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A Highland Christmas
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About the Author

M. C. Beaton has won international acclaim for her New York Times bestselling Hamish Macbeth mysteries. The BBC has aired 24 episodes based on the series. Beaton is also the author of the bestselling Agatha Raisin series, which will air as an eight-episode dramatic series on Sky1, starring Ashley Jensen. She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband. For more information, you can visit MCBeaton.com.

Reviews

YA-With Christmas fast approaching, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth finds the community of Lochdubh, Scotland, facing another holiday under the dreary influence of Calvinism. He manages to schedule a carol sing and party at the local retirement home, puts up a tree, and sets about solving a long-open case of petty thievery in the area. He also begins dating the new teacher at the local school. Along the way, Macbeth finds a missing cat for Mrs. Gallagher and convinces Mr. and Mrs. Anderson to let their young daughter find enjoyment in the holiday and friends. The constable's own Christmas centers on his new puppy. Although a tremendous amount of joy and goodness stems from the officer's actions, he never seems to realize any of the positive results. Macbeth appears to be just what this community needs: a logical voice when one is called for, help in times of need, and a balance between older ways of thinking and the changes being brought by the outside world. The story leaves a warm glow of contentment and has several humorous moments. A perfect selection for the holiday season and a solid tale for sharing year-round.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

From the always sunny Beaton comes this Christmas special of a book featuring policeman Hamish Macbeth (Death of an Addict, etc.) and two minor Yuletide mysteries. In the fishing village of Lochdubh, Christmas looms, but there are no decorations or Christmas trees as the conservative Calvinist population declines to decorate. The lanky and amiable Hamish is told to cover the beat of a neighboring town, Cnothan, as well, where someone has made off with not only the village Christmas lights but also the huge tree. Back in Lochdubh, crusty loner Mrs. Gallagher reports that her beloved cat, Smoky, has been stolen. While investigating, Hamish meets the attractive new schoolteacher, Maisie Pease, who quickly decides she'd like to help Hamish forget his previous love interest, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. As Hamish works on the two cases, he also makes the acquaintance of the Andersons, a strict and reserved couple whose daughter, Morag, longs for a traditional Christmas. In this mystery without a murder, Beaton reintroduces familiar characters like the spinster Curry sisters and local seer Angus Macdonald, while working in newcomers such as Maisie. It's light fun throughout, though all but Beaton's die-hard readers will find this Christmas carol too cozy by half. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Police constable Hamish Macbeth must work during Christmas week while his family vacations. Although his caseload involves nothing more pressing than a missing cat and a tree and lights stolen from a community center, he alleviates his own depression by soothing others. An inspirational treat for the holiday season. [A Mystery Guild featured alternate.] Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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