It's Christmastime in Lochdubh village, where Hamish Macbeth continues to serve as the town's only policeman. Feeling lonely and put upon as usual, (Death of an Outsider, etc.), Hamish accepts the invitation of Jane Wetherby to spend the holiday at her health farm on the remote island of Eileencraig, perhaps to find what's behind two nasty accidents Jane has recently survived. The islanders are hostile, the other guests mostly a trial. When one of them--insufferable Heather Todd, wearing Jane's slicker--is found dead on the shoreline in what appears to be an accident, Hamish's instincts go into overdrive. With the help of fellow guest Harriet Shaw, he discovers a not-too-convincing motive and modus operandi for a rather unlikely killer. Lively pictures of insular island characters and Jane's sometimes difficult, narcissistic friends, along with Hamish's enduring charm, make the disjointed plotting here secondary--at least for Beaton's devoted fans.