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Death of a Witch: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery    by M. C. Beaton Amazon.com order for
Death of a Witch
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This reader was beginning to get withdrawal pains. I needed a shot of Hamish Macbeth. The latest novel in this wonderfully droll series, Death of a Witch by M. C. Beaton, arrived yesterday and I just finished the last paragraph. Much too soon. I wanted more but will settle for what was a very good and fun read.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Hamish is a Highland Constable. He lives and works in the small village of Lochdubh, Scotland. He refuses promotions and never seeks credit for solving crimes. He is a simple man and wants nothing more than to work in his village a promotion would move him and look after his flock. When snow hits, he makes treks to outlaying farms to take provisions to those who otherwise might not survive.

He visits a newcomer to the area, Catriona. Everyone in the village believes she is a witch and, when she is discovered murdered, they feel she has cursed them and their crofts. The women believe that Catriona was making herself available to the men their husbands and were ready 'to throw her into the sea loch'. Hamish becomes the prime suspect in her murder and his superior in the police force is determined to prove him guilty.

Various other elements round out this delightful mystery. Hamish is pursued not just by the police but also by women who see him as a good catch but who, he is sure, want to change him. All he craves is peace and quiet, his beloved village and its inhabitants and his pets a mongrel named Lugs and a tamed wild cat called Sonsie.

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