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Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607148
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beaton's charming Constable Hamish Macbeth returns in the sequel to Death of a Gossip, a mirthful mystery set in the Scottish Highlands. Hamish's time is taken up with investigating a death at the Halburton-Smythe castle, and with subtly wooing the daughter of the house, Priscilla, who has brought her fiance Henry Withering to meet her parents and houseguests. Among them is Peter Bartlett, loathed by almost everyone present and found dead in the morning. The constable's inept superiors declare the death an accident, but Hamish produces evidence of murder, after which he eliminates all the suspects except the guilty one. In the course of these events, Priscilla's feelings for Henry weaken and, in contrast, flourish for Hamish, which gives hints of the next entry in the delightful series.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"* 'It's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh' - New York Times * 'Superb entertainment, as rich and warming as a fine malt whisky, and every bit as addictive' - Houston Chronicle * 'An enchanting series....M.C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery.' - New York Times Book Review * 'Beaton, a Scot herself, excels at giving readers a taste of Highland life and creating a believable character in the lonely, brilliant, continually frustrated-in-love Macbeth.' - Booklist" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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More About the Author

M.C. BEATON has won international acclaim for her bestselling Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries. She is also the author of over 100 romance titles and a series of romantic suspense, The Edwardian Mystery Series. M. C. Beaton lives in a Cotswold cottage with her husband.

Marion is active on Facebook using her most popular pen name, M.C. Beaton. You can find complete book lists, information on events, and sign up for news updates at her website, www.MCBeaton.com.

Customer Reviews

While the mysteries are intriguing, they are the framework around which the characters evolve.
Lawyeraau
I only came to discover the Hamish books after reading the thoroughly enjoyable Agatha Raisin series written also by M.C. Beaton.
S. N. Hall
Don't get me wrong - this is one of those formulaic plots - but the characters are so much fun, it doesn't really matter.
Kathleen M Fransen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on June 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book of the Hamish Macbeth series, picking up a few months after THE DEATH OF A GOSSIP.

The story opens as Priscilla Halburton-Smithe is driving her new fiance home to Lochdubh for a weekend houseparty at her parents' house. Tensions soon develop at the party, including the inclusion (or intrusion depending on your point of view) of local constable Macbeth into the group. Naturally there is soon a death to investigate, one that of course confuses all but our hero.

This is very much in the long tradition of cozy series mystery. The murder victim richly deserves his fate, the characters of those involved is more important than the action, and there is a large cast of recurring characters. Our hero manages to solve the crime while overcoming the incompetance of his superiors. There is even an ongoing romance.

If 'cozies' are your cup of tea you will definitely enjoy this series and will want to read them all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Smeddley on April 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is the second book in the series, and we begin to see Priscilla's and Hamish's relationship take form. Though there is that pesky murder to deal with, although that seems more like background to the drama of the two of them working their way delicately about one another. It turns a plot-driven mystery into more of a character study. I might not have minded, except there is nothing remotely redeemable about Priscilla through most of this book. She's whiny and stupid and vapid. She can't even think on her own, and I cannot imagine what Hamish sees in her - other than she is described as very beautiful. In a lot of ways this story seems much older than it is, set at a time in the more distant past than the 1980s (like when Henry thinks to himself that woman shouldn't drive or wear pants, and Priscilla's overwhelming drive to please her parents).

If you're a fan of strong female protagonists, steer very clear of this book. It will drive you insane. Even Hamish is not in top form, but it could be that it's still early in the series. In later books he seems more... understandable. And you still haven't met a lot of the more colorful and interesting villagers - in later books they very much round out the story, making them more engaging and interesting.

The book has some bright spots, though, with some good dialogue and a pretty good mystery at the end. I'd say it's firmly middle-of-the-road as far as cozy mysteries go, if you can get past Priscilla.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. N. Hall on April 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Hamish Macbeth books are wonderful. I only came to discover the Hamish books after reading the thoroughly enjoyable Agatha Raisin series written also by M.C. Beaton. In Hamish's village of Lochdubh, curious characters abound and this helps keep the true killer's identity hidden to the very end. I have now read all of the Hamish books and I highly recommend "Death of a Cad" and "Death of a prankster" as two of the best. There is a television series loosely based on the books. It is very amusing but completely different (not mysteries at all); more an "All creatures great and small" without the livestock. I encourage everyone to give Hamish a try. The books are light yet clever. I can't wait for the next one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William on April 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm new to the Hamish Macbeth series. I read Death of a Poison Pen (set later than this novel) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Poison Pen had a lot of charm and funny characters, something this series is known for.
Death of a Cad is not quite as good as that one. It starts out as more of a typical mystery with the usual rich, English suspects sitting around in a big house. But once Hamish gets into the act, it gets a lot better. If this is the first book in the series you read, you'll still enjoy it, but if your impression is lukewarm, don't stop with this book. Read Death of a Poison Pen and other books in the series. I think you'll be charmed by the humor and characterizations. I plan to read more of this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on July 20, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series is wonderful! I think I even enjoy him more than Agatha Raisin. He's funny, charming and smart. In this book Hamish gets drawn into a murder that happens in the house of his ladylove, Priscilla. Priscilla comes back to Lochdubh from a job in London with a new fiance in tow. Hamish has to stay on the sidelines and watch his beloved with another man. He handles even this appalling situation with grace and humour. But then a death occurs and Hamish is sure it's murder. He sets out to find the killer, but before he does another murder happens. But, never fear, he does solve the murder in the end, and it was a surprise to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Cad is the second book in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series. M.C. Beaton has her tongue stuck firmly in her cheek as she creates a quasi-Wodehouse country-castle romp mixed up with a murder mystery. To make matters more fun, one of the leading characters, Henry Withering, is an acclaimed playwright based on his latest upper class drawing-room work.

Here's the set-up. Priscilla Hallburton-Smythe has taken up a job in London to be able to find eligible men. Henry Withering spots her and decides his publicity shots will look much better with her at his side. He quickly proposes and Priscilla accepts based on her desire to please Mommy and Daddy. On the way home to introduce him to family and friends, Priscilla begins to have her doubts about the wisdom of the match. Matters quickly degrade when an unpleasant dinner is followed the next morning by a death, an apparent accident. But Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, the pride of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands, is skeptical. Soon, his doubts turn into evidence of foul play. (And that's a pretty good pun for a hunting accident involving a grouse shoot -- even if the high and mighty have been complaining about the shortage of grouse . . . you could even say they've been grousing.)

There are three stories intertwined in the book:

1. The engagement

2. The murder mystery

3. Conflict between Hamish and his superiors

In typical country novel fashion, the engagement story is really the best. The humor is improved by being warm, broad and nonstop.

The intellectual content of the book is raised by the subtle ways that Macbeth tracks down the murderer while fending off his superiors.
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