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Summary: Highland constable Hamish Macbeth solves the murder of a new woman to town, suspected of being a witch and seductress.
I like reading romance novels. But when someone in one of my groups asked for "clean" books with no sex, author M.C. Beaton kept coming up. I had read an Agatha Raisin book, but far, far prefer Hamish Macbeth.
One of the complaints about James Patterson's Alex Cross series is that he has a new relationship nearly every book. Well, the same applies to Hamish Macbeth. Nearly every single woman he encounters seems to want to marry him, and somehow both Hamish and the women cross signals and blow hot and cold alternately.
When a new woman comes to town, Hamish is suspicious. Why would an attractive single woman move to Lochdubh? The women in the village call her a witch and the men are not talking, or talking even less than taciturn Scots already do. Hamish rightly suspects that she's up to something, but is determined to find out exactly what after she is murdered. As Hamish is standing outside waiting for the police squad, the cottage holding the dead body of the suspected witch bursts into flame! Arson? And murder?
When a local woman is later stabbed to death, Hamish is concerned. Who in his small town could be a murderer? And with talk of a roving Highland brothel? The mystery just continues, even as Hamish juggles Priscilla (his wealthy on-and-off again love), dogged reporter Elsbeth and bright coroner Lesley, all who seem to both be after Hamish and another goodlooking reporter assigned to the story.
The stories, despite always involving a murder, are cozy and fun with quirky characters and whenever I need a quick read, this is where I'll go.