Recent Reads: Hamish Macbeth

the essential kit

I fully admit that one of the reasons I really love reading MC Beaton’s books is that I can read two of them in less than 3 hours, which makes me feel like I’m getting Lots Of Reading Done. :)

I’d been reading Agatha Raisin books, but I got a couple of Hamish Macbeth books for Christmas. Agatha one likes despite herself, but Hamish is really incredibly charming and more fun to read. So I blew through the first two books, DEATH OF A GOSSIP and DEATH OF A CAD, on Friday, and the only reason I didn’t go on to read the third was I didn’t own it. Which is just as well, since I finished the 2nd at bedtime. :)

The best bit is Hamish’s voice. He’s a Highlands Scot, and–if you have ever read EMILY CLIMBS, the second of the Emily of New Moon books, you may remember the story of the old woman who spanked the king, which is written in splendid dialect. Hamish speaks in that same manner, as do some of the other characters, and I just absolutely love *reading* it. It’s *so* evocative, and it’s done with almost no spelled-out, painful dialect–he says “chust” for “just” when he’s agitated, and one or two other things, but it’s nearly entirely done in the phrasing. “I’m thinking they would not know that, because they are not having the ESP.”

Anyway, lucky for me there are about fifty of Beaton’s Macbeth and Raisin books, nevermind the other stuff she’s written, so if I trade back and forth between the one protagonist and the other it should keep me entertained for quite a while.

(There are things that bug me about both series, particularly in some of the entrenched sexist/ism attitudes of them, but overall, they’re fun breezy reads, and I’m enjoying them a great deal.)