AudioBook Review: Death of an Outsider, Hamish Macbeth #3 by M.C. Beaton

AudioBook Review:

I adore the BBC’s production of Hamish Macbeth, and was hoping that I would enjoy this audiobook as much, if not more. And it far outweighed my expectations.  Hamish Macbeth is a police officer in Scotland, and with his little dog, he has settled into a comfortable and somewhat lazy life in Lochdubh.  Pressed by his superiors to take position covering a colleague’s vacation in Cnothan, Macbeth and his dog relocate to the dreary town, where outsiders are often treated with less than open arms.  He soon finds that he is not the first, nor only, new resident; in fact one new arrival made it his business to make life miserable for the other residents.

While Macbeth is a policeman, his success rate is due more to luck and time spent mulling over the facts he knows, rather than a diligent attention to boots on the ground detection.  Even with that, his point of view is always well presented, the stories are engaging and the secondary characters bring personality and life to the story as they add up red herrings to keep readers on their toes.

Narration was provided by Shaun Grindell, and he is the first male narrator that I have heard for a book from this author.  I enjoyed his narration: he didn’t struggle over pronunciation, nor did he deliver the story with any huge swings in pitch or tone, yet each character was clearly delineated in a smooth and non-jarring way.   I thought his accent was delicious, and not distracting, nor was it difficult for a listener to grasp the flow of words.

While I am familiar with the Macbeth stories, I was not confused or missing parts in the book, however this is the third in the series and you would be best served for the romantic connections and to get a full sense of Hamish in his home space, by reading, or listening to these in order.

Stars Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4 

AudioBook Review:  Death of an Outsider, Hamish Macbeth #3 by M.C. Beaton

Title: Death of An Outsider
Author: Marion Chesney
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Narrator: Shaun Grindell
Published by: AudioGo
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Pages: 194
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 54 minutes
Rated: four-stars
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Dreary Cnothan's most hated man is dumped into a tank filled with lobsters then eaten in Britain's best restaurants. Exiled there with his dog Towser, Hamish Macbeth misses his beloved Highland village Lochdubh, Priscilla, and easy lazy days. His superiors want the business hushed up, a dark-haired lass wants his body, and a killer is out for more blood.

A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Marion Chesney

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

While Marion wrote her historical romances under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, as well as several pseudonyms (Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, and Charlotte Ward), because of her great success with mystery novels as M. C. Beaton, most of her publishers both in the U.S. and abroad use the M. C. Beaton pseudonym for all of her novels.