cover image Death of an Honest Man

Death of an Honest Man

M.C. Beaton. Grand Central, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4555-5831-5

At the start of bestseller Beaton’s diverting 34th Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2017’s Death of a Ghost), the Lochdubh, Scotland, policeman and his amiable sidekick, Constable Charlie Parker, drive to the neighboring village of Cnothan to welcome a new resident, retired banker Paul English, whose first words to Hamish are: “You gay men are always dyeing your hair.” Hamish protests that his deep red hair is natural. He and Charlie endure further insults from English before their abrupt departure. After someone murders English and dumps his body in a bog, the police have plenty of suspects, since most everyone who was a target of his insults hated him. Hamish navigates the various traps and trappings of his job with his usual ease. Beaton keeps this lighthearted series fresh by introducing several important changes for some recurring characters and assigning Hamish a surprising new assistant. Series fans will eagerly await the next installment. Agent: Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein Associates. (Feb.)