Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Death of a Witch by M.C. Beaton

16. Death of a Witch - twenty-fifth in the Hamish Macbeth series
by M.C. Beaton
mystery, 2009
library book
finished, 3/21/10

In this book, all the local men are visiting the 'witch' ostensibly for indigestion problems. She concocts herbal remedies for them. But it turns out what they are really receiving is something to make them more 'attractive' to their wives. They end up getting sick from her cures. And then she is found murdered and her house is burned down. We learn she has left a trail of people who hate her. Hamish hopes against hope that the killer will not be one of the locals. He loves his village and his villagers even if they are flawed as human beings. He accepts them for who they are. Rare quality in a rare man.

Death of a Witch includes some disturbing events which made me cringe a bit but there is always humor in these books to help lighten the troubles. The epilogue is particularly zany as Hamish goes on a holiday won by his mother.

The weather and the landscape are, as they say, characters themselves in this series.

A small sun was shining through a thin veil of mist when Hamish returned to Lochdubh, creating that odd white light so typical in the north of Scotland.

In the Highlands of Scotland it's possible to get three climates in one day.

Oban was a pretty place in summer but as he drove down to the waterfront, a gale was whipping across the harbour.

The thaw came quickly the following day, only to be followed by a sharp frost turning the roads treacherous.

Granger had fallen into a peat bog. "I'm sinking."

This is the village of Plockton which was 'Lochdubh' in the television series of Hamish Macbeth. No wonder the policeman is so content to be there despite the occasional unpleasantness of murder!


  1. Sounds like a cute story! Love the town!!

  2. The last photo is also the village where some of the scenes of the movie "Half Light" (Demi Moore...excellent) was filmed, I'm sure of it. The book sounds like a delectable March read. :) (And Nan, thank you for the kind words you left in comments when Toby left us. I very much appreciate them.)

  3. Sherri, it is good, but not so 'cute' :<) I love the town, too. I can picture myself there quite easily.

    Nancy, I haven't seen it, but will look into it.
    You're welcome. I understand, and am in the midst of an old cat not doing so well right now.

  4. I loved the TV series but haven't read any of the books. I'll put this on my wish list.

  5. thanks for the photo...I can't wait to start this series!!

  6. I first started reading M.C. Beaton with her "Agatha Raisin" series, which still remains a firm favourite with myself, my mother and my mother-in-law (who originally sent me the very first of the books, "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death").
    It took me a while to get into the Hamish MacBeth series, but now I enjoy them almost as much as the Agatha Raisin ones. Hopefully, there will be some in my birthday parcel from England, which has not arrived yet :-)

  7. Oh DELICIOUS Nan-and I LOVE the book poster too.

    I want to read everything you write about.

    I need you to stay in our upcoming mini-hotel, Literary Lodging-Comfort Found in Damariscotta, Maine. Every room filled with books, good reading lamps, and comfy furniture.

    Till later,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  8. Monix, I think you'll enjoy them. Though I said you don't necessarily have to read them in order, it is fun to do so.

    Staci, I'll be interested to read your thoughts.

    Librarian, I really must read the first Agatha Raisin since there have been so many people who recommended the series!

    Sharon, thank you! And is this place for real?? Sounds like the Bachelor Brothers Bed & Breakfast! Have you read that book?

  9. The main thing I love about this series is the setting - and it was lovely to see how they found the perfect village for the TV series.

  10. Just had to say that I love that banner. Sounds like a good book too but I am still working my way through The Dome (yes, Steven King) and Wolf Hall (also enormous) is next on the list. I am glad to know I can always get back here for suggestions, though.

  11. what a beautiful place to live. Imagine waking up there every morning! I would think it could get a bit chilly though.

  12. Me, too Common Weeder. Have you seen Local Hero? Beautiful village there too! And do you watch the British series, Doc Martin which is filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall. My personal idea of heaven!

    KSV, you can bet my suggestions won't be that long! :<) I still have Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on the shelf. Do I really think I'll read it?? :<)

    Hip Chick, I wouldn't even mind the chilly!


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