Hamish Macbeth is the main character in the “Hamish Macbeth” series of mystery novels written by M. C. Beaton (a pseudonym; her real name is Marion Gibbons, née McChesney). The first novel featuring Hamish Macbeth was released in 1985 and titled “Death of a Gossip”. The thirty-three series feature elements within the mystery, drama, crime-fiction, comedy and thriller genres.
Hamish Macbeth is a police constable in the fictional town of Lochdubh. His character is deemed to be unambitious, lethargic and unenthusiastic. However, during the course of the series, Hamish develops a complexity of character, resisting norms and solving criminal cases along the way. Hamish is depicted as tall and thin with hazel eyes, fiery red hair and long eyelashes.
Order of Hamish Macbeth Series
|1||Death of a Gossip||1985|
|2||Death of a Cad||1987|
|3||Death of an Outsider||1988|
|4||Death of a Perfect Wife||1989|
|5||Death of a Hussy||1990|
|6||Death of a Snob||1992|
|7||Death of a Prankster||1992|
|8||Death of a Glutton||1993|
|9||Death of a Travelling Man||1993|
|10||Death of a Charming Man||1994|
|11||Death of a Nag||1995|
|12||Death of a Macho Man||1996|
|13||Death of a Dentist||1997|
|14||Death of a Scriptwriter||1998|
|15||Death of an Addict||1999|
|16||A Highland Christmas||1999|
|17||Death of a Dustman||2001|
|18||Death of a Celebrity||2002|
|19||Death of a Village||2003|
|20||Death of a Poison Pen||2004|
|21||Death of a Bore||2005|
|22||Death of a Dreamer||2006|
|23||Death of a Maid||2007|
|24||Death of a Gentle Lady||2008|
|25||Death of a Witch||2009|
|26||Death of a Valentine||2009|
|27||Death of a Chimney Sweep||2011|
|28||Death of a Kingfisher||2012|
|29||Death of Yesterday||2013|
|30||Death of a Policeman||2014|
|31||Death of a Liar||2015|
|32||Knock, Knock, You're Dead!||2016|
|33||Death of a Nurse||2016|
|34||Death of a Ghost||2017|
The first novel in the series, Death of a Gossip, begins with Hamish on the receiving end of sharp-tongued Lady Jane Withers. But with her murder, he’s immediately thrust into the limelight as the town of Lochdubh looks to him to solve the case and apprehend the person responsible for her grisly murder. Hamish must navigate the dangerous terrain of tight-lipped suspects, dead bodies and murder.
As he begins his incredibly thrilling journey, he meets the daughter of a landowner; Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. He finds her pleasing and lovely. In this first series, readers begin to watch a budding romance unfold between the lithe Hamish and the beautiful Priscilla. Together, this duo begins to solve the murder of Lady Withers using unorthodox methods that Hamish has engineered. As Hamish solves the case, he also incurs the wrath of Chief Inspector Blair, a senior detective from the nearby fictional town of Strathbane.
HAMISH MACBETH BOOKS INTO TELEVISION SERIES
Hamish Macbeth was adapted into a Television series by BBC Scotland. Three seasons were aired, with the first two seasons having six episodes and the last season having eight episodes. Hamish Macbeth was played by Robert Carlyle, who was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for his role in the drama series. The TV Series deviated markedly from the plot of the original Hamish Macbeth books, but also developed an avid fan base that traced the origins of the series back to the book. The drama series was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award under the category of Best Drama Series in 1997.
BEST HAMISH MACBETH BOOKS
The first installation of the series, Death of a Gossip, is one of the best books in the series, gathering 5 star ratings among readers. It is a good place to start the series as it allows the reader to acquaint themselves with Hamish Macbeth, the beginning of his love story and the quirky idiosyncrasies that separate him from the rest of other archetypal mystery-crime protagonists.
The second book in the series follows the first book in fast-paced thrill, and has elicited unequivocal love from readers of the mystery and crime-fiction genre. Titled Death of a Cad, it opens with Priscilla, the love of Hamish, who is set to be engaged to another man, Henry Withering. Her parents throw an engagement party at the Trommel Castle and Captain Barlett is in attendance, but he quickly irritates guests with his boorish attitude. He is later found dead and the police quickly surmises that it is an accident. But Hamish decides to dig deeper, much to the annoyance of his archenemy, Chief Inspector Blair and Priscilla’s snobbish father. Eventually, Hamish does prove that it was murder.
The 32nd book in the series, Death of a Ghost, has both an intriguing title and plot. There is a haunted house that has been plaguing neighbours with eerie, spooky sounds. When Hamish and his colleague, Charlie, go to investigate they find nothing out of the ordinary. Till Charlie falls through the floor into the cellar. They find a dead body propped up against the door but when they leave the castle briefly, the corpse disappears too.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
The mystery and crime-thriller genre features multiple similar novels from writers like Agatha Christie and Simon Brett. Other mystery titles include the Marion Chesney’s “Agatha Raisin” series, The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries by Emily Brightwell, Room with a Clue by Kate Kingsbury, Dying in the Wood by Francis Brody and many others as well.
Marion Chesney known for her cool mystery cum love novels has also written another mystery laden novel titled Hasty Death which is part of the Edwardian Murder series. Readers who enjoy love stories with a twist of deviousness, blackmail and murder will enjoy this tale of the obstinate Lady Rose Summer who leaves her parents’ home to work as a typist. She soon uncovers a blackmail plot after the death of a friend, and thus begins her quest to solve the murder mystery.