Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Death of a Bore

Hamish Macbeth is back investigating the death of someone nobody liked. This time the victim is an arrogant author who runs writing classes solely for the purpose of taking villagers' money and telling them they can't write. John Heppel is an arrogant publicity-hound whose own book is pretentious and unreadable. Any of the villagers in Lochdubh could be the murderer.

By this point in the series I'm starting to wonder if things aren't becoming a bit too predictable. The formula is always the same: unlikable victim, many possible suspects, Hamish employs unorthodox methods that nearly get him fired. The romantic undercurrents are also the same. Hamish moons about the loss of former loves (in this book it's more Elspeth Grant than Priscilla Halburton-Smythe).

That said, it is a testament to Beaton's writing abilities that despite all this I still enjoy reading these books. What made this particular volume less enjoyable than some of the others was that it lacked the sense of danger that I've found in others. The climax, in particular, was missing that frisson of danger.

M.C. Beaton, Death of a Bore (Mysterious Press, 2005) ISBN: 0892967951 

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