xmas spirit rc 2015

A Highland Christmas by M. C. Beaton A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton
Series: Hamish Macbeth
Published by Mysterious Press on March 6, 2001 (first publshed 1999)
Source: Won
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Pages: 129
Format: Hardcover
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Hamish's toughest case to date - to bring some festive cheer to a town long dampened by the spirit of Scrooge. In dark, wintry Lochdubh, Christmas Cheer is about as welcome as a flat tyre on a deserted road. The Calvinist element in town has always resisted what they view as secular frivolity, so for most of the townsfolk there'll be no carols, feasting, gifts - or even whisky on Christmas Day!

And for PC Hamish Macbeth there's no holiday from crime - he finds himself hunting for a missing cat belonging to a lonely spinster. Curt and unfriendly, the woman is convinced her pet has been stolen but once behind her heavily-bolted door, Hamish can spot her true problem - she lives in fear, though of who or what he cannot guess.

Then someone steals a Christmas tree and lights from the nearby village of Cnothan. So it is up to Hamish to sort all these problems out - and he had better do it quickly, for the church bells will soon peal on the eve of Christmas.

This is the first Hamish Macbeth story I’ve read and I realize it’s not typical of the series – no murder for example, but I really liked Hamish. He seems like a truly good guy who actually cares about the people of his town. The towns are filled with quirky odd characters, most of whom are amusing. I also love how the locals treat Hamish. Even though he’s the police, he’s on their side. I don’t quite understand the conflict with his boss, but i’m sure it’s made clear in another of the installements.

This particular one is a feel-good light Christmas mystery. The mysteries involve a missing cat and some lights that have been stolen from another village.  It’s short and I don’t want to give much away, but it left me with a smile and wanting to visit Lochdubh again.

About M.C. Beaton

Marion Gibbons, née McChesney (born 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a British popular and prolific writer of romance and mystery novels since 1979. She has written numerous successful historical romance novels under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, including the Travelling Matchmaker and Daughters of Mannerling series. Using the pseudonym M. C. Beaton, she has also written many popular mystery novels, most notably the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mystery series.