Maria Worth, half owner of an exclusive matrimonial agency called Checkmates Singles Club, has set up a weeklong stay for a small group of members at Tommel Castle Hotel in the Scottish Highlands. The hotel is run by Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, longtime unrequited love of P.C. Hamish MacBeth, one-man police force of nearby Lubdoch village (Death of a Prankster, etc.). Maria's careful plans are disrupted, however, by the unexpected appearance of her unwanted business partner, Peta Gore, with sultry airhead niece Crystal in tow. Peta, a widow with millions, has refused Maria's attempts to buy her out. An obese glutton, she proceeds to instill unease and disgust in guests and staff. No surprise, then, when she's found dead in a nearby quarry, and certainly none when Hamish--working, as always, around his thickheaded superior Inspector Blair--solves the case, aided by a trumped-up last-minute stratagem. Beaton's cleareyed skewering of the locals and her way with the Scots dialect are right on--but the paper-thin major characters, the caricature of a victim, and the silly plot just don't make it. Harmless diversion for Hamish's fans, but unlikely to make new ones.