Egotistical TV personalities, an obnoxious boss, and a tidal wave of villagers bent on marrying him off can’t stop Constable Hamish Macbeth from finding out who murdered Lochdubh’s writer-in-residence.
John Heppel has written Tenement Dust, an account of growing up poor in Glasgow, and his script for the soap opera Down in the Glen is being filmed by Strathbane Television. No wonder the village hall is packed to the rafters for his writers’ workshop. Unfortunately, his brutal critiques of their works prompt the villagers to pelt him with tomatoes, leaving Hamish (Death of a Village, 2002, etc.) a plethora of suspects when Heppel turns up dead in his crofter’s cottage in nearby Cnothan. Detective Chief Inspector Blair wants Hamish to pound the pavement in Lochdubh and interview the likes of twin spinsters Jessie and Nessie Curran. But Hamish’s eye is trained on Strathbane, where producer Harry Tarrant hectors secretary Alice Patty but is fiercely protective of the late scriptwriter, and prima donnas of both sexes, from actresses Ann King and Patricia Wheeler to director John Gibson, have tantrums on and off the set. Meanwhile, schoolteacher Freda Garrety has her eye trained on Hamish. So does reporter Elspeth Grant, Hamish’s ex-girlfriend, who thinks maybe she made a mistake leaving the highlands for urban opportunity in Glasgow.
Quirky but well-plotted: Hamish’s 20th offers humor, intrigue, and local color galore.