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Death of a Scriptwriter by M. C. Beaton

Death of a Scriptwriter (original 1998; edition 1998)

by M. C. Beaton

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475421,755 (3.74)17
Title:Death of a Scriptwriter
Authors:M. C. Beaton
Info:Mysterious Press (1998), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery series

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Death of a Scriptwriter by M. C. Beaton (1998)



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"Patricia Martyn-Broyd was not an easy woman to like. The hawk-nosed spinster had retired to Scotland, unable to write another book since her 1965 mystery featuring the aristocratic Scottish detective Lady Harriet Vere. Local constable Hamish Macbeth, with the telepathic ability of the Highlander, thought Patricia must be lonely beneath her rigid pride. A bit lonely himself since the breakup of his engagement, he extended his friendship. But that was before fame and the movie people arrived ...

"A British TV company had decided to feature Lady Harriet in a new series. They didn't reveal to Patricia that a buxom soft-porn film star would star as Lady Harriet, that nude scenes had been added, or that the starchy aristocrat now presided over a 1960s hippie commune. Hamish, however, had a bad feeling about the whole venture, especially when the production crew set up in the nearby town of Drim. The constable knew there would be trouble between the middle-aged, dour townsfolk and the flashy, urbane filmmakers. And there was -- murder.

"When one of the scriptwriters for the series is found dead, the tension escalates on the set and in the streets of Drim. And as Hamish pokes into the town's secrets and the TV people's hidden agendas, he finds a large cast of people who wanted to cut out the writer for good -- from the boozehound husband jealous of his actress wife's flagrant flirting to the tough, ambitious producer who was threatened with dismissal. Going behind the scenes, the detective knows he must resolve this deadly episode soon, for an impromptu killer is striking again, and again ..."
~~front & back flaps

This installation of the fabulous life of Hamish Macbeth acually made a bit more sense than the last one. Motives more understandable, characterizations more realistic, etc. And if you think you've figured out whodunnit as you read along, you're probably right. ( )
  Aspenhugger | Jan 17, 2014 |
A television company decides to film a long -out -of -print detective novel and base it in Drim,near Lochdubh. Hamish Macbeth becomes friendly with Patricia Martyn-Broyd,the elderly and snobbish writer of the original books.It soon becomes apparent that the television production is going to be very different from Martyn-Broyd's somewhat old-fashioned stories as they clearly intend to sex them up. Several members of the company are clearly prime candidates for being murdered,and before long a couple of them meet that fate.
Hamish in the meanwhile continues to be in trouble both in his job and in his unsatisfactory love-life.
As usual this is an easy and undemanding read,and a welcome return to Lochdubh and it's inhabitants. ( )
  devenish | Sep 11, 2012 |
Highlands Constable Hamish Macbeth once again finds himself wrapped up in another baffling village murder, this one in the queer Scottish village of Drim.

Miss Patricia Martin-Broyd, whose mystery books have been out of print for decades, finds herself delighted to learn that Strathclyde Television Production company wants to film her book "The Case of the Rising Tides", with the hope of landing a spot on Scottish BBC. It will mean Patricia's precious - if dated - books go back into print, something she has long been dreaming. However, little does the writer realize her work is to be sexualized and badly rewritten by scriptwriter Jamie Gallagher. The village of Drim is settled upon as the locale for filming, and village women are vicious trying to land parts as extras in the film.

When Miss Martin-Broyd discovers that her precious book has been sexualized and transformed from her original vision, she is furious at the scriptwriter. The author isn't the only one angry at the scriptwriter. Lead actress Penelope Gates promised her husband this film would be a good respectable role, and he is furious when he learns otherwise. There is discontent among the film staff for having to cater to Jamie's whims and some fleeting unease about trying to pull the wool over Miss Martin-Broyd'd eyes and assure her this will be a family friendly act. Between his threats of having people fired, few on the film set feel much sorrow when Jamie Gallagher is found dead, apparently hit on the head.

As the filming struggles to continue, Hamish realizes this case may soon be one of his failures if he doesn't find the killer, especially when a second murder occurs. Hamish is thrown off the case by the new lead investigator, but Miss Martin-Broyd implores him to find the killer and because something in her strikes a chord with him, Hamish agrees and seeks to clear Miss Martin-Broyd's name.

This is the first Hamish Macbeth mystery I've read. I've long been a fan of M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series, and this series seems to be a winner too. The conclusion to the mystery was not altogether satisfactory to me, but I did love the characters, and especially the protagonist, Hamish Macbeth. I will definitely continue to read this series! ( )
  cln1812 | Jun 11, 2010 |
#14 Hamish MacBeth mystery set in the Scottish Highlands in which a TV production company comes to nearby Drim to film the adaptation of a local mystery writer’s book. The writer, Patricia, is a stuffy, class-concious older woman who is horrified when she learns that her protagonist, Lady Harriet, has been turned into a commune-running, drug-taking, boob-bearing slut in the adaptation. When the scriptwriter, and then the lead actress are both murdered within a few months of each other, the writer is one of many suspects who float to the surface and it’s only Hamish’s shrewd thinking and plodding police work that sort out the truth. Typical visit to Lochdubh with Hamish and the gang—enjoyable but not spectacular ( )
  Spuddie | Oct 3, 2008 |
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For Mary Devery of Cheltenham
With love
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Patricia Martyn-Broyd had not written a detective story in years.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446606987, Mass Market Paperback)

M.C. Beaton's 14th adventure featuring Hamish Macbeth, lovable local bobby of Lochdubh, Scotland, is a similar treat to her previous efforts. Macbeth feels a dismal foreboding when television film crews descend into his neighborhood to film a local author's out-of-print mysteries. Not only are they led by an overbearing and egotistical scriptwriter, but they have completely stood the original manuscript on its head. The producers have determined that a sexy, pot-smoking heroine will bring in more viewers than the genteel and circumspect detective true to the original. The author herself and the local Calvinist minister are not amused. Before too long, the scriptwriter, the shapely actress playing the lead, and her jealous husband all end up dead, confirming Macbeth's suspicions that the gloomy village of Drim and glamorous media types were a dangerously combustible mix.

The mystery itself seems straightforward enough, but Beaton has provided more than the usual number of suspects and subplots. All of these spike the reader's interest while her wicked characterizations of both the locals and the inhabitants of TV-land are hilarious, and very occasionally thought-provoking. The real strength of the book, and indeed Beaton's work in general, is the way in which she evokes the genuine isolation of Macbeth's rural Highlands and blends it with breezy renderings of murder, mayhem, and cozy cups of tea. In some ways it's a bit of an incongruous mix, but Beaton successfully keeps the tone on the lighter side. Death of a Scriptwriter will certainly intrigue mystery fans as well as those who have wondered about the creations of the PBS/BBC series Mystery! --K.A. Crouch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Ever since a British television crew began filming a mystery series at nearby Castle Drim, Hamish has watched tension building. Middle-aged townsfolk and flashy filmmakers are clashing, the younger locals are vying for bit parts, and rumors are flying about vicious quarrels among the crew. But trouble really escalates after one of the scriptwriters is found dead, and Hamish discovers a full cast of suspects lurking behind the scenes."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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