Mysteries, Jan 2002, 23.95, 259 pp.
Hamish Macbeth is the village bobby in Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands. It is an isolated quaint little place where everyone knows everyone else and crime is kept to a minimum. Hamish's home is part of the village jail because major crimes occur so infrequently. He resents newcomers who make more work for him. If it were up to the local bobby, there would be a gate preventing any outsiders from coming into the village.
Hamish is aghast and disgusted when Strathbane Television sends BBC reporter Crystal French into Lochdubh to do a show about a Highland Village. Crystal is more interested in getting scandals individual crofters want to hide than in doing an informative show. She gets a lot of people riled up and the next thing Hamish realizes is that she's shot to death in an isolated part of the village. Her replacement is also shot and Hamish has to find out who killed whom while fighting off the advances a woman who wants a relationship with him.
M.C. Beaton paints a quite a picture of village life in the Highlands of Scotland due to her characters feeling so real. This enables the reader to picture the lifestyle of the locals. Her protagonist is an interesting person, who prefers being the local constable to join and preferring the sedate pace and the wholesome virtues of village life rather than join New Scotland Yard. DEATH OF A CELEBRITY is a wonderful police procedural story that makes reading fun.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner