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Thursday 6 February 2014

DEATH OF A CHARMING MAN: by MC Beaton 6.2.14

Author: MC Beaton
Series: Hamish Macbeth Mystery #10
Narrator: Shaun Grindell
Length: 6.2 hours Unabridged
Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc
Published: 1.1.14
M. C. Beaton returns with another baffling case for Hamish Macbeth, the stubborn, red-haired, one-man police department of the Scottish village of Lochdubh. It has all the local color, wry humor, and splendid characterizations readers adore.

All Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wants to do is fish and drink coffee with his fiancĂ©e. But when a mysterious stranger moves into the neighboring village—a rich, unmarried heartbreaker—a rivalry erupts among the local women, and the men of the village start a slow burn. It is amusing until death threats, assault, and murder shatter the tranquil countryside. Now Hamish must investigate the darker side of love and desire.© 1994 by Marion Chesney                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                          - via Goodreads

An absolute pleasure to step back into Scotland's Highlands via Shaun Grindell's excellent narration, all in a beautiful Scots accent.
The story opens with the infamous 1558 quote of Scots Reformer, John Knox,
"The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regimen of women."
alerting the listener to the story that follows - 
 life when women take over and in particular for one man,
Hamish Macbeth's perspective on home and life  being overrun by women!
The opening scene has Hamish
escaping his own home via the bedroom window, whilst Priscilla, his intended,
and a hoard of village women overrun his kitchen to have a new electric cooker installed.
Had anyone asked Hamish if he wanted one? 
Not a word.  Its arrival sets Hamish on a course of disillusion and doom regarding his future.  
His territory has been invaded and the sense of loss starts his thoughts on a downward spiral.
  Grindell's colourful personalizations add life to familiar characters, the story, and to my listening enjoyment.  Beaton's wit adds a great humour to situations particular to 
Death of a Charming Man as husbands react to this 'charming man's' arrival in their village 
and his effect on their wives.
Middle age complacency is now hurriedly attacked with hair dyes and do's,
exercise regimens, new wardrobes, and the ubiquitous high heels!
But when the 'charming man' goes missing, what and who else might be afoot in those heels?
Several references are made to Highland attitudes of antipathy to newcomers,
Highland vs Lowland differences, male vs female relational views that add insights to Scottish life.
Valuable too as Hamish digs deeper into his relationship with Priscilla 
that will play into book #11 of Beaton's series.
Yes, that's how these authors keep readers hankering for the next one!
And I am certainly one of those readers.
I anticipate another day's listening to Shaun Grindell characterize Scottish village life
and unravelling the mysteries of Ms Beaton - with pleasure...
His voice is well modulated, steadily paced without gaps or jumps, 
and without jarring interruptions.
Production of this Blackstone Audio is excellent.  No background interference.
Clarity of sound and well balanced.  
I am one happy listener anticipating the next Hamish Macbeth installment!
Shaun Grindell was born and raised in Southampton, England. His training includes the Calland School of Speech and Drama and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in London. He has been seen on stage in London and Las Vegas, and he currently resides in New England with his wife.
In addition to the Hamish Macbeth series, MC Beaton also writes Regency Romances under her real name, Marion Chesney. She lives in the Cotswolds England with her husband.
*Thank you to Blackstone Audio and Audiojukebox for providing access to listen and review.


 Audio Jukebox Reviewing
Scotland travelled for GiraffeDays


LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

TBR'd on GoodReads. Shared on FB.

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

WoW! and Thanks LuAnn!

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

This sounds like it could be fun!

Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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