M. C. Beaton In the isolated villages in the north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the chimney sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until the day that 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. 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.
M. C. Beaton Returning from a disappointing foreign holiday, police constable Hamish Macbeth is worried. He learns that a newcomer, Catriona Beldame, is regarded as a witch and various men have been seen visiting her. Hamish himself is charmed by her until he finds out that she has been supplying dangerous potions. At first the villagers won't listen to him, saying that the loveless Hamish has turned against all women.
When Beldame is found murdered and her home set ablaze, he must clear his own name and then work to solve yet another murder to bring peace and quiet back to his beloved village. His investigations are complicated by a romance with a female forensic expert. Perhaps the Scotish Highlands' most stubborn bachelor will get married at last!
M. C. Beaton Amazing news has spread across the Scottish countryside. The most famous of highland bachelors, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth, may actually marry at last. The entire village of Lochdubh adores Macbeth's bride-to-be. Josie McSween is Hamish's new constable, and she is a pretty little thing, with glossy brown hair and big brown eyes.
The local folk think that Josie is quite a catch, but Hamish couldn't be more miserable. The wedding wouldn't be happening if it weren't for the murder of a beautiful woman in a nearby village. After the gorgeous woman receives a deadly Valentine's Day gift, Hamish and Josie take on the case. However, they soon discover that the list of the victim's admirers is endless. The case confirms Hamish's belief that love is extremely dangerous, but he still can't avoid the events that lead up to his celebrated engagement.
M. C. Beaton Bossy, impulsive, yet hopelessly romantic, Agatha is dreading the upcoming marriage of her ex-husband, James Lacey. Although she has set her sights on a handsome and beguiling new Frenchman, she can't quite stop obsessing about James. Her best intentions to move on with her life are put on hold when James's young bride is shot to death just minutes before saying "I do" and Agatha is named the prime suspect.
Agatha's sleuthing sidekick Toni stands ready to help find the real killer, but the case proves trickier than ever. Will her name be cleared, or has the outrageous Agatha finally had her last romp?
M. C. Beaton Gentle by name, gentle by nature. Everyone in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh adores elderly Mrs. Gentle - everyone but Hamish Macbeth, that is. Hamish thinks the gentle lady is quite sly and vicious, and the citizens of Lochdubh think he is overly cranky. Perhaps it's time for him to get married, they say.
But who has time for marriage when there's a murder to be solved? When Mrs. Gentle dies under mysterious circumstances, the town is shocked and outraged. Chief Detective Inspector Blair suspects members of her family, but Hamish Macbeth thinks there's more to the story, and begins investigating the truth behind this lady's gentle exterior.
M. C. Beaton The picturesque Cotwsold village of Winter Parva has decided to warm the post-Christmas season by roasting a pig in the town square. Agatha, always one for a good roasting, organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. But as the rotary spit is placed over a bed of fiery charcoals and the pig is carried toward its final resting place, Agatha realizes that things are not as they seem...
"Stop!" she screams suddenly. The "pig," in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the good people of the village. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police, everything changes when Gary's ex-wife hires Agatha's detective agency to investigate - and then is murdered too. With that provocation, how could any sleuth as vain and competitive (and secretly insecure) as Agatha do anything other than solve the case herself?
M. C. Beaton The aromas of wild thyme and Highland heather waft through Lochdubh, home to M. C. Beaton's eccentric policeman, Hamish Macbeth. Yet what the irascible constable smells in his latest case is the acrid scent of fear as an entire town is entrapped in something dark and deadly....
Yet as he deftly investigates the summer's high crimes and misdemeanors, he attracts the attention of his superiors. They feel a promotion and transfer will give him a larger playing field than Lochdubh. That's the last thing Macbeth wants. Now the laconic lawman needs a clever way to quash the move without losing his job entirely....
M. C. Beaton Celebrating the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever - armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on.
Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up.
Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike. Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime.
M. C. Beaton Agatha Raisin has never been one for forced holiday cheer, but her friendly little village of Carsely has always prided itself on its traditional Christmas festivities. But this year the bells will not be ringing out, as Mr. John Sunday, an officer with the Cotswold Health and Safety Board, has chosen Christmas as the time to crack down on safety hazards all around the community. But he goes too far when he rules that there cannot be a Christmas tree atop the church tower this year.
Mr. Sunday is soon found face down in the petunias, very much dead. Agatha is instantly on the case, but with so many people having threatened the life of the victim, it's almost impossible to know where to start!
M. C. Beaton In the delightful Cotswold village of Carsely, the air is heady with romance. Agatha Raisin is convinced that the new vet has taken a shine to her. But before she can get anywhere, handsome Dr. Paul Bladen is accidentally killed while attending to Lord Pendlebury’s horse. So was it really an accident? All the evidence points that way, but the circumstances are decidedly suspicious....