A Highland Christmas

M. C. Beaton, Author
M. C. Beaton, Author Mysterious Press $16.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-89296-699-8
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999
Release date: 11/01/1999
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Mass Market Paperbound - 160 pages - 978-0-446-60919-7
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-446-92055-1
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Hardcover - 166 pages - 978-1-4721-1117-3
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From the always sunny Beaton comes this Christmas special of a book featuring policeman Hamish Macbeth (Death of an Addict, etc.) and two minor Yuletide mysteries. In the fishing village of Lochdubh, Christmas looms, but there are no decorations or Christmas trees as the conservative Calvinist population declines to decorate. The lanky and amiable Hamish is told to cover the beat of a neighboring town, Cnothan, as well, where someone has made off with not only the village Christmas lights but also the huge tree. Back in Lochdubh, crusty loner Mrs. Gallagher reports that her beloved cat, Smoky, has been stolen. While investigating, Hamish meets the attractive new schoolteacher, Maisie Pease, who quickly decides she'd like to help Hamish forget his previous love interest, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. As Hamish works on the two cases, he also makes the acquaintance of the Andersons, a strict and reserved couple whose daughter, Morag, longs for a traditional Christmas. In this mystery without a murder, Beaton reintroduces familiar characters like the spinster Curry sisters and local seer Angus Macdonald, while working in newcomers such as Maisie. It's light fun throughout, though all but Beaton's die-hard readers will find this Christmas carol too cozy by half. (Nov.)
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