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Death Of A Snob (1992)

Death of a Snob (1992)
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Rating
3.8 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0804109125 (ISBN13: 9780804109123)
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English
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publisher
fawcett
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Death Of A Snob (1992)
Death Of A Snob (1992)

About book: Death of a Snob is obviously an early Hamish Macbeth mystery. He is friends with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, but has almost (does he ever?) gotten over her; Priscilla herself is wearing herself out "helping" her father run their old castle which was just recently turned into a hotel. He has a dog named Towser, not Lugs, and no cat. He has not yet met Elspeth. But the magic was obviously there in the early days. This is an interesting novel with an intricate plot. Because an American aunt, who never liked Hamish, is visiting his family, he is asked not to spend Christmas with them (In the later novels does he ever think of them, much less spend holiday time with them?) The irony is that Pricilla takes his dog, Towser, to them since Hamish will not be home, is prohibited by a snow storm from going back to Lochdubh, and spends the holiday with them instead. Although even this early Hamish apparently has doubts about how likely she would fit with them, she does. In fact she so enjoyed her holiday with Hamish's family that when he returns, she fixes him an excellent meal and is apparently willing to enjoy it with him--until she reads a note that was not meant for her. Oh well, in far later novels their relationship is still almost-on---definitely-nostalgia-only. The main plot concerns Hamish being invited to an island health farm on Eileencraig for Christmas by gorgeous Jane Wetherby, a friend of Priscilla, who fears someone is trying to kill her. An off duty policeman, who no one knows is in law enforcement, should be able to keep her safe from harm during her holiday with a few friends and well-liked customers sharing the farm.But it is not Jane Wetherby who is murdered, but one of the guests, a Heather Todd, a culture vulture--the snob of the title. While the local law man on Eileencraig wants to paint the death as an accident, Hamish realizes several things don't fit. He forms a friendship with Harriet Shaw, the author of a number of cook books, and they together investigate the situation--even going to Glasgow together to learn more about the possible publication of a book Heather may or may not have written--a sensational romance, the very type of book Heather is too snobbish to allow other people to read without sarcastically be-rating them. Harriet is a valuable contributor to the solution since she knows about the book trade and has contacts in it which Hamish does not. Together, they find the truth, and all turns out justly for everyone except Priscilla, who read the wrong note, and Hamish, who never knew what happened--or that anything might have.

Alright, I admit it, I just started this one thinking I would get a chapter in before bed. Well, it was only 100 pages so once I was 30 pages in, I figured I might as well stay up and finish it. I know, right? I need my sleep for a busy day at work tomorrow but stay up reading. What is a girl to do?So Hamish takes a vacation of sorts and the place sounds pretty enough but I missed having some of the old characters in the story. I also will comment, just because it irritated me slightly, that whoever edited this book did not do a good job. There were several typos throughout – some were confusing. But it did little to take away from the story.With several new characters to deal with, Hamish isn’t quite so laid back as is his usual practice when loafing around his own police station. Have to say, I didn’t care much for any of them – talk about a bunch of snobby rich people.The story went by very quickly leaving me to wistfully think of starting book seven. However, it is almost midnight and work is going to be a bear tomorrow so I best head off to bed. I think I’m going to read a Sue Grafton book next but haven’t decided – can’t keep reading Hamish or they will all start to run together. I give this book a B+.
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Reviews
Julie
I don't know how I've never read any of this series before-but I'm sure glad I picked this book to start. This was an excellent mystery in the style of Dame Agatha, who was even referenced in the story! The setting on an island, Eileencraig, off of the coast of Scotland was atmospheric and played into the mood of the book. The main character Hamish MacBeth,(whom I have developed a crush on!) is reluctantly drawn into this Christmas party to do some investigating while on holiday as a favor and of course solves the mystery of the death of a snob. My favorite character has to be the local Georgie and his "haunted" vehicle! A great cast of characters and so well written that I finished the short book quickly and can't wait to read more of Hamish!
An Odd1
As always, a fast fun holiday. Hamish Macbeth has a nasty cold and nowhere to go for Xmas, until voluptuous Jane invites him to find which of the holidays guests at her island health farm will kill her, as predicted by one of the unfriendly locals. Often stretching outfits similar to Jane, the plump snobbish guest Heather alienates everyone. She finally ends up at the bottom of a cliff with her neck broken, wearing Jane's old yellow slicker. Fellow guest Harriet, an older cookbook writer, kind and sensible, invites Hamish to Glasgow to follow his hunch of murder when the verdict of accidental death is declared. ".. the city wore a tired, tawdry air, as if the Calvinistic ghosts of Glasgow were frowning at all this leisure time. The shops were full of people changing gifts and people clutching bits of toys which they had been supposed to assemble at home, but whose instructions they could not follow, probably because the instructions had been badly translated from Hong Kong Chinese. Christmas had done its usual merry work of setting husband against wife, relative against relative, and spreading bad will among men in general. People looked overfed and hung over and desperately worried about how much they had already spent." p 127. (view spoiler)[ He suspects Heather wrote a romance novel, and her bankrupt husband Diarmud conspired with secretary Jane who did all their typing. Harriet has the contacts with literary agents to find the truth. Jessie tossies Heather's handwritten manuscript in the trash, but out detecting duo are just in time to rescue the bags. Her boyfriend Willie MacDonald, is an ex-con, and tickets to Spain are under Mr and Mrs McD-. (hide spoiler)]
Deb
This wasn't the best Hamish MacBeth I've read, but it was a pleasant summer's reading. Priscilla asks Hamish to talk to her friend Jane Wetherby who thinks someone is trying to murder her. Jane invites Hamish to her home on an island in northern Scotland where an odd collection of acquaintances have gathered to spend the Christmas holidays. One of the guests irritates everyone before being murdered. Hamish investigates and solves the puzzle, but not before falling for one of the other guests. I don't think the story worked as well as others because Hamish was out of his Lochduhb village - very little interaction with his nemesis Blair, and very few chances for others to complain about Hamish's "laziness" and "ineptitude."
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