Monday, August 15, 2011

Death of a Chimney Sweep by M. C. Beaton

Death of a Chimney Sweep (Hamish Macbeth Mystery) I've been reading reviews about Beaton's Hamish Macbeth for a long time, but just now got around to reading one of this amusing series myself. There's a long list of titles to choose from but this one happened to catch my eye first.

I'm of Scottish ancestry so anything set in Scotland is bound to please me but even more so if, like in this book, the characters are memorable. Macbeth, for instance, is a constable in a village. He has bright red hair, he's single, and he has a dog named Lugs and a wild cat named Sonsie. These two animals play together like two peas in a pod. The village and the police office are right on the ocean with high hills on the other side which is a beautiful setting for any type of novel.

This story begins with the murder of a rich man whose body is shoved up the chimney in his own house, and the subsequent death by accident or murder of the chimney sweep who had been there that very day. The sweep was a beloved character in the area, and the widow of the first victim is soon friends with everyone too. Her husband had kept her isolated before.

Hamish Macbeth is a sort of maverick when it comes to crime solving, so he's always in trouble with his superiors, but he solves the crimes which makes his bosses even more upset of course. He's sort of unlucky in love, but the people of his village appreciate him and his skills.

Beaton is a witty writer. The jacket tells us that the BBC did a series of her stories, which I'm determined to find. She also writes a series starring Agatha Raisin and I want to try one of those as well. The Hamish Macbeth series is just the ticket for a summer day, or actually any time you want a light, amusing mystery with a very likeable hero.


  1. You liked this one more than I did. I thought the plot was a little too complicated. I liked it enough that I'd try the series again.

  2. I have not read this one yet, but it is indeed a nice series, and as you indicate, the Scottish setting is an additional charm.

  3. I've wanted to try this author for many years but never did. Glad u enjoyed it.

  4. Thanks for commenting Kathy, Dorte, and Diane. The plot was somewhat complicated but still fun, I thought, and I'm looking forward to reading another in the series.

  5. I have read and enjoyed the Agatha Raisin series by this author, but have never tried these mysteries. When I read mysteries, I generally stick to cosys, definitely something light for me.