Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: Death of a Chimney Sweep by M. C. Beaton

Author: M. C. Beaton
Publisher/Format: Grand Central Publishing (2011), Hardcover, 256 pages
Characters: Hamish MacBeth, Priscilla, Angela, the Currie sisters
Subject: crime in small town Scotland
Setting: Lochdubh, Scotland
Series: Hamish MacBeth mysteries
Genre: police procedural
Source:  ARC from publisher
Another adventure in this ongoing series set in Scotland, featuring the still unambitious, still bachelor, loner police constable Hamish MacBeth.  The story itself is a good one, although the chimney sweep whose death provides the title, is absolutely gone from the story within the first thirty pages...unlike many previous Hamish MacBeth stories, murders aplenty are in this one, and our poor nameless chimney sweep simply gives M.C. Beaton a title for the book.

This series is definitely in need of a shot in the arm.  Either Hamish needs to get a wee bit of gumption and progress to something more in his life than walking his dog, or he needs  a definite love interest  and relationship that is going someplace, or he needs to be murdered and put to rest.  The stories are getting stale, formulaic and the cast of characters is not developing at all. They are the same old cardboard, cameo tea-tippling crew we've seen before.  Nothing new.  Nothing.   I've been a big fan of this series, and found them fun and interesting.  Now I'm afraid, I have to describe this one as brain candy for a boring beach day.  Dare we hope perhaps that Beaton was just having a bad spell?  Read earlier ones if you like, but skip this one.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy and for the giveaway copies awarded earlier this year.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately it isn't rare for a series to eventually go stale, as if the author has run out of enthusiasm for the characters. It's a shame about this one.


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