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Hamish Macbeth: Death of an Honest Man

Hamish Macbeth, Book 33
Narrated by: David Monteath
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (205 ratings)
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Summary

Sergeant Hamish Macbeth - Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman - returns in M. C. Beaton's new mystery in her New York Times best-selling series.

Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English.

Paul attended church in Lochdubh. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie - who repeated all the last words of her twin sister - that she needed psychiatric help.

"I speak as I find", he bragged. Voices saying, "I could kill that man" could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.

And someone did.

Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects. And he's lost the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who has resigned from the force after throwing Chief Inspector Blair into the loch. Can Hamish find the killer on his own?

©2018 M.C. Beaton (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Least Favourite of the Hamish Macbeth Series

Why did I read it?

I adore the Hamish Macbeth series, and this was the latest edition.

What's it about?

An income arrives in Cnothan, and town on Hamish Macbeth's beat. Paul English considers himself an honest man, but on calling on the incomer to welcome him to the community Charlie, Hamish's constable, lands them both in trouble at headquarters.

Paul English works his way around the communities, spouting his views on the shortcomings of the locals directly to their face, causing hackles to rise.

"I could kill that man," could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan. And, so ...

What did I like?

Honestly, the soothing tones of David Monteath were perhaps the only lovely thing about this particular episode of life in Lochdubh.

What didn't I like?

Oh dear. It seemed to me that the author, M.C. Beaton 'phoned it in'. There were so many errors in the book.

(1) Lucia Lament was noted as the daughter of Mr. Ferrari; however, in earlier books, we learn Lucia is a distant relative of Mr. Ferrari brought over from Italy to work in the restaurant in Lochdubh, after Mr. Ferrari's immediate family took over the running of his first restaurant.

(2) Initially, it is said Silas Dunbar's father died when he was two, then, later, it is said his father died 10 years previous. So, either Hamish's new constable is 12 years old, or this is yet another error.

(3) It seems the forensics team of Strathbane has been re-populated with boozy blokes, who I thought had been replaced a few books back.

There are many more inconsistencies like this that regular readers/listeners might pick up on.

How many constables can Hamish get through in one book? The answer: five (5).

Why bring Elspeth back into Sutherland at all? Her contribution to the narrative was negligible, with the low level rivalry between her, and Priscilla for affections of Hamish becoming increasingly tedious in its repetition.

The storylines featuring Colonel Halburton-Smythe, and Chief Inspector Blair were so far beyond believable, and extremely disappointing. Yes, this is fiction, which often strays from reality as it is set in an idyllic version of the highlands, but these narratives were just too far-fetched, and stretched far beyond the known behaviours of these long-term characters formed through the previous 32 books. These tangential stories seemed ill formed, and very ill judged. It's almost like they were padding for the scant murder mystery, which, itself, seemed poorly thought out, and too closely related to other victims, and plots in the series.

There are other disappointments, but I have listed only what I see as the major faults here. Overall, the book felt disjointed, the main narrative was thin, and the side stories not as believable as in the past. At times, the superstitious and supernatural elements felt more real than anything else.

Also, having listened to this audio series in its entirety several times now, I have begun to notice mistakes in the text, e.g. the wrong character having said a line. Unfortunately, this is also true of “Death of an Honest Man” having listened to it three times now.

Would I recommend it?

Honestly, no. Not even to fans of the series. I sincerely hope the next two books in the series, which M.C. Beaton has confirmed she is contracted to write, are not so badly composed as this one. I want a return to the Hamish Macbeth and inhabitants of Lochdubh I have grown to love.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

I usually enjoy all of this wonderful writer's books but this seemed disjointed and clumsy.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great & gripping book

I can never get tired of these books, the story lines and the narration is perfect and has you spellbound from beginning to end. Can't wait for next one!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

MC Beaton's done it again.

Hamish Macbeth, true to his form catches the bad guy at the end of the book, but keeps you guessing who the bad guys are until the end of the story.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but several of the loose ends are tied up neat and tidy, leaving a new canvas for the hero at the end of the story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Death of an honest man

A very complicated story. I didn't like it as much as the earlier stories about Hamish macbeth.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

a list of bullet points

This book, for me, was poorly written compared to others. It was like listening to a list of bullet points or a novel that has been abridged to the extreme.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 18-03-18

Death of an Honest Man

A great story and performance as always.
The only problem is that I’ll have to wait 12 months for the next one.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor

I didn’t enjoy this book. The characters are two dimensional and the story was silly and the plot jumped along. It was my first Hamish Macbeth book and my last

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • UK
  • 10-10-18

Quirky & comforting Murder storey - Well read

My first Hamish Macbeth book. Gentle cosy + a real page turner with lots of local colour - will bag more of the series . Well read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Good

A great little story, lots of different things going on, and a good ending with some humour