Patricia Martyn-Broyd, now in her seventies, has retired to the Highlands. She hasn't written a word in years and her books are out of print. But now a television company is about to film her last detective story, featuring the aristocratic Scottish detective Lady Harriet Vare. Even better, a London publisher is bringing the book into print. Even ...
Patricia Martyn-Broyd, now in her seventies, has retired to the Highlands. She hasn't written a word in years and her books are out of print. But now a television company is about to film her last detective story, featuring the aristocratic Scottish detective Lady Harriet Vare. Even better, a London publisher is bringing the book into print. Even though the snobbish Miss Martyn-Broyd doesn't care to mix with the locals she can't help but share her excitement with local policeman Hamish Macbeth. Imagine her horror when Miss Martyn-Broyd discovers that Lady Harriet Vare is portrayed as a pot-smoking hippy, that the screenwriter is known for his violent and scurrilous scripts and that Lady Harriet is going to be played by the scene-stealing trollop Penelope Gates. But a contract is a contract, Ms Martyn-Broyd quickly learns and when she is accused of murdering the scriptwriter and the leading lady, she turns to her one friend in Lochdubh, Hamish Macbeth, to help her.
A surprisingly (for me) engaging novel; easy, pleasant read. I enjoyed it. So why the rather tepid rating? For one thing, I like a really wholesome read, mysteries such as Georgette Heyer's or Agatha Christie's. This is relatively wholesome, but frankly, some of the characters use profanity, and whether that's realistic or not, my leisure reading is one "space" I can choose to keep my atmosphere light and clean! Also, this book (and apparently the series) has a character whose romantic life is repeatedly victimized by circumstance. A bit frustrating for the reader. And there was one unappetizing description of a corpse. If you don't mind these flaws, you might enjoy it. It holds the attention and has likeable characters.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-04-13 In his 14th bracing appearance, Scottish Highland police constable Hamish Macbeth (Death of a Dentist, 1997, etc.) investigates crimes visited upon those who tinker too much with a mystery series. Anxious to be back in print, elderly mystery writer Patricia Martyn-Broyd signs an options contract that cavalierly gives a television company all rights to her books. Poor Patricia should have read the small print. Her aristocratic heroine and staid story line are soon transformed into a wild 1960s romp, featuring buxom blonde actress Penelope Gates. Patricia is mad enough to murder the scriptwriter, Jamie Gallagher. She isn't alone. Penelope's jealous, often inebriated husband, Josh, is tired of his wife's clothes coming off in every part she plays. Jamie, Josh and Penelope all die in quick succession during location filming in the weird Scottish village of Drim, which is a mere stone's throw from lanky, laconic Hamish's hometown of Lochdubh. A good man cursed with a blustery, jealous superior and poor judgment in affairs of the heart, Hamish has a motley crew of actors and producers for suspects, in addition to the snooty yet vulnerable Patricia. There's a little less of Hamish himself this time out, and his romantic misfires feel cursory, but the environs are brooding and Beaton's affectionate wit remains dry and delightful. Mystery Guild featured alternate; author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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