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Death of a Chimney Sweep (Hamish Macbeth Mystery) Hardcover – February 25, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews
Book 27 of 33 in the Hamish Macbeth Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Scottish Highlands that Beaton depicts with such skill are beautiful and sinister, a fitting backdrop to her Hamish Macbeth series and especially to this one, her twenty-sixth craggy-cozy. The mystery centers in the tiny Highlands village of Drim, “a huddle of white-washed cottages” on the banks of a sea loch, where mountains rise up at water’s edge. There, the body of the posh new owner of a long-abandoned estate is found, stuffed up the chimney. The chimney sweep himself, who was to have been cleaning the estate chimney, is found dead on the motorway, an apparent accident victim, a few hours later. The local police feel the case is open and shut, with the chimney sweep tabbed as the murderer of the estate owner, until Constable Hamish Macbeth questions the findings, even of the forensics team. Someone has embarked on a spree, starting at the estate, and spreading to Edinburgh. Great stuff, as usual. --Connie Fletcher

Review

Great stuff, as usual. Booklist Once again M C Beaton has concocted an amusing brew of mystery and romance that will keep her fans turning the pages. Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hamish Macbeth Mystery
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition first Printing edition (February 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446547395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446547390
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,386,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all but one of M. C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series. Some were brilliant, some were a little mediocre, and all relied on the charming and idiosyncratic personalities of the village characters.

Sadly, this one was medicore and rather lacking in the series' usual charm. I didn't feel that the village characters were utilized as fully as usual and the plot was rather silly. The body count was reminiscent of a Dirty Harry movie. The story was tied up a little too tidily as punishment rained down upon the villain or villains, (won't give anything away for those who have not read it), in a manner worthy of Biblical wrath.

If you love the Hamish Macbeth series (and I do), by all means, read this book. Just know going in that it's not the best book Ms. Beaton has written. She's capable of better. Here's hoping the next one in the series is less disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read all the books in the Hamish Macbeth series, l was bitterly disappointed by M.C. Beaton's latest offering. It seems to have been written in a hurry with not much thought to plot and with bits being constantly tacked on as an afterthought in the epilogue. A very silly story with no plausability and a high body count. Not one of her usual wonderfully odd village characters were utilised to any great effect and the villians were just shallow creations without even a veneer of description between them.

Instead of churning out a book a year to a formula, Ms Beaton should stop, smell the roses and put a bit more time and thought into the next book in the series.

Isn't it about time Hamish was married off as it is all getting rather boring.???
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always loved this series. However, some years ago, M. C. Beaton threw in a clinker in the form of DEATH OF AN ADDICT, which had Hamish Macbeth pretending to be an international spy. It was ridiculous, out of character, and veered totally away from the charm of Scottish village life that makes these books so enjoyable. The next few went back to the old formula and I breathed a sigh of relief, but then I read DEATH OF A CHIMNEY SWEEP. Don't bother - the plot is convoluted, has NOTHING to do with the poor dead sweep and by the end of the book I could not have cared less who had done the murder. Maybe something is going on in Beaton's life that caused her to throw in this stinker, but that does not excuse her editor for accepting it. Don't waste your time or money.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is such a mess it is hard to know where to begin discussing its shortcomings.

Maybe an example will help. Patrick McManus, the outdoor humor writer, did a piece on summer reading. He said summer reading includes three things: no ideas, illicit sex, and a shark. This book by M.C. Beaton sort of fits the bill in that it has an abundance of silly plot ideas and a shark (no illicit sex to speak of except as part of Angela's new book--which sounds like a real winner). Yes, a shark. This book is summer reading at its worst.

Let's talk about one staple of Beaton's Highland series: the beauty and charm of the Highlands. In most of her early books she fills her books with an appropriate amount of description that makes the reader feel he/she is in the highlands, riding with Hamish over the mountains and along the lochs. The descriptions in this book feel perfunctory. There is no tangible feeling like one gets in earlier books.

Then there are the characters. In earlier books the characters have some flesh and blood. The Highlander characteristics come out in dialogue, and time is taken to make Highland character oddities part of the story. In this book, the characters are flat. They seem to be useful only for moving the various plots along. What effort there is to make these characters real seems perfunctory also. She is careful to throw in a few of her usual character traits for some kind of consistency, but she tells the reader about the traits rather than showing them.

Then there are the plots. These plots are completely unbelievable. Talk about the application of deus ex machina in order to keep the book flowing and not spend too much time on solving a situation realistically.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I literally couldnt make heads or tails out
of this book. I have loved most of the
Hamish books but this one (I even feel
embarrassed for him!). All kinds of
killings here and there that it,s hard to
even tie up to each other. I was suprised
at how bad it is.
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By E. Ervin on February 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If I could bottle up Hamish in a spray bottle, I would. I love him. He is hilarious. Reading the Hamish books makes for a delightful evening for sure. He is such a unique character. I have read all of this series that has been written and do request that M. C. Beaton please, please write some more for me. I love the locale and the story line as well. It is just a good, fun series to read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although we all fell in love with the Hamish books in the beginning, and they went from being fun to being good, and they have all now all started sliding down hill.
It seems that the same plot just keeps being used over and over again, using different names. The dialog is so snipped, and you can see way Hamish has no friends; he can't carry on a conversation.
Lets hope for better down the road.
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