The arrival of two artists in the peaceful Scottish Highland village of Lochdubh leads to a picture-perfect murder.
Effie Garrard appears to be a talented painter and potter. But her rich fantasy life could be the motive for her murder. Soon after she invents a romantic scenario involving another newcomer, charismatic painter Jock Fleming, her body is found in the mountains along with a bottle of wine laced with antifreeze and a note that leads everyone but local constable Hamish Macbeth to call her death suicide. A second corpse, that of offensive, prying American Hal Addenfest, found on the beach felled by the ubiquitous blunt instrument, gives clever Hamish the chance to reopen the first case. The suspects include Effie’s sister, the talented artist Effie pretended to be; Jock’s ex, a lady of the night; his charming agent; and Hal’s recently divorced wife, who was extremely lucky that Hal hadn’t changed his will. On the domestic front, Hamish, a wannabe husband/uncommitted bachelor, is embroiled with a number of women, including longtime love Priscilla Halburtin-Smythe, reporter Elspeth Grant and attractive Betty Barnard, Jock’s agent. Digging until he discovers the truth, he manages once again to pass off the credit so he can remain in his beloved Lochdubh.
Fans of Hamish (Death of an Outsider, 2004, etc.) will love this combination of mystery and romantic escapades.