cover image Death of a Liar

Death of a Liar

M.C. Beaton. Grand Central, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0478-7

At the start of Beaton’s highly entertaining 31st Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2014’s Death of a Policeman), the Lochdubh, Scotland, police sergeant receives a phone call from Liz Bentley, who claims she’s been raped. Hamish and his team rush to the village of Cromish, where they learn from Liz’s doctor that she’s a chronic liar and still a virgin. But Liz’s second call for help is no lie, and Hamish discovers her dead body in a vegetable patch outside her house. Meanwhile, back in Lochdubh, someone tortures and murders Frank and Bessie Leigh, a couple new to the area. Detective Chief Inspector Blair, always eager to deny Hamish opportunities, keeps the Leigh investigation for himself. Hamish handles Blair and Superintendent Daviot nimbly, but stumbles badly with familiar flames Priscilla Halburton-Smythe and Elspeth Grant. There are nasty characters behind the killings, and Hamish’s deep knowledge of local folk and his keen observations lead him into danger. Beaton’s series remains as engaging as ever. [em]Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Associates. (Feb.) [/em]