Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review of "Death of a Liar" by M.C. Beaton




When a woman in the Scottish village of Cronish falsely reports that she was raped Sergeant Hamish Macbeth thinks of her as the 'woman who cried wolf' and ignores her next call for help. Unfortunately her body is soon found in her house and her death seems to be connected with the disappearance of a couple who recently moved to Hamish's village of Lochdubh. Hamish investigates the cases and as usual, Detective Inspector Blair - an alcoholic and barely competent officer - tries to sideline Hamish and get the credit for himself.

Hamish also socializes a bit with his ex-girlfriends Priscilla and Elspeth as he simultaneously tries to get a date with Anka, a polish beauty who's a deft hand at baking baps (Scottish breakfast rolls). Unfortunately for Hamish, Anka is more friendly to Hamish's assistant Dick Fraser - a homebody cop who's excellent at cooking, cleaning, and keeping the police station (and police home) in tip top shape. Through it all Hamish gathers clues that help him discover the connection between the crimes and solve the cases.

A large part of the fun of the series lies in the interactions between Hamish and the other characters, especially those that recur from book to book. Hamish resents Dick Fraser for cramping his style with the ladies. dislikes Blair for messing up investigations and trying to get the Lockdubh police station closed, and longs for a lady to love. Though problems often arise and Hamish's life is sometime endagered he's never down for long. It seems the Scottish detective was born under a lucky star.

The mystery plot of the book is engaging and satisfactorally resolved. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of light mysteries. A good addition to the series.

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