Book Review: Death of a Chimney Sweep

Return to the quiet, quaint hamlets of northern Scotland as Hamish Macbeth brings his own interpretation to what was considered an open and shut murder case. In the tiny Highlands village of Drim, Pete Ray has provided the necessary service of chimney sweep for years. Captain Henry Davenport and Milly, his mousey downtrodden wife moved into the vacant mansion above the village yet thanks to Henry’s overbearing nature, they were not warmly welcomed. Immediately after receiving a mysterious phone call, Henry went out onto the moors while Milly remained behind to pay the chimney sweep and venture into the village. Shortly after returning home, Milly discovered blood dripping from the chimney and in a panic, called Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth to investigate.

Henry was found stuffed up the chimney and naturally, Hamish’s superiors quickly name Pete as the murderer. Hamish knows Pete would never do such a thing but when the chimney sweep is discovered dead of an apparent motorcycle accident, there is no way to question him. Going behind his supervisors’ backs, Hamish uncovers evidence that Pete was also murdered and realizes there is an extremely clever murderer running loose. Can Hamish figure out who the murderer is before he becomes another victim.

Hamish and his unusual pets are a treat to watch as the sergeant matches wits against a diabolical murderer bent on regaining moneys lost in an investment scheme. Hamish continues to be plagued by romantic misunderstandings and he discovers just how far he is willing to go to protect Sonsie. Once again, Beaton has penned a delightful romp through the Highlands populated by colorful characters, personal grudges and more then a little brilliant detective work. Curl up with this book and a nice single malt whiskey on a stormy night and enjoy.

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