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Death of a Celebrity by M. C. Beaton
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Death of a Celebrity (2002)

by M. C. Beaton

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"From tea served by a peat fire to sheep grazing on the hillsides, Lochdubh is the quintessential Scottish village -- and the stomping ground of ... Constable Hamish Macbeth. In his newest adventure, the local lawman must confront oversized fame, egos, and death in the Highlands after an ambitious TV reporter goes poking through lack curtains and fins a lethal story ...

"Access to Lochdubh is along a single, twisting, one-track road, but even its isolation can't keep Crystal French of Strathbane Television from dragging her crew and cameras into town. There to do a new show focusing on village life, Crystal quickly earns the outrage of the local folks when she rakes up old scandals and intimate secrets -- tactics that promptly get her high ratings. Soon, even the local astrology column is hinting that Crystal had better watch her step. And no one, least of all Constable Hamish Macbeth, is surprised when she is killed.

"Glum with the news that his former fiancee, the incomparable Priscilla, has found a new love interest, Macbeth fails to notice that the writer of the astrology column, a pretty lady named Elspeth Grant, has taken a fancy to him. He spends his time with his dog Lugs, all the while bucking the police brass with his own theories about who murdered Crystal.

"Warned off the case by his Strathbane superiors, Macbeth is left to question a troupe of gypsies about quarters stolen from the Lochdubh Laundromat. But when violence again disrupts the placed Highland air, Macbeth finds his theories evaporating. With a new threat appearing on the horizon -- one that would forever tear him away from his beloved Lochdubh -- everything is unclear in Macbeth's world, except for his own haunting suspicion that the killer is someone he knows all too well ..."
front & back flaps

The author always has a suitable quote at the beginning of each chapter -- something appropos for the upcoming developments. For this book, she tended to use quotations from poetry, and I was amazed to read lines that I hadn't heard before. Which led me to these two poems, both of which I found breathtakingly poignant.

Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae
by Ernest Dobson

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
When I awoke and found the dawn was gray:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for thelips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee Cynara! in my fashion.

How could I not have ever heard this poem before, when that line "I have been faithful to thee, in my fashion" is so well known?!

Song: Go and catch a falling star
By John Donne
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

"Tell me where all past years are" seems such an evocation of the poignancy of looking back over one's life, wondering how the years could have flown so fast.

Oh, and the book was good too. A new twist in the murderer department. ( )
  Aspenhugger | Jan 19, 2014 |
Another entertaining Hammish MacBeth mystery. This time television personalities are being murdered and Hamish helps his supervisor and the CID to investigate. He also has a little help Elspeth who seems to have some physic abilities. There also seems to be a little romance starting to develop between Hamish and Elspeth. So, on to the next Hamish adventure. ( )
  druidgirl | Feb 9, 2013 |
http://www.cozylittlebookjournal.com/2010/03/death-of-celebrity-by-mc-beaton.htm...

This book marks the very first appearance of Elspeth Grant, who is a recurring character in the rest of the series. Also, Hamish has Lugs but not Sonsie. I remember reading the book in which he got Sonsie, but I can't remember which one it was. I know he got Lugs in A Highland Christmas. Anyway, this was a great entry in the series and the epilogue wasn't annoyingly long this time! ( )
  CozyBookJournal | May 15, 2012 |
In the slightly mis-titled 'Death of a Celebrity',our Hamish investigates the murder of a television presenter. He also becomes romantically involved with a girl with the gift of second sight. As usual it is the village life and indeed his own that interest the reader just as much as the crime itself.
This popular series is light and frothy,but none the worse for that. Indeed they are all enjoyable reads. ( )
  devenish | May 13, 2012 |
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Dedication
To Benjamin Wiggin of Honington Hall, Warwickshire
With affection
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Hamish Macbeth did not like change, although this was something he would not even admit to himself, preferring to think of himself as a go-ahead, modern man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446612049, Mass Market Paperback)

Murder on the Telly Lochdubh, a remote village reached only by a one-track lane, nestles serenely amid Scotland's hills...until well-known TV reporter Crystal French races into town in her bright BMW. And Constable Hamish Macbeth, dourly wed to duty instead of the fiancee who dumped him, promptly gives her a summons for reckless driving. Outraged, Crystal makes Macbeth's life a misery with a TV report on policing in the Highlands. When she also rakes up old local scandals for her new hit show, Macbeth notes that someone besides himself might be dead keen to stop her. Then someone does-with stealth and violence. Now, finding out who did it will lead the laconic Macbeth down roads he never envisioned, into a dark story of passion and vengeance...and perhaps a crisis of the heart all his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Access to Lochdubh is along a single, twisting, one-track road, but even its isolation can't keep Crystal French of Strathbane Television from dragging her crew and cameras into town. There to do a new show focusing on village life, Crystal quickly earns the outrage of the local folks when she rakes up old scandals and intimate secrets - tactics that promptly get her high ratings. Soon, even the local astrology column is hinting that Crystal had better watch her step. And no one, least of all Constable Hamish Macbeth, is surprised when she is killed." "Glum with the news that his former fiancee, the incomparable Priscilla, has found a new love interest, Macbeth fails to notice that the writer of the astrology column, a pretty lady named Elspeth Grant, has taken a fancy to him. He spends his time with his dog Lugs, all the while bucking the police brass with his own theories about who murdered Crystal." "Warned off the case by his Strathbane superiors, Macbeth is left to question a troupe of gypsies about quarters stolen from the Lochdubh Laundromat. But when violence again disrupts the placid Highland air, Macbeth finds his theories evaporating. With a new threat appearing on the horizon - one that would forever tear him away from his beloved Lochdubh - everything is unclear in Macbeth's world, except for his own haunting suspicion that the killer is someone he knows all to well ..."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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