AudioBook Review Death of a Prankster: Hamish Macbeth #7 by M.C. Beaton

AudioBook Review:

And another in the ongoing series of Hamish Macbeth stories by M.C. Beaton, Death of a Prankster focuses on Andrew Trent, a rich and elderly prankster who can’t seem to stop the jokes even after his death. 

Calling in relatives to tell them he is dying, the ultimate joke is on him as he is murdered, and Hamish must find the culprit.  While he has planned several different pranks for the family that has gathered, the road to the culprit is not as clear as in other stories.

This was my least favorite of these stories so far: while I enjoy Beaton’s writing, the characters were a little on the thin side here, giving us little beyond their interactions to find enjoyable. Hamish was the front-and-center best source of interest in this story, from his interactions with superiors to his stubborn adherence to an apparent ‘lazy’ approach to detecting.

When everyone in the house is under suspicion, even the maid and butler, there is another murder, but it does little more than add yet another twist to a fairly straightforward story.
Of course, Hamish does prove that his particular mix of thoughtful observant detecting will find the culprit in the end, and he never ceases to amuse with his approach.

Narration is again provided by Shaun Grindell, and I cannot say enough about his style being the perfect fit for these books.  If you are wanting a simple, relaxing listen that won’t challenge you overmuch, and will provide a distraction, this is a series that you should look into.

Stars:  Overall 3  Narration: 4  Story: 3

AudioBook Review Death of a Prankster: Hamish Macbeth #7 by M.C. Beaton

Title: Death of a Prankster
Author: M. C. Beaton
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Narrator: Shaun Grindell
Published by: Blackstone Audio
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Pages: 219
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 48 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound
See this Title on Goodreads

When it comes to murder, Constable Hamish Macbeth can't see the joke. Rich, old practical joker Andrew Trent summons his kin to remote Arrat House in the dead of winter for a deathbed farewell. But when they arrive, the old coot is in perfect health, cackling at his joke and ready to torment them with others.

But it turns out the joke's on Trent. As the saying goes, he who laughs last, kills first! And when Trent is murdered, Constable Macbeth must step in and solve the crime before the punchline of the next killing joke knocks him right into an early grave.

About M. C. Beaton

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.

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