Death of a Cad - M.C. Beaton Beaton’s hero, Hamish Macbeth, is the town police constable, a rather lazy, unambitious, but happy man who often, because of his intimate knowledge of the community, manages to solve murders that have the more traditional CID inspectors baffled. It’s quite humorously written and makes fun of the English upper crust. The “Cad” is Peter Bartlett, who suffers a nasty accident while climbing over a fence with a loaded shot-
gun. Everyone assumes it’s an accident except for our hero, Hamish, the local bobby who, much to the consternation of his obnoxious superior, discovers evidence of foul play.

The plot thickens as we learn that everyone at the castle had been invited for the announcement of PriscilIa’s engagement to Henry Withering. Priscilla is Hamish’s secret love and the case becomes complicated as he discovers that everyone had very strong motives for wanting Bartlett dead.

Beaton’s book is a little delight. It has a unique twist at the end the readers will relish. Each of Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series is set in the Scottish Highlands and begins The Death of. . . . Each usually involves an outside catalyst that causes tempers to rise and murder to result. I recommend starting at the beginning of the series and reading them in order because a recurring theme is the relationship between Hamish and Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, daughter of the local landed gentry. _She would like to reform Hamish, make him more ambitious, move him to the city, buy him an electric range, and clean up his act.