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Death of a Poison Pen by M. C. Beaton
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Death of a Poison Pen (original 2004; edition 2004)

by M. C. Beaton, M.C. Beaton

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389527,583 (3.64)10
Member:SharronA
Title:Death of a Poison Pen
Authors:M. C. Beaton
Other authors:M.C. Beaton
Info:Mysterious Press (2004), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:mystery series

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Death of a Poison Pen by M. C. Beaton (2004)

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"Often underestimated and frequently unappreciated, Constable Macbeth loves his quiet life in the Highlands with his dog, cottage, and an unhurried cup of tea. Yet no copper in Scotland is faster when it comes to spotting a clue or a criminal. In this new adventure, Macbeth uncovers a vicious letter writer who uses the local post to spread seeds of gossip, fear ... and murder.

"Vacationeer Jenny Ogilvie comes to Lochdubh with plans to seduce perennial bachelor Hamish Macbeth. Terribly jealous of Priscilla Halburton-Smyth, her snooty co-worker and Macbeth's former fiancee, the pretty and flirtatious Londoner arrives at the gale-swept loch expecting the craggy Highlander of her dreams. Instead she finds a tall, gangling, red-haired policeman too preoccupied to notice her overtures.

"Indeed, Macbeth has more serious matters on his mind. The minister's wife has gotten an anonymous letter accusing her of an adulterous affair with none other than Macbeth himself. Things turn deadly when the postmistress from nearby Braikie is found hanged in her room ... with a poison-pen letter beneath her dangling feet. Macbeth's superiors call it an obvious suicide, but the recalcitrant Macbeth pronounces it a murder -- and promptly sets off a media circus.

"While Jenny tries to impress him by playing amateur sleuth, local reporter Espeth Grant sets out to land the story and Macbeth for herself. Surveying his bevy of women, the hapless constable must not lose sight of the dangers he faces. For the poison pen has unleashed a murderous fury that will imperil any nosy villager who ventures too near."
~~front & back flaps

As usual, poor Hamish has no idea why the womenh in the village accuse him of being a philanderer. He doesn't see that using women like Jenny to help him solve the mystery looks like advances on his part. But it does make for an interesting life, and an interesting story. And at least he doesn't (consciously) lead the ladies on to get their help.

The new cub reporter in town also wants the ladies' help, but he's a much nastier character -- the kind of man who only cares for himeself, and one who wants the glory but doesn't want to do what's necessary to get it. He's willing to lie, cheat, steal, and romance any woman to further his own career. A very nice interplay of mirror opposites.

The poison pen mystery is well known to mystery readers -- an old favortite, and this version doesn't differ much at all from the standard pattern. Even so, it's interesting enough with Hamish surging back and forth between Lochdubh and Strathbane and Perth to find the clues that will identify the murderer, or murderers. ( )
  Aspenhugger | Jan 25, 2014 |
Two murders early on the book,one being that of a writer of poison pen letters. This is one of the darker and more atmospheric stories of this series. There are indeed several unpleasant characters,and that does not include the murderer.Of course we are also treated to more details of the chaotic love-life of Hamish McBeth. ( )
  devenish | Dec 21, 2013 |
Hamish's troubles with women continue. Jenny Ogilvie, one of Priscilla's friends, has come north to Lochdubh to try and seduce Hamish. Her inroad is Hamish's latest case- the double murder of the postmistress and former schoolmistress, who had been sending poison pen letters around the village. Finding someone who would want to murder both women proves to be a difficult task for Hamish.

One thing that strikes me about all the books in this series, but particularly this one, is that everyone seems to exist outside the present time. Though the books are presumably set in the early twenty-first century, people seem to have the sensibilities of the 1950s. I realize that Lochdubh is supposed to be in the far corners of the Highlands, but the people just don't seem to fit with the time period. Rural or not, they can't really be decades behind the times, can they? ( )
  lahochstetler | Jun 13, 2013 |
A rash of poisoned pen letters creates misery and unleashes a string of murders. Hamish Macbeth must deal with the crimes while juggling the attentions of three women with a little better luck than usual. ( )
  Bjace | Oct 2, 2010 |
M.C Beaton has created a Scottish constable, Hamish Macbeth, who gets in trouble with lady friends as much as dead bodies. In this "episode" someone is sending poison pen letters which cause people to die. On the surface, it looks like suicide but Macbeth knows better and tries to solve the crimes. Of course his superiors aren't happy neither are his girlfriends . A light hearted read! ( )
  elliezann | Jan 23, 2010 |
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This book is for my husband, Harry Scott Gibbons, and my son Charles David Bravos Gibbons, with love.
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Jenny Ogilvie was curled up on a sofa in her friend Priscill Halburton-Smythe's London flat.
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Book description
ISBN 9781849012775 Who is behind a rash of murderous mailshots? A nasty outbreak of malice has hit the town of Lochdubh in the form of poison pen letters. Then the local postmistress is found hanging in her room with a vicious note lying beneath her dangling feet - his superiors call it suicide ∙ but PC Hamish Macbeth pronounces it murder. However ∙ Hamish's attention is distracted by Jenny Ogilvie ∙ a friend of his ex-fiancee ∙ who arrives in Lochdubh intent on seducing him. To cap it all he's then ambushed by local reporter Elspeth Grant ∙ who's keen to scoop the story - and Hamish - for herself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446614890, Mass Market Paperback)

When the residents of Lochdubh begin receiving poison pen letters, no one takes them seriously. But Constable Hamish Macbeth fears them, and his instincts prove correct when the postmistress is found hanging from a rope with a vicious poison pen letter at her feet.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Vacationer Jenny Ogilvie comes to Lochdubh with plans to seduce perennial bachelor Hamish Macbeth. Terribly jealous of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, her snooty co-worker and Macbeth's former fiancee, the pretty and flirtatious Londoner arrives at the gale-swept loch expecting the craggy Highlander of her dreams. Instead, she finds a tall, gangling, red-haired policeman too preoccupied to notice her overtures." "Indeed, Macbeth has more serious matters on his mind. The minister's wife has gotten an anonymous letter accusing her of an adulterous affair with none other than Macbeth himself. Things turn deadly when the postmistress from nearby Braikie is found hanged in her room...with a poison-pen letter beneath her dangling feet. Macbeth's superiors call it an obvious suicide, but the recalcitrant Macbeth pronounces it a murder - and promptly sets off a media circus.". "While Jenny tries to impress him by playing amateur sleuth, local reporter Elspeth Grant sets out to land the story and Macbeth for herself. Surveying his bevy of women, the hapless constable must not lose sight of the dangers he faces. For the poison pen has unleashed a murderous fury that will imperial any nosy villager who ventures too near."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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