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Death of a Witch
By M. C. Beaton

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Death of a Witch

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Death of a Witch
A Hamish Macbeth Mystery
By M. C. Beaton
Wheeler Publishing, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-59722-903-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-59722-903-6
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - January 15, 2010

From the hand of the best-selling author, M. C. Beaton, comes a new large print Hamish Macbeth mystery, Death of a Witch. As the story opens, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is stationed in the village of Lochdubh in Sutherland, Scotland, is returning home from a rare vacation abroad. It did not go as planned. He had hoped for a quiet get-a-way and a bit of romance, but his plans were dashed on both accounts when he found himself romantically pursued by a group of old-age pensioners that thought he would make a dreamy date for one, if not all, of them. Now he needs to recuperate from his vacation, but he's not going to get the chance.

Upon his return home, he finds that a new arrival in the area, Catriona Beldame, has a reputation for being a witch, and perhaps a bit overly loose with her feminine favors. When he discovers that she is also handing out an odd assortment of 'potions' he idiotically threatens to kill her - with witnesses! As you might expect, it is not long until she is found murdered, and Hamish finds himself the prime suspect. Rather than recuperating from his harrowing vacation, Hamish must now defend himself from a charge of murder while also discovering the real culprit behind the crime, a task that becomes even more pressing when more bodies start to turn up.

Death of a Witch is a fun, fast read that is full of some tantalizing twists and turns as well as the possibility of Hamish actually finding his true love. In trying to solve these cases, Hamish finds himself working with a forensic expert with curves in all the right places. One of the things I like most about this book is that despite taking place in the Scottish Highlands, Beaton does not tax the reader by using Scottish dialog, rather she allows the reader to simply absorb the Scottish atmosphere through the setting and the Scottish names of both people and places.

A great addition to the Hamish Macbeth mystery series, Death of a Witch is a must read for all Hamish fans, as well as for anyone looking for a cozy murder mystery filled with some nice surprises and an unexpectedly large dose of humor.

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