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Death of a Dreamer (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 22) Hardcover – February 22, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Beaton's flawless 21st installment in her popular Hamish Macbeth series (after 2005's Death of a Bore) boasts amusing local color and singularly savvy sleuthing. Macbeth, constable in the Highlands village of Lochdubh, thinks the apparent suicide of Effie Garrard, an artist who's arrived in town only recently, is suspicious. Following the murder of a nosy American tourist, Macbeth digs a little deeper and learns that Effie couldn't paint to, er, save her life—she was passing off another artist's work as her own. Macbeth's personal life is also consuming: two old flames turn up in Lochdubh within a few days of each other. Of course, Macbeth solves what turns out to be a double murder—but resolution of his romantic contretemps will have to wait for the next novel in this charming series. Beaton, who's also the author of the Agatha Raisin mystery series, will be the British guest of honor at the 2006 Bouchercon. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* A wine bottle loaded with antifreeze. A Scottish dance party interrupted by obsessive jealousy. A Brigadoon-like setting in northern Scotland that quickly turns Hitchcockian. Beaton is a masterful mixer of disparate elements that result in crime novels that are part police procedural and part psychological thriller. In this, the twenty-first in the Hamish Macbeth series, Beaton positions the stolid Constable Macbeth, sole lawman in the tiny village of Lochdubh in the Highlands, at the end of a winter marked by a series of spectacular blizzards. Macbeth is certain that the newcomer to the village, Effie Garrard, an artist under the influence of the usual romantic baggage about life in the Highlands, will have long abandoned her isolated cottage. But Effie seems to be in fine fettle, even talking about another newcomer artist falling in love with her. Then spring arrives, and Effie is found dead on a hillside. Macbeth's higher-ups rule the death a suicide, but he is bothered by the scene of the crime and the psychology behind the woman's death. A clear-cut case of murder follows, with Macbeth trying to discover a connection between the two. While the plotting itself is intricate and absorbing, 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. A treat. Connie Fletcher
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; 1 edition (February 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892967897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on February 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once again death and murder finds its way to Lochdubh. And while series protagonist, Hamish MacBeth, may bemoan the encroachments of both crime and newcomers to his idyllic village, I can only rejoice that there finally is another enjoyable Hamish MacBeth mystery to curl up with and unwind.

To the villagers of Lochdubh, newcomer Effie Garrard comes across as being romantic dreamer. After all, why else would a talented artist decide to move up to the remote Highlands lock, stock and barrel? But it is only when another artist, bluff and energetic Jock Flemming moves into the village that everyone begins to suspect that there may be something not quite right with Effie. First she starts stalking Jock Flemming, then she let's slip that they're engaged, and then finally that she's pregnant with his child! Jock, of course angrily denies all of Effie's claims, and when after a confrontation with Jock, Effie is found dead on a mountain cleft, the common wisdom is that she committed suicide. But even though the police have closed the case, Hamish's instincts tell him that there is more to Effie's death than meets the eye, and that she was actually murdered. And so he starts investigating, and discovering that a great many people seem to have a lot to hide. Unfortunately, the investigation also seems to be going no where. And then there is another murder; and one, Hamish is convinced that is connected to Effie. The puzzling thing for Hamish though, is how the murderer is able to pull of these killings without being spotted. Hamish seems to be up against a very skillful and determined killer with nerves of steel, but one, nonetheless he's determined to apprehend at all cost...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 27, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Dreamer by M.C. Beaton, is another nice little visit to Lochdubh, Scotland and another wonderful little peek into the life of Hamish Macbeth, our red-head constable and the caste of quirky characters that surround him. Beaton stays true to form with this offering, and like other books in this series, she has given us a nice and relaxing read.

We not only have one murder in this little mystery, but two. Like her previous works, no blood and gore here, just good old clean murder. There are of course a very large number of people who could very well have committed these crimes, and it is for our intrepid investigator to unravel the simple, but interesting complexities of the case....of course with plenty of help from his friends!

Again, poor Hamish does have his problems with women and remains just a clueless about the other sex as he has in past novels. This time it is different. Not one, not two, but three of his old love interests show up at his door, and all at the same time. Per usual, Hamish's ineptitude runs them off and our befuddled detective is left with his dog Lugs and the wild cat, Sonsie.

With this series, I have to admit that I love the supporting caste as much as I love Hamish. There is the usual group with a few new ones thrown in for good measure. Now the figuring out of the actual "who done it" in these books is not all that great a challenge, but they are fun, restful and I get a kick out of them. I like the author's style, the minimal, to sparse use of words and I always know the bad guy or girl is going to get caught. There were some minor surprises in this one, which was nice, but they were not surprises that led you down dead end trails.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Two artists come to live in Lochdubh, first Effie Garrard arrives, then genial Jock Fleming. Effie develops an embarrassing crush on Jock, who does not return her feelings. then Effie is found dead, apparently by suicide, but Hamish suspects foul play. As well as solving the murder, Hamish has to cope with his complex love life, various women from his past pop up again, and there are a few new ones as well.

I found the story mildly entertaining, but a bit tired. The one about the attractive man who creates havoc among the women has been done before, and better (Death of a Charming Man), and I found all the desperate lovesick women getting on my nerves a bit.

Worth reading if you are a Macbeth fan, but definitely not one of the strongest stories in the series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
M.C. Beaton fans will not be disappointed in this latest Hamish MacBeth novel! Hamish MacBeth is the crusty bachelor constable in the village of Luchdubh in the remote Scottish Highlands. He solves crimes the old-fashioned way, with an ear to the local gossip net rather than the Internet!

Effie Garrard, a dreamer with a dark side, moves into a cottage outside Luchdubh. Her altered reality includes plans to marry another newcomer in the village, only he doesn't know anything about it. Effie's body is discovered and the evidence points to a romantic encounter gone bad.

Just about everyone connected to Effie has something to hide, but not all of it is connected to her death. Hamish goes about sorting through the clues and connecting the evidence in the easy-going style that some mistake for laziness--while trying to sort out his mismanaged love life. His past is littered with a variety of love interests, but he has only one true love who recently returned to Luchdubh to reassess her life.

Luckily Hamish is more successful solving crime than sifting thru his love life. Despite the lack of forensic cooperation or peer support, Hamish uses his keen villager instinct to peel back the layers and reveal the hidden secrets that help him solve the crime.

Armchair Interviews says: Everyone should read at least one Hamish MacBeth novel for the sheer pleasure of spending a few hours in the Scottish Highlands with a cast of loveable, zany character.
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