mandag den 19. april 2010
M.C. Beaton, Death of an Outsider (1988)
This is the fourth Hamish Macbeth story.
“Hamish hated change almost as much as he hated work. He had the tenancy of some croft land next to the police station at Lochdubh, where he kept a small herd of sheep, now being looked after by a neighbor. He earned quite good money on the side from his small farming, his poaching, and the prize money he won for hill running at the Highland Games in the summer. All that he could save went to his mother and father and brothers and sisters over in Cromarty. He did not anticipate any easy pickings in Cnothan.”
I think the scene is set with this description of Hamish who prefers solving family problems in the close community to spectacular murder cases. But he is forced to leave his usual beat as his superior is going to Florida for three months, and Hamish must act as his stand-in.
Soon after his arrival at Cnothan, one man disappears and the remains of another one crops up in a lobster tank! As such atrocious crimes are not within Hamish´s powers, Chief Detective Inspector Blair swoops down on the reluctant village while trying to keep Hamish out of sight so the village idiot cannot ´steal his thunder´.
This cozy mystery is very cosy indeed; the country setting, the quirky characters and the bodies which are never described in great detail all add to the fiftyish atmosphere, and when the crimes are solved, everybody is happy (at least the good guys), and order is restored.
I bought the book myself and read it for the 2010 Cozy Mystery Challenge # 2.