Sergeant Hamish MacBeth, until now the entire police force in the Scottish village of Lubdoch (Death of a Glutton, etc.), is feeling beleaguered. By way of promotion authorities in Strathbane have sent him Constable Willie Lamont, to share his duties and his cozy quarters, incidentally destroying Hamish's comfort with his obsessive cleaning and polishing. Moreover, the town has become home to handsome drifter Sean Gourlay and his foulmouthed girlfriend Cheryl Higgins, living on land behind the local minister's manse, with his ill-judged permission. Reports of stolen drugs, money missing from church funds, and Cheryl's sudden departure are preliminaries to the discovery of Sean's battered corpse. Hamish finds motives aplenty as he tries to protect the reputations of several village matrons until he traps the killer, and even manages to become engaged to on-again, off-again longtime love Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. Prosaic solution aside, readers will relish a well-paced, warmly sentimental picture of the people--and the character and rich accents--of Lubdoch, as seen through Hamish's loving eyes. Unpretentious fun for all.