DEATH OF A CELEBRITY by M. C. Beaton
A HAMISH MACBETH MYSTERY
Warner Books, January 2002
A beautiful blonde reporter arrives in the highlands of Scotland with ideas for a television show that will climb the ratings--by raking up all of the old scandals in the area. Astrologer Elspeth Grant forecasts that Crystal is playing with fire, but even she is surprised when the reporter turns up dead. Now constable Hamish Macbeth must find out if it is really suicide, or whether Crystal was murdered. If it is murder, there are certainly plenty of suspects--subjects of television stories that ruined them, subjects of future stories that sought to protect themselves, and the men Crystal slept with on her way to the top.
Unfortunately for Macbeth, he isn't a detective. His job is to protect his village, watch his sheep, and question the neighbors. Doubly unfortunately, he seems to be the only one who can put together what really happened. So, ignoring orders, Macbeth investigates. To his surprise, Elspeth turns up to be more help than he had imagined--and seems willing to help with things beyond the investigation. A romance might even develop if Macbeth can get over his lost love Priscilla.
Author M. C. Beaton (click here to read BooksForABuck reviews of other novels by this author) delivers a charming cosy mystery. The characters, from Macbeth down, seem real, vivid, and sympathetic as they deal with the scandals Crystal tried to bring down on their heads, Crystal's death, and their own problems of low sheep prices, broken marriages, and Scotland weather that seems gray and ugly eleven months of the year. Beaton's use of Scotish dialect is deft enough to give a feel for the conversation without distracting from the story.
DEATH OF A CELEBRITY is definitely a winner.
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