Saturday, March 4, 2017

Death of A Ghost - M.C. Beaton

I've always enjoyed 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.


bermudaonion said...

Oh, it's too bad it's become something like that.

Carol N Wong said...

Oh no! I love the old books with Hamish in it and I recently won a copy!

Kay said...

That's sad. Though there have been other mystery series that I left eventually after something annoyed me. I've not ever read any of the Hamish books, but I've read a few of the Agatha Raisin series. I kind of left that one too because Agatha was just too something - needy, man-hungry, whatever. This author wrote short series under her 'real' name, Marion Chesney. It was historical and set in Edwardian England. I think I liked those 4 books best of all. Sorry she didn't continue it.

Grandma Cootie said...

Thanks for your honest review. Glad to know it's not just how I feel about this series. Agatha Raisin isn't the same anymore, either. I won't mention any names but I have found this with other series as well. Sadly, sometimes maybe it's just time for the author to stop writing a series.

Icewineanne said...

It's always sad when a previously enjoyed series takes a downturn. Although i haven't read any of the series, i was under the impression that it fell into the 'cozy' variety........definitely not the type of mystery where you would expect to find the C word. It will be shocking to longtime fans.
The author may have been under pressure or just thought that a darker story would attract a new segment of readers without thought as to how her fan base would react. It's too bad because for many, it will cast a pall over the series.
Lots of great series & authors out there, hope your next read is 5 stars Luanne!