Series: Hamish Macbeth #27
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Published by Grand Central Publishing on February 25, 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney.
The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed—and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
This is my first novel by M.C. Beaton and it will probably not be my last. I tend to be a fan of the cozy mystery and lighter mysteries and this book fit into those categories so it was an enjoyable read for me.
Death of a Chimney Sweep is full of twists and turns as we follow Constable Hamish Macbeth in solving the mystery. Bodies are popping up dead all over this remote Scottish village, including their own Pete Ray, the local chimney sweep. The plot is interesting and complex and keeps you guessing to the end.
There is a rather large cast of characters, most of them rather eccentric, The cast includes some rather annoying colleagues of Macbeths who are royally screwing up his investigation, two past girlfriends, a lady of the night, numerous villagers and some hounding reporters. At times it seems like no one is safe from being a suspect, but Macbeth knows better and doggedly pursues his own path in solving this mystery.
I wished that there had been a little better character development with Macbeth. He seemed a bit one dimensional to me at times. But since I’m starting on the 27th book, perhaps if I had read the previous novels that wouldn’t have been so noticeable to me.
This book will be enjoyable to all fans of the M.C. Beaton series who know and love Macbeth. Also, if you are a light/cozy mystery reader this would be worth checking out. I should also note that even though it is the 27th book in the series it does stand on its own and you can jump in at this one and still have a good, fun read.