As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Published by Constable, 22
February 2018. ISBN:978-1-47211-725-0(HB)
Death of an Honest
Man is the 34th
title in this author’s immensely popular series featuring the likeable Sergeant
Hamish MacBeth and set in the far north-west of the Scottish Highlands in the
county of Sutherland. Some of the earlier title were serialised on TV with the
actor Robert Carlyle as Hamish. Hamish is based in the village of Lochdubh but
his beat takes him all over Sutherland, and he likes to get to know as many of
the county’s inhabitants as he can, including incomers. The latest of these is
the retired bank manager Paul English (actually, despite his name, from the
Scottish Lowlands) in the village of Cnothan. So, Hamish, with the amiable but
clumsy Constable Charlie Carter, sets off for Cnothan, but with reluctance for
the village has a reputation for sourness. And when Hamish and Charlie get to
the village they find that English is sourer than the rest of the inhabitants
put together. He never misses an opportunity to denigrate all and sundry to
their faces and behind their backs and cares little how much anger and
resentment he is stirring up against him. Eventually his vituperative nature
proves his undoing; he first disappears and then is found dead in a bog.
In this lively and
endearing tale there are plenty of suspects from within Cnothan itself and
further afield to keep the plot going at a rollicking pace. A complicating
factor is that Charlie, feeling that his lot as a policeman is not a happy one,
finds true love and a fulfilling lifestyle as a crofter on the Hebridean island
of Barra. Another complication is the continuing persecution of Hamish by his
superior Inspector Blair, always obsessive but now edging into derangement.
Meanwhile Hamish is missing his beloved
wildcat Sonsie, his dogs Lugs and Sally being no substitute. And above all he
is saddened by his lack of love life, all his previous attachments having come
to nothing or being unsatisfactory.
All this adds up to a
highly entertaining brew of gentle mystery leavened with wry comedy. A look
through the on-line reviews of her previous novels will establish just how
popular this author is with readers of ‘cosy crime’, a genre which may not
attract the media coverage that the harder-edged variety does, but is in
practice at least as popular with readers.
especially for fans of cosy crime.
M.C. Beaton was born in
Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936 and started her first job as a bookseller in charge
of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by
chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review
variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to
join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the
advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the
job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily
Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet
Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman
marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States
where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When
that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia
and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy
spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria
while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new
tabloid, The Star, and moved to New
York. Anxious to spend more time at home with her
small son, Marion,
urged by her husband, started to write Regency romances. After she had written
over 100 of them under her maiden name of Marion Chesney and getting fed up
with 1811 to 1820, she began to write detectives stories. On a trip from the
States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the
first Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and
bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of
black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London
so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they
moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does
occasional work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and
updating of her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence
published late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly
criminal flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens
Press – a third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories
anthology – and is now concentrating on her own writing.