My rating: 3 of 5 stars
M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series is as cosy as they come. Hamish is the constable in the small highland village of Lochdubh, and, while he’s a good enough cop to warrant offers of promotion, he always turns them down. It’s interesting to read about a protagonist who is happy in his work, humble as it may seem to others. Hamish loves animals, is kind of lonely and wonders if he should marry, and achieves his successes by relying upon his common sense and understanding of human nature. In Death of a Bore, puffed up writer John Heppel moves into town. He offers writing classes to the locals, and by the end of the first session, has managed to insult and infuriate all of his students. When he’s murdered, no one’s surprised, but it’s up to Hamish to ID the killer and bring him/her to justice. Along the way, Hamish must deal with an uppity television crew working on a soap opera, a buffoon of a superior officer, and so many possible suspects that his task, in the absence of hard clues, seems impossible.
Hamish being the good copper he is, his task is, of course, not impossible. But he has plenty of reasons to question himself and his reasoning. Death of a Bore is a police procedural, but being more character than plot driven, it’s no thriller. Readers who enjoy their mysteries heavily laced with local color and interpersonal relationships will find much to like here.