Death of a Dreamer

November 3, 2007 - Death of a Dreamer (M.C. Beaton). It's summer in the Scottish Highlands village of Lochdubh and local police constable Hamish Macbeth has two murders and quite a few women on his mind. One of those women, Effie Garrard, is also one of the murder victims.

Effie came to Lochdubh claiming to be an artist. Her real art, as it turns out, was lying. She lied about being engaged to the artist, Jock Fleming (a temporary resident of Lochdubh), lied about being pregnant by him and lied about her own artistic talents. For her trouble, she got herself murdered. Before Hamish can solve that crime, someone else is killed. The victim is a wealthy American who was asking lots of questions and taking lots of notes for a book he planned to write.

So, who else is around? There's Jock, of course; Jock's former prostitute/former wife, Dora; Jock's agent, Betty; Priscilla and Elspeth, Hamish's two ex-girlfriends; and Robin, an up and coming police officer also assigned to the case.

Hamish's investigation leads him to Jock's apartment in Glasgow, where he's bashed on the head by the killer. The concussion seems to give Hamish some clarity - at least as far as the murders are concerned. He solves the case and lives to talk about it thanks to his pets.

Not the best entry in the series, but not the worst. The killer is someone who I (and Hamish) least suspected, but also someone who confesses all to helpfully fill in blanks and wrap up loose ends. By the end of this book, Hamish's muddled love life isn't much further along than before. So, I guess ultimately, while this book is OK, I'm not sure it's necessary.