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Death of a Maid: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery    by M. C. Beaton order for
Death of a Maid
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Mystery Writers of America, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Another M.C. Beaton book is on the market - for which I am thankful. Yet again, Constable Hamish Macbeth is confronted with murder in his wee village of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands.

A cleaning woman with a decidedly miserable attitude has her head bashed in with a bucket. As usual, Hamish's nemesis Blair (senior to him in the police force) tries to grab all the glory for himself. Which riles the reader almost as much as it does others. Hamish is content to take the backseat for he doesn't want attention brought to his back door at the tiny police station in the croft where he lives. Getting ahead in his chosen profession doesn't interest him in the least.

Another murder occurs. Hamish begins questioning all the usual suspects again, revealing that none of them have completely blameless lives. And Hamish's love life takes a step forward only to take two steps back. Hamish is one of fiction's delightful characters. Merely evoke his name and most readers will smile on hearing it. He is simple in his likes and dislikes, yet quite wise as he works his cases. He is loyal to his dog Lugs and feral cat Sonsie, feeding them first and enjoying their presence in his life.

For a thoroughly delightful read to erase the cares of the day, what better activity than to pick up one of this wonderful author's books and open the first page.

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