Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
M.C. Beaton....what is going on with you???
That is all that ran through my head after reading Death of a Kingfisher. I couldn't believe that I ended up giving a Hamish Macbeth mystery only two stars. I LOVE the Macbeth series and have followed it avidly and completely.
Hamish (for all who don't know) is a policeman in the highlands of Scotland. He deals with the same issues is every book: a possible merger of small constabularies thereby causing him to lose his position, an ignorant superior, a non-existant love life, villagers who pry into his business 24/7, and murder...always murder.
The character in the Hamish Macbeth series are so endearing, which is why I felt betrayed in this last novel.
For some reason, I feel like MC Beaton's writing is changing and not for the better. It rather reminds me of how Agatha Christie originally wrote such clever and witty novels, but they became more unravelled and confusing as time passed by and she aged.
Anyway, I have read every book in the Hamish series and I have definitely noticed a change. In her last book I was kinda "eh" about it, but this one is strange.
Normally Beaton has one murderer, not crime syndicate. Normally all parties involved are dealt with completely and totally by the end. No loose strings. And normally Hamish ends up having some sort of step forward or backward with regards to his romantic relationships.
The things that are starting to annoy me about Hamish is his bachelor life. He needs to get married or change things up and I hope Beaton won't continue on with this serialized writing. Then again, she is an old lady and probably doesn't care that much about character progression.
So now, the readers who have invested time (and love) into Macbeth's story are being denied any character or true plot progression. Fair enough, with each novel he meets a new woman and is temporarily smitten with them. Sometimes he even has a one night. He almost married one woman. But it never happened.
Does Beaton consider this to be an endearing trait of the series? Because to me, it's getting more annoying in the vein of How I Met Your Mother. And perhaps I feel irked about this because I'm worried that Beaton is going to pop off before she properly finishes the series.
Perhaps she has a bunch of manuscripts already written. Maybe she has a very clear idea of how long the series will be and when she will start to bring some closure to Hamish and his life in Lochdubh. Either way, I hope that she doesn't die before this happens, because that would be most aggravating to me.
Those were all the thoughts that I had about this novel. I hope that M.C. Beaton can pull her writing together, one way or another, and write a good send off for Hamish. I'm rooting for him and Priscilla like no one's business.
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