by Gloria Feit
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Death of an Honest Man, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
From the publisher: In the latest mystery featuring Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious police sergeant, Hamish Macbeth, newcomer Paul English moves to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat. Hamish tries to tell him that nobody loves an honest man, but he wouldn’t listen. He attended church in Lochdubh and told the minister that she was too fat and in the days of increasing obesity, it was her duty to show a good example. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses, and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie, who repeated all the last words of her twin sister, that she needed psychiatric help. “I speak as I find,” he bragged, while voices saying, “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Luchdubh to Cnothan. And then someone did. With Hamish’s clumsy policeman Charlie resigned from the force after throwing Chief Inspector Blair into the loch, Hamish is left to solve the mystery on his own.
This charming novel brings back Inspector Macbeth in an entry every bit as delightful as the earlier entries, beginning with the quotes that precede each chapter. Beginning, of course, with Chapter One and this from Oscar Wilde: “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” Others include offerings from Groucho Marx: “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made;” Mark Twain: “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him. If he says yes, you know he’s crooked;” Jane Austen, and Robert Burns, among several others, even including one from Jules Verne. A perfect introduction to this book and its many clever lines.
Hamish’s beat was the entire county and village of Luchdubh, helped by his “amiable although clumsy” sidekick, P.C. Charlie Carter, who shortly after the book opens decides to resign from the police, putting Hamish in the difficult position of finding a suitable replacement.
What Mr. English actually said to Hamish was “You gay men are always dying your hair.” Not a way to endear yourself to the local cop. Two days later, when the no-longer-young housekeeper is fired by English and cannot be found, Hamish reports her as missing, it appears that she may have committed suicide.
When Hamish comes upon Paul in a bar, obviously drunk and planning to drive home, Hamish arrests and handcuffs him, although before Hamish can take him to the police station he apparently decided to go off by himself, still handcuffed, although no one can find him when a search is conducted. Charlie tells Hamish that the man’s mistress is none other than the minister, and they quickly go to her home, where she tells them that she and English are engaged to be married. When the search finally finds English, it is his body that is found, partly buried in the peat bog.
The search for the killer, with so many people on the list of possible suspects, is the bulk of the remainder of the book, but side plots, such as the gorgeous, sexy blonde to whom Hamish had been engaged, and Hamish’s pets, his dog, Lugs, and his missing cat, Sonsie, are as engaging as the mystery. And how can anyone not love a tale that includes a few lines about “the magic of chocolate…Better than a tranquiliser any day.”
The novel is, of course, highly recommended.
To enter to win a copy of Death of An Honest Man, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “honest,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 3, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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