This is the first Hamish Macbeth mystery I’ve read, though it’s number 28 in the series. One reason I selected is to fulfill the Criminal Plots II Challenge requirement for a book written under a pseudonym. Though I’m new to the series, I caught up on Macbeth’s work and love lives pretty quickly. It seems to be a series with lots of recurring characters.
The story takes place in northern Scotland where Macbeth is content to be a village policeman though that does mean he cannot take the lead on the murder investigations in this book. It’s a conflict, but it seems a very mild one compared to the murders that need to be solved. The story revolves around a new, extremely popular tourist attraction, the Fairy Glen. Very soon after the opening of the Fairy Glen, a bridge breaks due to sabotage, a kingfisher and its family is poisoned, and a string of murders occurs. It’s a bit jarring to move from a story about a quiet set of villages with eccentric characters to the series of murders and its solution, and I’m not sure if that’s a hallmark of the series.
This book will appeal to readers of Scottish village mysteries. There’s a dash of humor as well as a bit about Hamish’s personal life for those invested in the character this far in the series. While I prefer more of a focus on the investigation in a crime novel, this will appeal to readers who prefer setting and atmosphere over the plot.
Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: February 22, 2012Source: Publisher via NetGalley