20 December 2012

Review: Death of a Macho Man by M. C. Beaton

As the countdown to the final holidays of the year continues, my mind craves escape reading (or listening). One treasured series is the Hamish Macbeth books by M. C. Beaton.

The stories take place in the northern highlands of Scotland and are as cozy as a mystery series can get. Police Constable Macbeth loves his village of Lochdubh, and no matter how good he is at solving murders, he doesn't want to be promoted and he doesn't want to move to the city. The townspeople complain that Hamish is lazy and a moocher, but they will defend him to outsiders if anyone else criticizes him.

In Death of a Macho Man, the twelfth in the series, Hamish lets his temper get the best of him when he agrees to fight the town bully, Duggan. But before the fistfight starts, Duggan is found dead, and Hamish is on the list of suspects. Although he's banned from investigating the case, he can't help getting involved. Of course he discovers the killer, but his job remains in jeopardy because police officers aren't supposed to get into fights. Will Hamish be able to talk his way out of a suspension?

If you're looking for a detailed police procedural, Hamish Macbeth won't be for you. The books are as much about Hamish's personal life and the doings in Lochdubh as they are about the murder. Most of the characters, including Hamish's on-again, off-again love interest, appear in almost every book, and it's a lot of fun getting to know them. I read the series because I find the stories light and entertaining; the murder is secondary.

Another big draw for me is Davina Porter, who narrates the audiobooks. Porter knows her Scottish accents--yes, there are several--and her expressive reading is well suited to Hamish Macbeth. You can hear the humor in her voice, and she is one of the reasons I've stuck with the series. Death of a Macho Man is 6 hours, 41 minutes long and was produced by Recorded Books.

Buy Death of a Macho Man at a bookstore near you.
Published by Hachette Book Group / Grand Central Publishing, 1997
Rating: B
ISBN-13: 9780446403405

Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Howard Sherman 12/20/12, 9:20 AM  

I like the intrigue and the premise really hooked me. I'm not familiar with this series. I'm thinking maybe I should be.

Daryl 12/20/12, 9:35 AM  

i am adding this series to the list ... thanks!

bermudaonion 12/20/12, 11:21 AM  

It sounds like this was a great audio - I love it when an author gets the accents right.

Anonymous,  12/20/12, 12:47 PM  

I LOVE this series - I also watched the BBC television series of it (same thing only different of course).
Do you also read MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin cozies? I love those, too.
Beth's Book-Nook Blog

SuziQoregon 12/20/12, 12:50 PM  

I'll admit the first one in this series was pretty iffy for me. However Davina Porter's narration was a saving grace. The other reason I'm still going to listen to at least one more was that the character who annoyed me the most was not a recurring character. The fact that you're still listening to these gives me hope.

I do enjoy Hamish, the setting and the narration so we'll see . . .

Jenn's Bookshelves 12/20/12, 1:35 PM  

I really need to catch up with this series. Sounds like audio is the way to go!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 12/20/12, 2:21 PM  

I was just looking at a bunch of these books the other day and thinking I might like to try one out, and here you are with a timely review. It's nice to know that this is a trusted go-to series for lighter, enjoyable fare.

Barbara 12/20/12, 3:12 PM  

You're right, this is a refreshing change of pace series with winning characters. I haven't read this one but will be sure to look for it.

Zibilee 12/20/12, 7:42 PM  

This sounds like the perfect quaint little read for Christmas, and now that I have some credits on audible, I think I will get in the spirit and order it. Very nicely written review!

Tina 12/22/12, 7:23 AM  

I keep meaning to try the Hamish MacBeth series as I very much enjoy her Agatha Raisin stories. Love stories set in England and Scotland and always enjoy a good mystery.

Julie P. 12/29/12, 9:08 AM  

I know you're a big fan of these books. I really need to try one for Mystery Mondays.

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