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Death of a Dreamer    by M. C. Beaton order for
Death of a Dreamer
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Mysterious Press, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Lucky me! Lucky you! There's a new Hamish Macbeth mystery by one of my favorite authors, M. C. Beaton. Hamish, a local constable in the Highland village of Lochdubh, is sure the rough, winter highland weather will drive the village's new resident south as winds howl and snow piles up. It does - but Effie Garrard returns for the milder weather. She paints small pictures of nature, and hand throws sought after pottery.

Sounds like the good life, one that anyone could embrace. Unfortunately for Effie, she is a fantasist, who deludes herself into believing that another artist is in love with her and that she is carrying his child. How wrong can a woman be? Effie is found dead on a hill overlooking the village. Suicide or murder? The regional police proclaim it suicide but Hamish can't leave well enough alone, and sets out to prove that conclusion wrong.

His methods of detection might be frowned upon by the authorities, but he delivers a sound verdict. Hamish is the type of man who makes up his mind and then follows where his thoughts take him. He seems so laid back, that it is hard to believe that many women are interested in him - new acquaintances, a one-time fiancée, a journalist who had set her cap for him.

The village residents all know one another and also know what everyone is doing or shouldn't be doing. They don't like Hamish taking a wild cat into his home to live with him and his dog, but said cat proves a decided asset. The Hamish series is a must-read. Not to be missed. When the daily grind gets you down, pick up an M. C. Beaton book and slow down to Highland time.

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