M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series. But in this latest book, Death of a Ghost, I've found that Hamish has developed an edge - one I don't like.
I do like the sleepy village of Lochdubh, its quirky inhabitants and the ginger policeman who easily solves cases, but works even harder to not get the credit. But I didn't find the homey, cosy feeling I was looking for in this newest entry.
I was immediately put off by a distasteful 'joke' in the first few pages It's not a joke, it's not PC and quite frankly I can't see any female reader finding it funny. (Yes, it involves the letters CN and T. Pick a vowel.) Curiosity kept me reading. And there were more harsh words and ugly tones from Hamish. He's just not nice any longer. He was always a bit tetchy, but it was not nasty or crude.
The plot line of Death of a Ghost is very, very busy. Lots of players, more than one body and lots of clues. Hamish and his partner Charlie seem to careen from one situation to another. I do like this new partner - he's a good sort. Familiar supporting cast members do appear, but even they seem to have gotten darker. The ongoing feud with Blair has taken a murderous turn. And even likable lush Jimmy isn't the same. I found the writing choppy and uneven.
This was a series I used to read to nursing home residents. But no more. And sadly, no more for me either. This is the end of the road for me and Hamish. And I think it might be time for Hamish to retire. Read an excerpt of Death of a Ghost.