Currently there are a number of books available. The most recent editions are published by Bantam books and have pic's from the recent BBC series on the cover. And very nice they are too! Click on the title to go to a synopsis of the book. One thing about them, while the tone is recognisably Hamish, the details for the TV series have been changed. Nevertheless they are a light and enjoyable read.
The titles available are:
* Death of a Gossip
John Cartwright, owner and fishing instructor at the Lochdubh School of Casting in the wilds of Scotland, had a premonition of evil doings. And when the latest class of anglers appeared, his fears were proved real, in the most unladylike person of Lady Jane Winters -- society widow and tale tattler, who delighted in exposing the all-too-incriminating pasts of the seemingly innocent. Who wouldn't want her shrills silenced?
But when she was actually fished out dead, it was none other than lazy Hamish Macbeth, local bobby and champion poacher, who smelled the right rat. With the inspiring aid of lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish stuns all with his surprising sense and instinctive understanding of the power of secrets left exposed too long.
* Death of a Cad
When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, the whole town is delighted, save perhaps for love-smitten bobby Hamish Macbeth. But the morning after a tastefully posh engagement party, one of the guests, Captain Bartlett -- who so enraged everyone with his boorish and caddish comments -- has the bad manners to be murdered on a grouse shoot.
Unfortunately, the prime suspects are the titled party guests, each with a decidedly unfriendly feeling toward the newly deceased. And a second shocking murder really is the last straw. Though alibis abound, it takes Hamish Macbeth, the quiet law enforcement genius, to smooth ruffled feathers and track a clever murderer, even as he subtly woos lovely Priscillaa from her jealous city sophisticate.
* Death of an Outsider
Nobody in the Scottish town of Cnothan had liked the abrasive Englishman, and now that he has been murdered - in a most original fashion - nobody much minds. Constable Hamish Macbeths's hard luck is that he happens to be on temporary duty in this cloistered Highlands village when the killer strikes. and he has his work cut out for him, dragging from Mainwarings's close-mouthed neighbours enough facts to start solving this peculiar case.
But Hamish is crafty, and with practised aplomb he slowly extracts from the locals a scandalous tale of illicit romance, secret vices, real-estate wheeling and dealing, even witchcraft - all so unbelievable that it can only be true.
* Death of a Perfect Wife
Being English and unemployed, Paul and Trixie Thomas have two strikes against them from the beginning. But Trixie isn't one to notice when people don't like her and soon she has the whole village involved in her Anti-Smoking League, vegetarian cooking, and birdwatching society. She even wheedles a few bits and pieces of old furniture and china from her frugal Scots neighbours.
So when she's murdered, not everone is devastated. Truth to tell, there is even some quiet rejoicing, and as for motives...Hamish is up to his elbows in them.
* Death of a Hussy
Wealthy Maggie Baird is neither nice nor kind nor generous. About the best that can be said of her is that inside her middle-aged body, there beats the heart of a beautiful tart.
So when her car catches fire, with Maggie in it, there are five likely perpetrators right on the premises, houseguests in her luxurious Highlands cottage: Maggie's timid neice and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband.
All five are equally impecunious, and all had ample opportunity to monkey with Maggie's car. So finding who did it requires all P.C. Hamish Macbeth's extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature.
* Death of a Snob
On a lonely Scottish Isle, a killer joins a most exclusive gathering. It's Christmas, and Constable Hamish Macbeth is one big bundle of misery.
With a cold in his head and no place to go for the holiday, Hamish snaps up the invitation of gorgeous Jane Wetherby to spend Christmas at her Scottish island health farm -- an determine whether someone really is trying to kill her.
In his heart, Hamish believes the lady is a wee bit daft; but, arriving on lonely Eileencraig, he feels a prickle of foreboding. The locals are openly threatening; and the other guests, especially a terrible snob named Heather Todd, are barely civil.
So, when Heather meets an untimely end, Hamish feels he hasn't far to look for her killer. There's just one problem: all the guests were in the house when Heather vanished. Not even the weirdly mysterious mumbo jumbo that abounds on Eileencraig can account for that mystery ...
* Death of a Prankster
In an isolated Scottish manor, a killer has the last laugh on a practical joker.
When it comes to murder, Constable Hamish Macbeth can't see the joke. Admittedly there's a touch of black humour in the case. Rich, old practical joker Andrew Trent summons his kin to remote Arrat House in the dead of winter for a deathbed farewell. They arrive to find him in perfect health and eager to torment them with a whole new bag of unfunny jokes.
But this time the body that falls out of the closet is Andrew Trent's own. And nobody's laughing.
Especially not Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is hard put to glean any information from Trent's unappealing nearest and dearest. And when the lanky constable's former flame, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, inserts her beautiful self into the case, Hamish must muster all his native guile to carry him through. Fortunately, he has a few clever tricks up his own sleeve, which enable this most endearing of crime fighters to get the best, and last, laugh.
* Death of a Glutton
Her table manners were a crime. But she didn't deserve to die ... There's not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth's sky ... Just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe.
But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. The arrival of Maria's gross, greedy partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance.
And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door. Peta soon slurps up her last meal, and Hamish is left with a baffling puzzle : who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a big red apple in her mouth? Surely not one of those singles ...
* Death of a Travelling
It's springtime in the Highlands and murder is in bloom ... Hamish Macbeth's life is going to pot. He's been promoted (horrors!), his boss is a dunce, and -- to add insult to injury -- a sinister self-proclaimed gypsy and his girlfriend have parked their rusty eyesore of a van in the village.
Hamish smells trouble and as usual he's right. The doctor's drugs go missing. Money vanishes. Neighbours grow suddenly unneighbourly. Hamish regrets it only becasue he feels it in his bones that the killer may be one of his friends.
Nobody wants to volunteer even a scrap of useful information, so canny Hamish single-handedly sets about the delicate work of worming the facts out of his his neighbours. Yet in the process he uncovers a story so bizarre that neither he nor the villagers may ever recover from it ...
8041-1211-8 Paperback, 170 pp
* Death of a Charming
He could charm your pants off. That was precisely the problem. Police constable Hamish Macbeth hears that a posh English chap has moved into an unlikely place -- the backwater village of Drim. Indeed, Peter Hynd has the town's matrons giggling like teens as they ogle him working shirtless in his garden, bring him goodies, and even hop into his bed. But the dour men of Drim -- Highlanders whose feelings run deep -- are doing a slow burn.
Hamish knows there's bound to be trouble.
At home in Lochdubh, Hamish's own romantic ties to his high-born finacee begin to chafe and the constable escapes his bans and bonds with a wee journey to Drim himself. He isn't surprised that Peter is missing and a body has been found ... until he discovers that the corpse is not the charming man he expects.
* Death of a Nag
A forgotten North Sea resort is a place to get away from everything. Except murder.
Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth is more dour than ever after losing both his promotion and his girl, the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. A trip to a charming seaside inn whith his dog Towser is meant to raise his sagging spirits. Instead, he arrives at "Friendly House" to find the ambiance chilling, the food inedible, and his fellow guests less than neighbourly.
There's an amorous spinster, two tarty girls, a retired military man, a secretive London family, and Bob Harris, who so nags his wife, Doris, that everyone wants to kill him. Then somebody does. Soon Macbeth is called upon to act -- to dig into the past and deep into the heart to deliver something more daunting than merely the culprit: Justice.
* Death of a Macho Man
Constable Hamish Macbeth is pitted against a belligernt newcomer to Lochdubh, a bully claiming to be a professional wrestler, who soon finds himself KO'd into the next world ...
Everybody in Lochdubh knew about the pro who dubbed himself the Macho Man. The huge, tattooed, mean-looking stranger won a willing audience for his bragging and tall tales by buying round after round at the local pub. But his nasty insults lead to vicious fights. His sneaking about the village aroused angry suspicions that he was fooling with some Lochdubh wives. And his sneering challenge to policeman Hamish Macbeth to a public bout triggered the constable's own temper, not to mention an epidemic of bookmaking.
As the day of the big fight approached, excitement engulfed Lochdubh. At least half of the village was betting on the Macho Man, eagerly anticipating Hamish to take a bloody pounding and perhaps lose his job. Then, on the night of the great event, the wrestler was found shot to death in his cottage. Hamish was both off the hook and in the doghouse. To save both his career and his life, Constable Hamish Macbeth has to delve into the shadowy -- and unsavoury -- past of the Macho Man. The trail leads to the unexpected: the hidden lives and buried secrets of a salty fisherman, a reclusive romance writer, a respectable matron, a restauranteur's wife, and even Hamish's ex-fiancee Priscilla Halburton-Smythe and her newest boyfriend.
Hamish is sure that the murder of the Macho Man was a crime of passion. He just isn't sure whether the passion was lust, greed ... or vengeance.
Biography of M. C. Beaton
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