Death of a Liar By M. C. Beaton

Feb 28, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of Death of a Liar at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Poor Police Sergeant Hamish MacBeth. He’s a good police officer but his love life is just not working out. First there was the cold and distant Priscilla and then there was Elspeth, a really nice woman who Hamish thought was cheating on him. By the time he figured out his mistake, Elspeth had moved on. Now Christine, the medical examiner, is interested in Hamish. Unfortunately and typically, he’s attracted to a baker, Anka. She, however, is attracted to Hamish’s friend, Dick. It all gets convoluted but not nearly as complicated as a series of

When Liz Bentley phones the police station, she’s all in a panic and reports she’s been raped. Hamish and Dick rush to the next village to interview her only to find she’s changed her story. The rape happened the night before, she was not examined, and she burnt her clothes and took a bath. When the doctor comes to check, he says Liz is a chronic liar and was never raped. There was also the story she told about being royalty and then there was a tale about how she had cancer and was miraculously cured. People tend to ignore any claim she makes now.
Hamish does too. When Liz calls and says she’s being shot at, he hangs up on her. By morning, he’s feeling guilty and goes to check. The guilt only multiplies when her body is found in the garden.

The next murders are a couple who recently moved to the neighborhood near the police station. They are not liked so when no one sees them for a few days, it’s a relief more than a worry. It’s also assumed that their murders have nothing to do with Liz’s death. Hamish is not so sure.

The plot is complicated but Hamish works it out a lot better than he works out his love life. One of the things I like best about the book is that Hamish takes his dog and cat along whenever he is on a case. Another plus is Hamish might not know how to put his best foot forward in a personal relationship but at work, he’s a master and not above a bit of blackmail in order to keep his station open.

Elspeth (a reporter) and Pricilla (hotelier) both make appearances, enough to make Hamish regret the relationships that weren’t. He’s not a fan of change but it’s forced on him. Perhaps a life with his work, his dog and his cat, is the best option.

This is the thirty-first in the series. They can be read out of order but once you’ve met Hamish, you’ll want to read them all.

To enter to win a copy of Death of a Liar simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Liar,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 7, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster. Sandy’s latest short story “The Tater Tot Caper” is one of eleven stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: Fourths of Mayhem. The annual Thanksgiving anthology has eleven stories and this year, includes recipes. And it’s on sale! Available in all e-versions and in print.


  1. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of Death of a Liar. Hamish MacBeth is one of my favorite characters and I have read most of the series.

  2. I own eight Hamish books and think that Ms. Beaton totally rocks. I’d love to be that one lucky winner.

  3. I’ve always wanted to read an M.C. Beaton mystery but somehow hadn’t gotten around to purchasing one. After reading this review it makes me want to read it even more. Thanks for acquainting me with Hamish—his profession and his complicated love life. Oh….and for mentioning his dog and cat. I love animals!!

  4. I love the Hamish Macbeth books. The mystery good, but it’s the quirky characters that make them special.

  5. Hamish is one of my favorites. I think it is because his life is never easy.

  6. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Another M C Beaton book!!!!

  7. I love M.C. Beaton’s books. Can’t keep up with her as she’s published so many. I like her character Agatha Raison too.

  8. MC Beaton is, hands down, my favorite cozy author. I laugh out loud everytime Agatha howls “snakes and bastards!” and Hamish is lovable, sweet, and shrewd. Both are excellent series!

  9. I have so enjoyed the Hamish McBeth stories and would be delighted to win this one. Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. I love Hamish – he is one of my favorite guys. Life is never easy is it?

  11. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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