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by M.C. Beaton

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-446-54739-0
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Murder is the byproduct when newcomers to the village of Drim, Scotland, call for the chimney sweep.

Captain Henry Davenport and his browbeaten wife Milly have been leading a life of self-imposed isolation until Davenport is found dead in the chimney. Because the sweep is among the missing, his bosses are eager to blame him, even after his body is soon found among objects stolen from the house. But Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth (Death of a Valentine, 2010, etc.) is sure that he’s innocent. Further investigation shows that the sweep was framed, presumably by one of the many enemies Davenport made when he was a con man swindling people out of their money. Four former army buddies living in England were among his victims, but they all have alibis for the day of the crime. The four are not above harassing Milly for the money, however, and when she finds it buried in the garden, she keeps it a secret. Every time Hamish follows a clue that might break the alibis, someone else ends up dead. In the meantime, Hamish is dismayed to learn that Davenport had also swindled several local people. Certain that none of them could be guilty, he redoubles his efforts to find the killer with help from several former ladyloves and his ever-helpful pets.

Apart from the puzzle, Hamish’s latest advances the career and love life of the clever, stubborn Scot.