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Death of a Liar
By M. C. Beaton
A Book Review

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Death of a Liar

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Death of a Liar
Large Print Edition
By M. C. Beaton
Grand Central Publishing, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4555-3036-6
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Angela Evans - February 4, 2015

The prolific writer, Marion Chesney is back with the 31st installment in her Hamish Macbeth mystery series. Writing as M. C. Beaton, the new addition to the Hamish MacBeth series is called Death of a Liar. Available in both standard and large print, this new book is neither the best, nor the worse in the series. It is, however, a must-read for fans of the series!

This mystery deals with a case of 'crying wolf'. A woman calls Sergeant MacBeth, the local constable in Lochdubh, Scotland, to report that there are intruders in her house and they have assaulted her. It turns out to be a big lie. When Miss Bentley calls again with the same charge, MacBeth drags his feet when it comes to investigating her complaint. The problem is, at some point, her lie turns into the truth, and she turns up dead. Now MacBeth not only has a murder to investigate, but he also has to deal with the guilt of doubting her (albeit with cause) and in having to figure out why she lied in the first place.

Filled with the odd bit of humor, Death of a Liar is a fine addition to the series, but it is not Beaton's best work. I say this because I found the pace of the story to be a little slower than normal, and the tension never really ratches up to any discernible level, although, as usual MacBeth has to deal with more than one murder, a plethora of disgruntled ex-girlfriends, and Inspector Blair, a boss who would be more than happy to find an excuse for fire MacBeth. As MacBeth tends to be a very laid back and less than energetic character to start with, a slow pace is to be expected to a certain degree. However, this slow down, while noticeable when compared to some of the more robust offerings in the series, does not make the story so slow as to be off-putting. Basically, this is a simple, low-key cozy mystery where you get to follow along with some old friends as they go about their daily routines, which for MacBeth, this often entails investigating the odd murder or two, or three.

This is the perfect mystery if you don't want anything too taxing to read, but still want to read a story with engaging characters and a competent story line that will keep you reading until the end.


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