I kindly received a copy from NetGalley. In exchange for an honest review.
Release date: 23rd February 2016 (Little, Brown Book Group)
Synopsis: James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologises for her employer’s behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner.
On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits. But Gloria never shows up.
Four days later, Gloria’s body washes up on the beach near Braikie. She’s been strangled. Now, without a date and without his former policeman Dick Fraser – who left the force to buy a bakery – Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again…
This is the first Hamish Macbeth novel for me and I was not disappointed.
Gloria Dainty is the nurse in the title, hired to look after an older gentleman who has recently taken up residence in the Hunting Lodge at Sutherland. Hamish takes a chance on inviting Gloria out for dinner but alas it never happens and Hamish believes that he has been stood up after an uncomfortable wait alone in the restaurant. However, the reason Gloria did not keep her date turns out to be far worse than her simply changing her mind.
What ensues is the investigation of the murder by Hamish and his new sidekick , Charlie Carter. There is a battle of wills between the more senior members of the Police; Superintendent Daviot, DCI Blair and Inspector Herring, and Hamish and Charlie, who are just seen as the local police who do not really add any value to the investigation, more an inconvenience. I’m assuming that there is a back story regarding the extremely strained relationship between Hamish and Blair, and that of the relationship between Hamish and Priscilla Halburton-Smythe but not knowing this did not lessen my enjoyment of the book as Beaton provided enough information for new readers to understand what is happening.
I enjoyed this story, it was an easy read crime investigation which provided wonderful escapism to the highlands of Scotland. I liked Hamish and his interesting approach to police work with less reliance on technology and more on good old-fashioned policing. Whilst it was a nice light read it didn’t mean it was predictable, far from it, it kept me guessing as to the murderer right to the end, each time I thought I had worked it out I was proven wrong!
This may be my first Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, but it certainly won’t be my last!