No Friday ARC giveaway this week, Spring Blog Hop Starts Sunday May 1st come back for that.
Title: Death of a Chimney Sweep
Author: MC Beaton
Review: There is a pattern to the cozy police mystery, one that many try to follow but so few get right. First you have to have a police officer who is way smarter than everyone on the force, but has no desire to move up. Then you have to have a superior officer in charge who thinks little of our hero and while they try to keep them down, in the end they are always shown up by them. Throw in a couple of love interests that never ever quite get it together with the hero, but come so very close time and time again. And finally you have to have a picturesque village filled with quirky but lovable characters and a murder rate that surpasses East St. Louis (think ).
MC Beaton is one of the masters of this format with her Death of series featuring the intrepid Hamish MacBeth and the seaside town of Loch Dubh Scotland. His beat is the tiny village and the surrounding countryside, where there are probably more sheep than people, yet they still manage 2-3 murders per book. Why is anyone vacationing there?
While the mysteries themselves are quite good and entertaining, the stars of the books are the characters. Beaton has crafted a tight little world where you can get lost quite easily. You can read these books out of order and pick up the basic over all plots to make sense (especially if you remember the format I laid out above), but there is something to be said for reading all 27 in order. If anything it will frustrate you that Hamish just can’t make a commitment to one of his love interests.
In the latest installment a snobbish retired English military officer has retired the community and has immediately began stepping on toes. Not soon after he turns up dead and an assortment of unsavory characters have turned up asking questions and harassing the timid wife. Several deaths later and Hamish has almost gotten to the truth.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 247 pages
Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars
Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars
Why I Read it: Keeping up with the series.
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library
Synopsis: In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed--and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
Author Biography: M C Beaton is the author of the highly acclaimed Hamish Macbeth mystery series. Born in Scotland, Beaton now lives in the Cotswolds. M C Beaton A pseudonym used by Marion Chesney