much plausibility in your murder plots. The situations are too outlandish to be taken seriously, which makes these good books if you want to be entertained but not stressed out. The narrator does a good job of reading and has a voice that is very easy to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Alas, it was the reader....

I've listened. with pleasure, to many Hamish Macbeth books, but this was the first read by Shaun Grindell and it was most disappointing. His reading was often difficult to understand particularly his accents. Not an easy listen. I recommend that readers look for the Hamish Macbeth books read by Graeme Malcolm, who does a superb job.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I was disappointed in this book because I was half way
In when the usual main characters appeared. The characters in the first half were necessary for the plot but were pretty obnoxious & that part felt discouraging to me; I almost stopped listening. Shortly thereafter Hamish
MacBeth arrived, responding to a sudden death. At this point the investigation started

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Good But Lacks the Punch of the Others

This story of the old trickster, Andrew Trent is good, but not quite as fleshed out and full of dry wit as the rest of the Hamish Macbeth series. The old, rich joker is really a sadistic mean man, who gets his jollies by holding his wealth and stature over his family, then plays pranks on them, which aren't really funny, but downright hateful. His kin, who all put up with his antics hoping to gain some of his riches at his death, are just as pathetic as he is. When the old man turns up dead in what appeared to be one of his pranks, no one was sad, that is until they became a suspect. Hamish and Chief Inspector Blair once again disagree on the investigation, but even that isn't as funny or interesting as usual. I'm glad this one was offered on Audible Plus, as I'd be disappointed if I'd had to pay for it.

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The Murder Is Not A Joke

I wasn’t sure about this story in the beginning, but I stayed with it, and I’m glad I did. It’s surprising, and in my opinion, one of the best Hamish McBeth stories. A lot happens in just under five hours. And of course, Shaun Grindell’s reading of it is perfect.

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Great read

MC Beat on never disappoints. It's light enough to not cause unhappy thoughts, but interesting enough to want to keep listening

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not her best

Mediocre seems like it was “phoned in” - formulaic and a real disappointment, not sure it’s worth buying more books

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Another great listen by Beaton

I really enjoy the Macbeth Mystery series. Shaun Grindell does a great job at narration. This was an interesting mystery.

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Very good audio book

Voice acting was very good and the MC Beaton's Hamish MacBeth plot satisfied as usual.

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Hamish

Well another good one hope they are all like this. Enjoyed it so funny read it.