Author John Heppel moves into a cottage in the small Scottish
village of Lochdubh—bringing with him a little excitement for the village’s residents and
another mystery for the local constable, Hamish Macbeth. Heppel decides to teach a
writing class for the people of Lochdubh—and, to Hamish’s surprise, people actually show
up. Throughout the village, people are investing in computers or dragging out
typewriters, intent on writing a best-seller. But their dreams are dashed when Heppel
turns out to be a self-centered bore who spends most of the class talking about
himself—and very little time teaching them how to write.
One day, however,
the news spreads that Heppel has been murdered—and the pressure is on Hamish to find his
killer. Who had the motive to kill Heppel? Just about everyone in Lochdubh. Before his
death, Heppel had criticized the work of Lochdubh’s aspiring authors and dashed their
dreams of stardom, and they’d gone so far as to protest loudly on the local TV news.
Though Hamish’s boss orders him to question each of the villagers, Hamish is convinced
that none of them are capable of murder—and that the murderer must be an
Death of a Bore isn’t your typical high-energy mystery.
There may be murder and mayhem in Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands, but that doesn’t
stop it from being a sleepy village. Macbeth may be serious about his job—and especially
about clearing the names of the people in his village—but he’s not especially dynamic.
He’s just a calm, laid-back constable who enjoys living in a small village—and he wants
to keep it that way, no matter how often his superiors try to promote him to a job in the
city. For some, he may be a breath of fresh air after reading more abrasive, high-energy
mysteries. For others, however, his demeanor may be frustrating.
is a quaint village, with plenty of lovable busybodies who want nothing more than to
marry off the village bobby—as well as a few undesirables to make things interesting.
The setting and tone give Death of a Bore a quaint, folksy feel. Be warned,
however, that unless you’re familiar with the Scottish Highlands and their dialect, you
may have a hard time reading the dialogue. Ms. Beaton is especially accurate in creating
dialogue, but you may have a hard time understanding characters when they say things
like, “I cannae wait all nicht.”
If you enjoy the laid-back style of
Agatha Christie novels, you’ll enjoy reading Hamish Macbeth. But if you prefer a more
fast-paced, high-energy mystery, you might want to try something else.