Hamish Macbeth rides to the rescue of the Highland village of Lochdubh, which once again has more than its share of homicides.
Once Hamish (Death of a Dreamer, Feb. 2006, etc.) stumbles upon the body of charwoman Mavis Gillespie, brained with her own cleaning bucket, he quickly realizes her prying made her an obvious target for murder. Although not much of a cleaner, Mavis had a talent for ferreting out information her clients didn’t want revealed. Which of them was willing to kill to preserve a secret? The candidates include an arrogant professor who may have passed a student’s work off as his own; a lady whose husband died after falling down the stairs; a mysterious newcomer whose past surely needs investigating; and several others with seemingly more innocuous secrets. When Hamish’s sometime girlfriend, reporter Elsbeth Grant, shows up with a new love interest, Hamish, who has commitment issues, goes so far as to buy a ring before Elspeth accepts his rival’s proposal. While his boorish boss gets into a territorial fight with a female officer assigned to the case, Hamish quietly interviews the locals and learns enough to make him the target of two murder attempts. Can he solve the crime without winning the promotion that will ruin his quiet life?
The faithful won’t mind that Hamish’s amours this time take second place to his detecting skills.