The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fishes, or - more accurately - has been dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remains of the murdered victim are his bones. But once the lobsters have been shipped off to Britain's best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth.Exiled to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, but before he can head back home he has to contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the murder hushed up, a dark-haired lassie who is out to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his last victim, and will no doubt strike again...
When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiancé home to Lochdubh, everyone in town is delighted... except for love-smitten Hamish Macbeth. Yet the affairs of his heart will have to wait.Vile, boorish Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla's engagement party, has just been found murdered - shot while on a grouse hunt. Now with so many titled party guests as prime suspects, each with their own reason for snuffing out the despicable captain, Hamish must smooth ruffled feathers as he investigates the case... and catch a killer, before they fly the coop!
A tart with a heart of stone...Maggie Baird is neither kind or generous, but she is very, very rich. So when her car catches fire, with her inside it, there are five likely candidates for the role of murderer. All five had been houseguests at her luxurious Highlands home - Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband.All five are utterly broke and all had ample opportunity to tamper with Maggie's car. So finding out who did it will require all of PC Hamish Macbeth's extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature; especially when the killer appears to be the wrong person entirely...
Her table manners were a crime. But she didn't deserve to die! There's not a cloud in Hamish Macbeth's sky - just plenty of warm sunshine but not quite enough of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in.The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike one another. And the arrival of Maria's gross, greedy business partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance. And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door.Peta soon slurps up her last meal and Hamish is left with the baffling puzzle: Who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a large rosy red apple in her mouth...
Now that Priscilla Halburton-Smythe has agreed to marry him, Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth can't imagine a more perfect life. There's not much crime in his remote Scottish village of Lochdubh, nothing much at all to do but fish, drink coffee, and slouch around. And now to spend time with lovely Priscilla.But his days aren't as tranquil as his dreams. For one thing, Priscilla's renovation schemes are driving him out of his cottage. Not to mention her ambitious plans for his career as a policeman away from Lochdubh. This might be a good time to find out why Peter Hynd's arrival in nearby Drim was causing so much trouble.An attractive, unmarried man with an independent income would always attract attention in such a small place. But this time Hynd's arrival seems to have caused bitter rivalry among the women of Drim. Hamish finds their petty fights amusing and a clever excuse to avoid Priscilla and her schemes for a new electric stove (to replace his beloved woodburning appliance), a posh new bathroom, and virtuous nutrition. Amusing, that is, until death threats, physical abuse, and murder make statistical history in one of Scotland's most picture postcard-perfect towns.Praise for M.C. Beaton:The detective novels of M. C. Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. Anne Robinson, The Times
After a romantic disappointment and an undeserved demotion, Scots village bobby Hamish Macbeth decides a week's holiday at the coastal village of Skag might be just the ticket.He's dead wrong, of course: the food is dire, and the man in the next room nags his wife so loudly and continuously that more than one person at the Friendly House bed-and-breakfast wishes him dead, though only Hamish is heard threatening him.When this chap's body is found floating in the river Skag, Hamish is the prime suspect. While clearing his name, the lanky Scot has to deal with the widow who's suddenly making eyes at a refined bachelor, two leather-skirted Glaswegian beauties intent on raising disco hell, and the rude revelation of one family man's secret life. Some holiday!Praise for M.C. Beaton:The detective novels of M. C. Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. Anne Robinson, The Times
Mrs Gentle has fooled everyone into thinking she is as sweet as she sounds - Gentle by name and gentle by nature. But local constable Hamish Macbeth isn't fooled. He believes this little old lady is actually quite sly and vicious, but he's in a minority of one. Or is he?When Mrs Gentle dies under unusual circumstances the villagers of Lochdubh are shocked and outraged. Chief Detective Inspector Blair suspects that members of her family may be involved but Hamish thinks there's much more to the story - and is willing to get rough to solve the riddle of Mrs Gentle's mysterious demise.
Hamish Macbeth is savouring the delights of a Highland summer, but as fast as the rain rolls in from the loch his happy life goes to hell in a handbasket.The trouble begins when his beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns to Lochdubh with a new fiancé on her arm. His miseries multiply when clouds of midges descend on the town. And then a paragon of housewife perfection named Trixie Thomas moves into Lochdubh with her cowed husband in tow.The newcomer quickly convinces the local ladies to embrace low-cholesterol meals, ban alcohol and begin bird-watching. Soon the town's menfolk are up in arms and Macbeth must solve Lochdubh's newest crime - the mysterious poisoning of the perfect wife.
Murder in Paradise...When Jane Wetherby offers PC Hamish Macbeth a holiday at her 'Happy Wanderer' health farm on the isle of Eileencraig, he is more than happy to accept.Unfortunately the visit doesn't prove to be the pampering experience he had been hoping for. Windswept Eileencraig is inhabited by hostile islanders, many of whom would be more than happy to be rid of the 'Happy Wanderer' and its proprietor.And the company at the health farm is hardly better. The volatile party includes an ex-husband, an illicit lover, and Morag Todd, an unadulterated snob who criticizes everybody and everything. So when Morag is found lying at the foot of a cliff with a broken neck, no one seems too broken up about the event - leaving it up to Hamish to solve the death of a snob.
Stabbed and stuffed in a closet...When police constable Hamish Macbeth receives the news that there has been a murder at Arrat House, home of the relentless practical joker Arthur Trent, he doesn't race to the scene of the crime. After all, last time he was called to investigate a death at the isolated Scottish manor, the 'victim' turned out to be Trent's manservant covered in fake blood.Thus prepared for another prank, Hamish arrives to find that Trent has been most decidedly murdered and for suspects there is a houseful of greedy relatives, all of whom are more than interested in the contents of the will rather than the crime at hand. And when the Chief Inspector arrives on the scene and his former flame, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, gets involved as well, Hamish quite clearly has his hands full.
It's springtime in the Highlands but storms are brewing for Hamish Macbeth. His life is going to pot. He has - horrors! - been promoted, his new boss is a dunce, and a sinister self-proclaimed gypsy and his girlfriend have parked their rusty eyesore of a van in the middle of the village.Hamish smells trouble and as usual he's right. The doctor's drugs have gone missing. Money vanishes. And neighbours suddenly become unneighbourly. Nobody wants to talk either, so canny Hamish faces the delicate task of worming the facts out of the villagers.In the process he uncovers a story so bizarre that neither he nor the locals may ever be able to forget it...
Ignorance is bliss... especially when it comes to murder!Ever since the death of his father, Fellworth Dolphin has slaved away as a waiter to support his miserly, cold-hearted mother. So when she suddenly dies Fellworth is shocked to discover she has left him a fortune. Somewhat confused, Fell teams up with a girl from work, Maggie, to investigate the source of the riches. But what they find instead is a closet full of skeletons...Is it really possible Fell's father was involved in a decades-old train robbery? And who is the mysterious woman in the portrait hidden in his mother's wardrobe? As Fell and Maggie poke around the village for answers they find themselves on a surprise-filled path to danger and adventure - but all this good fortune could come to a sudden end if they don't stay one step ahead of a cunning killer...
Not bored to death but murder most foul . . . Celebrated author John Heppel is known in Lochdubh as a self-important bore, prone to belittling the scribblings of the locals in his creative writing class. So when he's found dead, his mouth oozing ink, it seems a fitting fate.But for PC Hamish Macbeth the murder is more than a disruption to idyllic village life - especially when the media arrive, trailing in their wake DCI Heather Meikle, a maneater with a taste for bachelor police constables. Hamish must rekindle an old flame to escape her clutches and pull out all the stops to find the killer.Praise for the Hamish Macbeth series:'The detective novels of M. C. Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status'. - Anne Robinson, The Times.'First rate ... deft social comedy and wonderfully realized atmosphere.' Booklist.'It's always a treat to return to Lochdubh.' New York Times.'Readers will enjoy the quirks and unique qualities of the cast ... Beaton catches the beauty of the area's natural geography and succinctly describes its distinct flavour.' Library Journal.'Befuddled, earnest and utterly endearing, Hamish makes his triumphs sweetly satisfying.' Publishers Weekly.
THE FIRST FOUR TITLES IN THE ACERBIC, ECCENTRIC AND HILARIOUS AGATHA RAISIN SERIES AT A BARGAIN PRICE.THE QUICHE OF DEATHRevenge is a dish best served warm...High-flying public relations supremo Agatha Raisin has decided to take early retirement. She's off to make a new life in a picture-perfect Cotswold village. To make friends, she enters the local quiche-making competition - and to make quite sure of first prize she secretly pays a visit to a London deli.Alas, the competition judge succumbs after tasting her perfect quiche, and Agatha is revealed as a cheat and potential poisoner. Definitely not the best start. So Agatha must turn amateur sleuth - she's absolutely got to track down the real killer!THE POTTED GARDENERAgatha goes digging where she shouldn't...Agatha is taken aback when she finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbour, James Lacey. The beautiful Mary Fortune is superior in every way, especially when it comes to gardening - and with Carsely Garden Open Day looming, Agatha feels this deficiency acutely.So when Mary is discovered murdered, buried upside down in a pot, Agatha seizes the moment and immediately starts yanking up village secrets by their roots and digging the dirt on the hapless victim. But Agatha has an awkward secret too . . .THE VICIOUS VETAgatha lets sleeping vets lie..Retired PR boss Agatha Raisin is enjoying life in her pretty Cotswold village of Carsely. It even seems likely that the attractive new vet, Paul Bladen, has taken a shine to her. But before romance can blossom, Paul is killed in an accident with Lord Pendlebury's horse. Only the circumstances are rather suspicious.Agatha decides she must once more play amateur investigator. And this cloud has a silver lining - she can persuade her usually stand-offish neighbour, James Lacey, to become her partner in the quest. As usual, Agatha is quite prepared to rush in, heedless of the lurking menace to both James and herself.THE WALKERS OF DEMBLEYAn unexpected hike to the Other Side . . .After time away, Agatha Raisin returns to her beloved Cotswold village of Carsely - and to her handsome neighbour, James Lacey. True, James seems less than thrilled to see her, but Agatha is soon distracted by a sensational murder. The victim, found in a field, is young hiker Jessica Tartinck, who spent her life enraging landowners by insisting on her right to roam. Hope springs eternal in Agatha's breast as she lures the reluctant James into her investigation. There are so many leads to follow, for Jessica's fellow walkers - not to mention the landowners - all seem able to commit murder.
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable. We can make the Best of the Worst'When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones. Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners.Fiona has been sent to them by her guardians as a last resort, for at nineteen, the beautiful and wealthy Scottish heiress still has no prospect of a suitable marriage. The Tribbles are puzzled, however, by their charge's demure perfection, until they take her to her first ball - and discover she is an incorrigible flirt! And when quizzed by the Tribbles Fiona betrays her real feelings ... so the sisters are forced to confront the truth about her past!
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable. We can make the Best of the Worst'When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones. Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners.Stunningly beautiful, the dazzling Delilah has had plenty of marriage proposals but having once been spurned by Sir Charles Digby, the only man she has ever loved, she is now a hardened heartbreaker who toys with all her suitors. And so it is up to the eccentric Tribble sisters to teach her the meaning of true love again.
Agatha has fallen in love - again. This time it's the local gardener, George Marston, she has her eye on. But competition for his attention abounds. With her shameless determination Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball in town just for the chance to dance with him. But when George is a no-show Agatha goes looking for him - and finds he has been murdered, having been bitten by a poisonous snake and buried in a compost heap. Agatha and the rest of her crew plunge into an investigation and discover that George had quite a complicated love life. And if Agatha now can't have George, at least she can have the satisfaction of confronting those women who have and finding a murderer in the process.
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable. We can make the Best of the Worst'When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones. Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners.Lovely, wealthy and well bred, Clarissa Vevian has been unable to find a suitable husband because of her terrible clumsiness. Her petite and fastidious mother has tried to mould Clarissa into a dainty miss to fit the fashion - but all her efforts are doomed to failure. And when Clarissa enters the Tribble sister's home, they fear that their reputation for matchmaking success may be destroyed - along with their carpets and furniture!
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable. We can make the Best of the Worst'When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones. Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners.Maria Kendall is seemingly a dream client - beautiful, impeccably mannered, effortlessly graceful and extremely well dowered. In short, she doesn't seem to need the Tribbles' help at all. But then the sisters meet her parents and realise that they do have a problem on their hands - not with the perfect Maria, but with her overweening, gauche and socially over-ambitious parents!
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable. We can make the Best of the Worst'When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones. Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners.Miss Harriet Brown, daughter of a Methodist minister, is the embodiment of propriety and Christian charity - too much so, perhaps, for her own good. The virtues Harriet possesses are far from fashionable but the Tribble sisters feel confident their new charge will attract a worthy vicar or two before the end of the season - if first they can vanquish confirmed rake and gambler Lord Charles Marsham who seems perversely determined to woo Harriet!
Lady Rose Summer prides herself on not being a jealous woman - and she knows her engagement to Captain Harry Cathcart is only a ruse to keep her parents from shipping her off to India to find a husband. But then Harry's latest client, Dolores Duval - French, curvaceous, flirtatious - starts appearing everywhere at his side. And that changes everything.In a fit of temper Rose threatens Dolores - only to be found the very next day standing over her dead body. Only Harry can clear Rose's name - and to do that he has to put the real murderer behind bars...
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.Praise for the Hamish Macbeth series:The much-loved Hamish Macbeth series. beguiling blend of wry humour and sharp observations about rural life. - Good Book GuideIt's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh. - New York Times Book ReviewThe detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. - Anne Robinson, The Times
No sooner does Miss Pym board her next stagecoach than she finds herself embroiled in the plight of Miss Belinda Earle, a spirited heiress banished to Bath after swearing off the marriage market.When the coach founders near Baddell Castle, and the dashing Marquis of Frenton comes to the rescue, Miss Pym decides to give Fate a hand. Although the austere bachelor disdains romance, his furtive glances towards Belinda prove to Miss Pym that her expert matchmaking will soon turn this star-crossed couple into a heavenly match!
A dead employer's legacy of five thousand pounds allows spinster Hannah Pym to resign from housekeeping and find adventure travelling the English countryside by stagecoach. But adventure soon finds Miss Pym in the form of Miss Emily Freemantle, a spoilt violet-eyed beauty fleeing an arranged marriage to a rake she has never met.What the girl's darkly handsome betrothed boards their stage, Miss Pym is certain Emily was rash to bolt from this aristocratic catch! And so as soon as the travellers repair to an inn, Miss Pym begins her matchmaking... and although Lord Ranger Harley complains he'll not marry an ungrateful minx, Miss Pym suspects once she's marshalled the couple into sharing intimate household chores, all romantic knots will be untangled!