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Death of a Valentine
By M. C. Beaton

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Death of a Valentine

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Death of a Valentine
A Hamish Macbeth Mystery
By M. C. Beaton
Wheeler Publishing, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-2087-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-2087-9
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - February 3, 2010

Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth has a new love in his life - and he did not have to look far to find her. The new love of his life is Josie McSween, his new constable. Well, not exactly the love of his life. Josie has decided that Hamish is the love of her life and she is willing to do whatever it takes to become Mrs. Macbeth. Despite his better judgement, Hamish allows Josie to take control of the situation, and before he knows what is happening, he finds himself engaged - and miserable!

All is not joy and woe for Hamish, at his core he's still a cop and when Annie Fleming, a young beauty queen, is killed by an exploding Valentine's Day gift, he jumps on the job and sets out to hunt down a killer. As part of investigation, Hamish also has to investigate Annie's life, and is unhappy to discover that she was not the proper young lady that everyone thought she was. It turns out that Annie had a lot of men in her life, and now they are all suspects in her murder. To complicate matters, both professional and personal, the investigation of Annie's murder finds Hamish and Josie working in tandem to solve the crime.

Death of a Valentine is, depending on how your rank the books, the twenty-fifth Hamish Macbeth mystery by M. C. Beaton. As with all the Hamish Macbeth stories, the Scottish setting is almost an extra character in this story. As well, most of the regular inhabitants of Lochdubh make brief appearances in this installment, like old friends popping their head in the door to say a quick hello before going about their business. Full of jocularity and the deadly dangers of love, this is a delightful murder mystery with loads of suspects, lots of false leads, and a satisfying conclusion - both in terms of the murder investigation and Josie's martial machinations. It is a must read for all of Hamish's fans as well as for anyone looking to read a cozy murder mystery that has a romantic comedy undercurrent. Just be sure to block out a couple of hours to read this book, because odds are, once you get started you'll want to finish this book in one setting!

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