Returning from a foreign holiday, Hamish Macbeth is worried because he senses a dark cloud of evil hanging over the Highland village of Lochdubh . He learns that a newcomer, Catriona Beldame, is regarded as a witch and various men have been seen visiting her. Hamish himself is charmed by her until he finds out she has been supplying dangerous potions. At first the villagers won't listen to him, saying that the loveless Hamish has turned against all women. He threatens to kill her so that when she is found murdered, he must clear his name and then work to solve yet another murder to bring peace and quiet back to his beloved village. His investigations are complicated by a romance with a female forensic expert. Perhaps he'll get married at last!
In bestseller Beaton's devilishly droll 24th mystery to feature police constable Hamish Macbeth (after 2008's Death of a Gentle Lady), the Scottish Highlands' most stubborn (and romantically challenged) bachelor returns to his home village of Lochdubh from a disappointing vacation to discover a witch stirring up trouble. To Macbeth's annoyance, the sex-starved local men have fallen under the spell of Catriona Beldame, who turns out to be a runaway bride with a shady past. Macbeth longs to prove she's selling illegal (and bogus) remedies for sexual dysfunction, and warns her to stop if she is. Macbeth gets a shock when someone murders Beldame and sets her house on fire-soon after Macbeth is overheard to say he'd like to kill her. Three more murders of other women quickly follow. Could a serial killer be loose in sleepy Lochdubh? As usual, Beaton's crisp plotting and effervescent humor complement Macbeth's deft crime solving. (Dec.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Grand Central Publishing
February 23, 2009
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