Beaton’s unambitious but talented police hero continues to be attracted to all the wrong women.
Sgt. Hamish Macbeth has hidden his talents in order to stay in the village of Lochdubh with his beloved dog and wild cat. His current officemate in the tiny police house is Charlie Carter, a large, likable, clumsy man who seems bent on destroying many of Hamish’s meager possessions. Hamish’s former fiancee Priscilla Halburton-Smythe’s father, owner of the Tommel Castle Hotel, despises Hamish but has taken a shine to Charlie, whom Priscilla invites to stay in the hotel butler’s suite. Hamish’s latest unsuitable crush, stunning nurse Gloria Dainty, cares for wealthy, irascible, wheelchair-bound Mr. Harrison. Soon after Gloria stands Hamish up for a dinner date, her body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Hamish and Charlie, assigned to the case, are supervised by Inspector Fiona Herring, a tough-as-nails woman, married to a judge, who seems intent on ensnaring Charlie in an affair. Hamish soon learns that Gloria was plotting to manipulate Harrison into bequeathing her money. Since his son and daughter-in-law would do anything to thwart her scheme, is one of them Gloria’s killer? Hamish’s bosses are happy to pin the murder on a druggie and close the case. Not Hamish.
The latest appearance by the charming Scot (Death of a Liar, 2015, etc.) provides all the quirky characters and striking Highlands scenery you could want, along with one of Beaton’s most successful mysteries.