The author MC Beaton is actually most popular and well-known for her Agatha Raisin series, however, you would be misunderstood and missing out if you assumed that these were her only prolific works.
Because, aside from the Agatha Raisin stories, Beaton is also well known for the Hamish Macbeth series as well!
And just like the Agatha Raisin series, there are plenty of books in the series, and this can be quite difficult and intimidating to approach.
Because of how difficult it can be to approach an intimidating series like the Hamish Macbeth stories, we have put this guide together to ensure that you know how to approach the series.
We wanted to make this guide as friendly for beginners to the series as possible, so we have placed more emphasis on the earlier stories in the series so you know more about the books you are likely to encounter more early in the series.
So, if you are interested in starting the Hamish Macbeth series, but you are unsure where you should start, keep reading!
More About Hamish Macbeth Books
The author of the Hamish Macbeth books is called MC Beaton with their full name being Marion Chesney Beaton, and they are a Scottish author who was based in Glasgow. They are also the author of the popular Agatha Raisin series as well.
The author is known for authoring a wide variety of historical romance stories as well under a variety of different names as well.
However, the pseudonym MC Beaton proved to be incredibly popular, so most of her works are attributed to this name.
Beaton, unfortunately, passed away right at the end of 2019 at the age of 83. However, her works continue to live on, and the series is actually getting continued thanks to the help of author RW Green who was a close friend of Beaton.
They are not only continuing the Hamish Macbeth series, but also the Agatha Raisin series as well.
If you are a fan of the Hamish Macbeth series and want to try something similar, then we recommend checking out the Agatha Raisin series, and vice versa.
Hamish Macbeth In Order
We will be going over the Hamish Macbeth series by MC Beaton in this guide, and we will place the most emphasis on the first 10 stories in the series.
This is because these are likely the earliest stories in the series you will encounter, and it is worth knowing the most about them so you know what you are getting into.
After we have provided a short summary of the series up to this point, we will continue to tell you the order to read the rest of the Hamish Macbeth series.
The First 10 Stories
This section is dedicated to the first 10 stories in the Hamish Macbeth series and these are some of the best starting points in the series to start.
However, if you want to ensure that you are reading all of these stories in the correct order, then we recommend starting with Death of a Gossip and then working in order of release.
We follow gossip columnist Lady Jane who did not want to draw any attention after joining her fishing class.
However, many have been victims of her sharp tongue and one of these victims was Hamish Macbeth.
However, not even Hamish would assume that someone would try and silence her permanently, that is until her body is found strangled when fished out of the lake.
Now Hamish Macbeth has the help of Priscilla, he has to work out what happened in the final days of Jane’s life and who would want to murder her.
However, there is a group of suspects who are all tight-lipped, but with the threat of the killer on the loose, Hamish will not give up.
- Learning about the character of Jane is fun in spite of her victimhood.
- The character of Hamish gets better as the series progresses.
Priscilla from the previous story brings her playwright fiancé back home to Lochdubh and almost everyone is happy for her, except for Hamish Macbeth who is also vying for her affection, but this is the least of his worries.
When Captain Barlett, one of the guests at Priscilla’s party, is found shot dead on a grouse hunt, there are plenty of guests who could be seen as suspects.
What will Hamish Macbeth prioritize, stopping the killer, or saving Priscilla from a hell of a marriage?
- The relationship between Hamish and Priscilla keeps this one engaging.
- The victim is a lot less interesting than in the first entry.
One of the most hated men in the town is found dead and has been dumped in a crustacean tank and all that remains are his bones.
The case is left with Hamish Macbeth, who has been exiled from his town to instead work at Cnothan and he misses home and Priscilla.
Now all he can do is work out who would have wanted to actually kill the hated man, and if he can avoid the femme fatale nearby.
- Getting to see Hamish Macbeth out of his comfort zone is refreshing.
- It lacks some of the same appeal as the earlier entries setting.
Hamish Macbeth is trying to enjoy summer with his new Land Rover and wants to enjoy it as much as he can.
It all starts to go wrong when Priscilla returns with her fiancé remaining, and things get worse when Trixie moves into town with her husband.
She convinces the local women to follow her seemingly perfect lifestyle, but it all goes awry when she is found poisoned.
- Trixie is an interesting victim to learn about throughout the narrative.
- The plot point of Priscilla and her fiancé feels a little derivative.
Infamous local woman Maggie was not very well spoken of, but when her car all of a sudden catches fire with her stuck inside, there are a few suspects all close by.
It is of course left with Hamish Macbeth to question everyone including the woman’s niece as well as a few of her callers.
There are plenty of motives for all of them, and it is up to Hamish Macbeth to work out who had the opportunity to.
- The suspects are all interesting to investigate with Hamish Macbeth.
- The mystery itself is not as complex as usual.
The gorgeous Jane has convinced herself that someone is trying to kill her so she invites Hamish Macbeth to join her for Christmas alongside her very exclusive close circle of friends.
Hamish Macbeth has no other plans but has a sense of foreboding especially when the locals threaten the guests including snob Heather.
Heather ends up meeting death, and Hamish Macbeth thinks the victim is close, but since everyone was close when Heather died, it is going to be difficult to work out the truth.
- The exclusive party is a unique setting for a Hamish Macbeth story.
- Some of the side characters are incredibly grating.
Andrew is a rich old man who is known for his practical jokes, and he has summoned his kin to join him in his final days to say goodbye.
However, when they arrive the joke is on them as they find him in perfect health nowhere near death, at least a natural one.
So, when he is found dead, no one is laughing. Hamish Macbeth has to solve the case, once more alongside Priscilla.
- Having Priscilla aid Hamish Macbeth with a case again was missed.
- Some of the suspects are a lot less mysterious than others.
Hamish Macbeth is feeling happy with his affection for Priscilla renewed. Then there are the 8 members of the Checkmates Singles Club who are about to arrive at the local hotel for a week of matching, and things soon go wrong.
The couples are matched by Maria, but they all start to dislike each other, Peta is the partner of Maria, and she soon eats her last meal.
She is found dead with a red apple in her mouth and it is up to Hamish Macbeth to work out who did it.
- The singles club is an interesting concept.
- There are a lot of characters so it is easy to get lost.
Hamish Macbeth has been promoted, but his new boss is useless, and there is also a traveler and his partner now parked in the middle of the town with their ugly van.
Hamish Macbeth of course works out that trouble is afoot. Money is vanishing as are the doctor’s drugs, and the neighbors are acting anything but neighborly.
It all comes to a climax when the traveler is found beaten to death.
- The traveler and his partner are interesting characters.
- Feels a little less special than some previous entries.
Hamish Macbeth wants to spend as much time as he can just relaxing with his fiancé, but then a mysterious newcomer moves into the next village over.
He is unmarried and rich as well as a notorious heartbreaker, and he becomes a source of contention for local women.
It all seems a bit amusing until he perishes and it is up to Hamish Macbeth to work out if it was someone he was courting, or someone less expected.
- The desirable gentleman makes for an unconventional victim.
- Hamish Macbeth is not shown to be as engaging as he has been in earlier stories.
The Rest Of The Series
For the rest of the Hamish Macbeth, there have been plenty of newer entries with this being an incredibly lengthy series.
It is worth noting that every story that does not being with Death is a side story, and likely a short story that takes place in the same Hamish Macbeth world.
Most of these do not have a massive bearing on the world of Hamish Macbeth, however, if you are a fan of the series, we recommend reading the ones you sound interested in.
It is also worth noting that all the entries written after 2019 are written by RW Green, who has continued the series after Beaton’s passing. The correct order to read this series is as follows:
- Death of a Nag (1995)
- Death of a Macho Man (1996)
- Death of a Dentist (1997)
- Death of a Scriptwriter (1998)
- Death of an Addict (1999)
- A Highland Christmas (1999)
- Death of a Dustman (2001)
- Death of a Celebrity (2002)
- Death of a Village (2003)
- Death of a Poison Pen (2004)
- Death of a Bore (2005)
- Death of a Dreamer (2006)
- Death of a Maid (2007)
- Death of a Gentle Lady (2008)
- Death of a Witch (2009)
- Death of a Valentine (2009)
- Death of a Chimney Sweep (2011)
- Death of a Kingfisher (2012)
- Death of Yesterday (2013)
- Death of a Policeman (2014)
- Death of a Liar (2015)
- Knock, Knock, You’re Dead! (2016)
- Death of a Nurse (2016)
- Death of a Ghost (2017)
- Death of an Honest Man (2018)
- Death of a Laird (2022)
- Death of a Green-Eyed Monster (2022)
- Death of a Traitor (2023)
Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need to confidently start reading the Hamish Macbeth series and has given you a point where you want to start reading the series.
The series is still planned to continue, so there is plenty of material to get through, and if you have managed to catch up, we definitely recommend reading Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series as well!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There A Hamish Macbeth TV Show? Is There A Hamish Macbeth TV Show?
Yes! If you are familiar with actor Robert Carlyle who is well known for playing Mr. Gold and Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon A Time, you might be surprised to hear that he also played Hamish Macbeth in the series by BBC Scotland which had the same name.
The TV series is nowhere near as long as the book series and only lasted between 1995 and 1997.
It was of course based on the book series by MC Beaton, however, it was not a direct adaption and there were some changes made.
It produced 3 separate series with 6 episodes included in each except for the last having 8.
If you are interested in watching it legally, there were DVD releases of the show in the UK and the US however, they are not always accessible since they were manufactured back in 2005 and 2006.
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