Hamish MacBeth Books in Order: How to read M. C. Beaton’s series?

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Created by M. C. Beaton (Agatha Raisin), Hamish Macbeth is a fictional police officer who works for the town of Lochdubh. Hamish has a reputation for laziness, but his lack of ambition doesn’t stop him from doing his work. With his superiors wanting to close the local police station, Hamish must often work outside official channels to do his work for his fellow villagers.

How to read the Hamish MacBeth Series in Order?

Every entry in the Hamish MacBeth book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. Death of a Gossip – When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers-or was it the fins?-of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane’s shrills–until her strangled body is fished out of the river.
  2. Death of a Cad – When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiancé home to Lochdubh, everybody in town is delighted … except for love-smitten Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet his affairs of the heart will have to wait. Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla’s engagement party, has just been found murdered.
  3. Death of an Outsider – The most hated man in the dourest town in Scotland is sleeping with the fish. All that remains of the murdered victim are his bones. But after the lobsters are shipped off to Britain’s best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth.
  1. Death of a Perfect Wife – Hamish Macbeth has a new Land Rover to drive and a Highland summer to savor, but as fast as rain rolls in from the loch, his happy life goes to hell in a handbasket. The trouble begins when his beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns from London … with a fiancé on her arm.
  2. Death of a Hussy – Wealthy Maggie Baird is neither nice nor kind nor generous. When Maggie’s car catches fire with her inside it, suspicion focuses on the five houseguests staying at Maggie’s luxurious Highlands cottage. Finding who did it requires all Hamish Macbeth’s extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature.
  3. Death of a Snob – With a cold in his head and no place to go for Christmas, Hamish snaps up the invitation of dJane Wetherby to spend the holiday at her Scottish island health farm – and figure out who is trying to kill her.
  1. Death of a Prankster – Rich, old practical joker Andrew Trent summons his kin to remote Arrat House for a deathbed farewell. When they arrive, he is in perfect health, cackling at his joke and ready to torment them with others. But when Trent is murdered, Constable Macbeth must step in.
  2. Death of a Glutton – As eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door.
  3. Death of a Travelling Man – Hamish smells trouble, and he’s right as usual. The doctor’s drugs go missing. Money vanishes. Neighbors suddenly become unneighborly. The tension only explodes after the itinerant Sean is found brutally beaten to death. Suspicion quickly falls on his girlfriend, but with nobody willing to talk.
  1. Death of a Charming Man – All Hamish Macbeth wants to do is fish and drink coffee with his fiance. Then a mysterious stranger moves into the neighboring village – a rich, unmarried heartbreaker, causing rivalry among the local women. It is amusing until death threats, assault, and murder shatter the tranquil countryside.
  2. Death of a Nag – Hamish Macbeth is more dour than ever after losing both his promotion and his girl. A trip to a charming seaside inn with his dog Towser is meant to raise his sagging spirits. Instead, he arrives at ‘Friendly House’ to find the ambiance chilling, the food inedible, and his fellow guests less than neighborly.
  3. Death of a Macho Man – When Hamish Macbeth tries to break up one of the many fights involving Randy Duggan, the ruffian challenges him to a fistfight. But on the chosen day, Duggan is found shot to death and Macbeth is rumored to be the likely suspect. Macbeth must find the murderer, clear his name, and restore his Highland paradise to its usual tranquility.
  1. Death of a Dentist – A blinding toothache sends Hamish Macbeth 120 miles out of Lochdubh to the dentist Frederick Gilchrist, only to find him dead. Since everyone is pleased the dentist is deceased, Macbeth faces one of the more biting challenges of his career.
  2. Death of a Scriptwriter – With the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe away in London, Hamish Macbeth pines for company. He gets his wish – and more – when a troupe of filmmakers clamors into the nearby town of Drim. Before long bedlam erupts around their make-believe mystery … and culminates in the sudden appearance of one very real corpse.
  3. Death of an Addict – Former drug addict Tommy Jarret rents a Scottish chalet to check out reports of a sea monster. But when he is found dead of an apparent drug overdose, constable Hamish Macbeth suspects foul play. Macbeth goes undercover and dives into the underworld to root out a cartel secretly entrenched in the Highlands.
  1. A Highland Christmas – In the dark, wintry highlands of Lochdubh, Scotland, the spirit of Old St. Nick is about as welcome as a flat tire on a deserted road. Nor is crime taking a holiday, as Constable Hamish Macbeth soon finds himself protecting an unhappy girl, unlocking the secrets of a frightened old woman, and retrieving some stolen holiday goods.
  2. Death of a Dustman – The garbage collectors in Britain are still called dustmen, and Lochdubh’s dustman is an abusive drunk named Fergus Macleod. When Fergus is put in charge of a recycling center and dubbed the ‘environment officer,’ Hamish Macbeth smells trouble. And after his body is found stuffed in a recycling bin, no one’s sorry-including his long-suffering family.
  3. Death of a Celebrity – Well-known TV reporter Crystal French races into town in her bright BMW. And Hamish Macbeth 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.
  1. Death of a Village – Trouble is afoot in a Scottish fishing village as Macbeth finds the pub empty, the church full, and the air permeated with fear. With the help of a journalist, Macbeth begins to ferret out the truth.
  2. Death of a Poison Pen – When the residents of Lochdubh begin receiving poison pen letters, no one takes them seriously. But 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.
  3. Death of a Bore – Minor writer John Heppel has a problem – he’s a consummate bore. When he’s found dead in his cottage, there are plenty of suspects. But surely boredom shouldn’t be cause for murder, or so thinks Constable Hamish Macbeth.
  1. Death of a Dreamer – The rugged landscape of Scotland attracts dreamers who move north, wrapped in fantasies of enjoying the simple life. They usually don’t last, but it looks as if Effie Garrard has come to stay. But Effie is quite delusional, imagining that she’s engaged to local artist Jock Fleming. Later, Effie is found in the mountains, poisoned by hemlock.
  2. Death of a Maid – Mrs. Gillespie is famous around the northwest of Sutherland for being the best charwoman ever. Hamish Macbeth wins Mrs. Gillespie’s services in a church raffle but spends most of the day trying to avoid her. She is a malicious gossip and she bangs around the furniture and clanks pots. Then she is found dead in a large house belonging to a retired professor who was out the day she was killed.
  3. Death of a Gentle Lady – Gentle by name, gentle by nature. Everyone in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh adores elderly Mrs. Gentle – everyone but Hamish Macbeth, that is. Hamish thinks the gentle lady is quite sly and vicious, and the citizens of Lochdubh think he is overly cranky. Perhaps it’s time for him to get married, they say.
  1. Death of a Witch – Returning from a vacation, Hamish Macbeth senses a dark cloud of evil hanging over his Scottish village of Lochdubh. Newcomer Catriona Beldame has cast a bewitching spell over the town, causing the local men to visit her cottage at all hours of the night and infuriating the women. Before Hamish can prove that Catriona is truly wicked, she is brutally murdered.
  2. Death of a Valentine – Hamish Macbeth will be married at last. Everyone in the village of Lochdubh adores Josie McSween, Macbeth’s newest constable and blushing bride-to-be. While locals think Josie is quite a catch, Hamish has a case of prenuptial jitters. After all, if it weren’t for the recent murder of a beautiful woman in a neighboring village, there wouldn’t be a wedding at all.
  3. Death of a Chimney Sweep – In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray. He is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Hamish Macbeth found a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit.
  1. Death of a Kingfisher – When Scotland is hit by the recession, The Highland people are forced to come up with inventive ways to lure tourists to their sleepy towns. The savvy tourist director of Braikie renames the woods ‘The Fairy Glen,’ and has brochures printed with a beautiful photograph of a kingfisher rising from a pond on the cover. But just as the town’s luck starts to turn, a kingfisher is found hanging from a branch.
  2. Death of Yesterday – When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn’t remember what happened the previous evening, he doesn’t begin to worry. She had been out drinking, after all, and he’d prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman. But when her body is discovered, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness – now dead – had forgotten.
  3. Death of a Policeman – Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair’s plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.
  1. Death of a Liar – Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is alarmed to receive a report from a woman in the small village of Cronish in the Scottish Highlands. She has been brutally attacked and the criminal is on the loose. But upon further investigation, Hamish discovers that she was lying about the crime. So when the same woman calls him back about an intruder, he simply marvels at her compulsion to lie. This time, though, she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must sort through all of her lies to solve the crime.
  2. Knock, Knock, You’re Dead – Mrs. Morag McPhie hits upon the idea of selling some of her old furniture to raise money to visit her daughter in Australia. But when a dead body turns up, Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wonders if the antique business is even more cutthroat than he thought…
  3. Death of a Nurse – James Harrison has recently moved to a hunting lodge in Sutherland with his private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer’s behavior, and Hamish invites her out for dinner. Gloria never shows up. Four days later, Gloria’s body washes up on the beach near Braikie.
  1. Death of a Ghost – When Hamish Macbeth hears reports of a haunted castle near Drim, he assumes the eerie noises and lights reported by the villagers are just local teenagers going there to smoke pot. Still, Hamish decides that he and his policeman, Charlie ‘Clumsy’ Carson, will spend the night at the ruined castle to get to the bottom of the rumors once and for all.
  2. Death of an Honest Man – Nobody loves an honest man–or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat, where he immediately started to stir up outrage among his neighbors. “I speak as I find,” he bragged. A refrain of “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan. And someone did.
  3. Death of a Green-Eyed Monster – Hamish Macbeth’s new constable, Dorothy McIver, may be the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. Completely bewitched by her sparkling blue eyes, Hamish spends the summer traveling with her up and down Sutherland until finally, he can take it no longer. He gets down on one knee beside the Land Rover and begs her to marry him–and to his amazement and delight, she says yes. But just as the town of Lochdubh gets ready to celebrate, Hamish finds himself with a new murder on his hands. If he doesn’t find the killer fast, Hamish’s dream wedding could become a nightmare.
  1. Death of a Laird (short story) – When Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is sent to investigate reports that the wealthy new laird of the remote Naglar House has disappeared, north-west Scotland is hit by the worst storm in living memory. The road is washed away, phone lines are down, mobile reception is dead and his police radio is out of order. He is trapped with the laird’s high-class house guests. Then he discovers the laird’s body.
  2. Death of a Traitor – Should a child or a vulnerable person vanish, it’s an urgent matter that needs to be treated seriously, but in Macbeth’s experience, most other people who go missing tend to turn up again before long. So when Kate Hibbert disappears after having last been seen struggling along the road with a heavy suitcase, he is convinced she has gone traveling and reluctantly goes through the motions of investigating.
  3. Death of a Spy (by R.W. Green) – Although the area he polices is vast, Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is happiest when he’s working alone, yet the police authorities insist he has an assistant – an American named James Bland. Having met Bland previously, when he was left in no doubt that the American led a life colored by secrets and skulduggery, Hamish isn’t surprised when he discovers the real motive behind Bland’s police secondment involves him in helping track down a spy ring, some members of which have met grisly ends.

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