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Death of a Valentine: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery

M. C. Beaton, Author
M. C. Beaton, Author . Grand Central $23.99 (246p) ISBN 978-0-446-54738-3
Reviewed on: 11/09/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
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In bestseller Beaton’s enjoyable 25th Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2008’s Death of a Witch ), a Valentine’s Day parcel explodes in the face of the Scottish Highlands’ Lammas festival queen, Annie Fleming, as soon as she tries to open it, killing her instantly. Hamish Macbeth, newly promoted to sergeant, would rather investigate with only his trusty pets in tow, but is instead forced to tote along his new constable, the less than professional Josie McSween. Considered “prim and proper and a right innocent,” Annie turns out to have been leading a less than virtuous double life, with no shortage of suspects in her murder. A much sought after bachelor, Hamish desperately tries to break the case, while Josie, with dreams in her eyes, strives to crack Hamish’s heart. Will Josie succeed in getting Hamish to say “I do” at the altar? For all the book’s farcical moments, Beaton takes care as usual to provide a satisfying police procedural. (Jan.)