Another puzzle for homespun Hamish MacBeth, sole lawman in the village of Lochdubh, Scotland, where his residence and the town police station are one and the same. Hamish is determined to keep it that way, disdaining any promotion that would take him elsewhere (Death of a Dustman, 2001, etc.). Luckily, there’s enough malfeasance to keep him busy close to home. Looking to increase its audience, the television station in nearby Strathbane has hired glamorous Crystal French, a BBC researcher from Edinburgh, to take over the programming from Felicity Pearson. When Crystal proposes a series called “Behind the Lace Curtains,” exploring whatever seamy pasts can be found among the town residents, her preliminary interviews provoke panic and even a suicide. But the village is still more shocked when Crystal is found dead in her car, another apparent suicide to everyone but Hamish, whose suspicion of murder is soon confirmed. A jealous Felicity becomes the chief suspect until she is found shot to death on the town dock. As he runs a quiet war with his superiors, Hamish gets help in his investigations from local columnist Elspeth Grant, whose research helps him unearth the past events behind the present decorous carnage.
Pretty much the mixture as before—overextended and a bit more florid than usual—but doubtless a treat for Hamish’s legion of fans.