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Death of a Liar: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery    by M. C. Beaton Amazon.com order for
Death of a Liar
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton deserves a special award. This novel is the 30th (the THIRTIETH) in the delightful series featuring Hamish Macbeth, a sergeant in the Scottish Highlands who lives by his own standards. He is irascible and determined to apply the law as he sees it and not as it was written. He is equally determined not to get promoted!

As always, author Beaton keeps up her high personal standards of fine writing mixed with a keen wit. While Hamish can be taken as a bumbling country policeman, beneath that persona is a man who believes in righting a wrong and who will do whatever it takes to do so.

A woman in the wee village of Cronish claims to have been attacked. Finding out that she is a perpetual liar, Hamish ignores her second bid for attention. Feeling put out by her lies, he second guesses himself and finds that the woman really was attacked the second time. Attacked and murdered!

Hamish has bright red hair and keeps Sonsie, a wild cat, and Lugs, his dog. They usually travel with him on his rounds to keep the peace and to keep folk in outlying areas safe and well-cared for. In searching for the murderer, Hamish falls into a mystery deeper than he thought was possible.

Death of a Liar is as good as the previous twenty-nine episodes. I don't know where Beaton finds the time, but she also writes the Agatha Raisin series another first-class one with a thoroughly delightful character. Agatha is all wrapped up in the pursuit of a man any man - and her attempts to trap one make for fun reading. Murders are thrown in to lighten things up.

If you aren't already an M.C. Beaton fan, you will be before you finish Death of a Liar. And just think of all the good reading ahead of you.

2nd Review by Lyn Seippel (Rating:2):

This is the first Hamish Macbeth mystery I've read and I'm not sure why it took me so long to try this series. It is full of amusing characters including Hamish's past lovers; Chief Inspector Blair whose attempts to close the police station in Lochdobh and move Hamish to Strathbane are ongoing; and Hamish's ever-changing current and past helpers. This is book thirty in a continuing series.

Hamish receives a call about a brutal attack including rape, taking place in a nearby village. Hamish soon discovers that the woman is lying about the crime. In the course of his investigation, the woman's neighbors admit that she is a compulsive liar. When the same woman calls him about an intruder, Hamish is, of course, reluctant to run to the rescue. This time she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must find the truth while investigating a nearer murder that took place in Lochdobh. All while avoiding Inspector Blair.

I'm looking forward to reading more of the Hamish Macbeth mysteries and getting to know Hamish and the villagers.

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