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Death of a Travelling Man

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Sergeant Hamish Macbeth finds Sean Gourlay too handsome. The agent of evil pretends to be gypsy traveller with gutter-mouth Cheryl, disrupts Lochdubh village. The doctor is missing drugs. The Ladies' Club is missing money. Spinsters Nessie and Jessie want to move. Did one of the ladies kill Sean?


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Sergeant Hamish Macbeth finds Sean Gourlay too handsome. The agent of evil pretends to be gypsy traveller with gutter-mouth Cheryl, disrupts Lochdubh village. The doctor is missing drugs. The Ladies' Club is missing money. Spinsters Nessie and Jessie want to move. Did one of the ladies kill Sean?

30 review for Death of a Travelling Man

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    There's something about Hamish. These books are definitely a guilty pleasure, even though I don't like the way Beaton characterizes most of the women in them- most of them are either weak and annoying or overbearing and bitchy. Also, most of the interpersonal problems (aside from the murders that drive the main plots) could be easily solved if the people involved would just TALK TO EACH OTHER ONCE IN A WHILE. So honestly, I don't know why I enjoy these so much. But I do. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    What's the best indicator of a fine read? When you can't wait to get to the library to select the next one in the series. That's definitely the case with Death of a Travelling Man. In this novel, two transients blow into Lockdubh in a remodeled bus, and the village is turned topsy-turvy by one of them, the malevolent Sean. It's a common plot device for M.C. Beaton -- in this series as well as her Agatha Raisin series; however, Beaton is able to make it seem fresh in Death of a Travelling Man. You What's the best indicator of a fine read? When you can't wait to get to the library to select the next one in the series. That's definitely the case with Death of a Travelling Man. In this novel, two transients blow into Lockdubh in a remodeled bus, and the village is turned topsy-turvy by one of them, the malevolent Sean. It's a common plot device for M.C. Beaton -- in this series as well as her Agatha Raisin series; however, Beaton is able to make it seem fresh in Death of a Travelling Man. You'll love the clever ending, too. My one quibble with the book is with Hamish's new assistant, Police Constable Willie Lamont. The young sidekick is more of a cartoon than a true-to-life character. Beaton usually manages to make her quirky village residents remind you of people you've really met. (I hate to admit it, but the high-strung and untidy Angela Brodie reminds me of myself!) Here Lamont is a one-dimensional version of Felix Ungar, complete with ruffled apron. Ugh! Although this is the ninth Hamish Macbeth mystery, the series hasn't grown tired. Macbeth can be petulant, mooching and unlikable, but in Death of a Travelling Man, the lanky Highland copper is likable, unselfish and industrious. Macbeth also shows more self-knowledge than usual. Don't miss this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    Hamish has a sixth sense about a new traveler couple that is squatting in the village. Despite the young man of the couple’s charm and good looks, Hamish feels the man emanates evil. The charm only last so long and those who thought Hamish unfair are suddenly not great fans of the young man any longer and he winds up dead. Dealing with both criminals and cops who wish Hamish to fail, he pushes ahead with the help of Patricia Halburton-Smythe. I like M.C Beaton’s series despite the fact they are Hamish has a sixth sense about a new traveler couple that is squatting in the village. Despite the young man of the couple’s charm and good looks, Hamish feels the man emanates evil. The charm only last so long and those who thought Hamish unfair are suddenly not great fans of the young man any longer and he winds up dead. Dealing with both criminals and cops who wish Hamish to fail, he pushes ahead with the help of Patricia Halburton-Smythe. I like M.C Beaton’s series despite the fact they are formulaic. They are fun and give a glimpse of the feel of the location and a small village. There good escapist literature. 3-5 hours of turning off your brain to entertainment. Great literature? No, but they do offer a bit of a giggle and a little time in someone else’s world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Entertaining but average.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wolf Ostheeren

    What can I say, I love Hamish Macbeth. And this one was a special treat in several ways. Not the murder case itself, as usual, but the characters, the Highlands, my favourite village bobby's life. For once I wish the fifth star said "I loved it" and not "it was amazing": Don't see this as a recommendation when you're looking for great literature. This is a book to settle down with for a lazy Sunday afternoon when the real Scotland is too far away or too expensive. Tea and scones could probably m What can I say, I love Hamish Macbeth. And this one was a special treat in several ways. Not the murder case itself, as usual, but the characters, the Highlands, my favourite village bobby's life. For once I wish the fifth star said "I loved it" and not "it was amazing": Don't see this as a recommendation when you're looking for great literature. This is a book to settle down with for a lazy Sunday afternoon when the real Scotland is too far away or too expensive. Tea and scones could probably make it an even better experience- but basically, they are already built in.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Funny funny.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    As much as I love the series this episode of Hamish was not my favorite, he just didn't hit all the high notes I look forward to. But it certainly won't keep me from reading on to the next Death of....!

  8. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Prince

    Start at the beginning. Here is the chronological order: 1. Death of a Gossip (1985) 2. Death of a Cad (1987) 3. Death of an Outsider (1988) 4. Death of a Perfect Wife (1989) 5. Death of a Hussy (1990) 6. Death of a Snob (1992 ) 7. Death of a Prankster (1992) 8. Death of a Glutton (1993) Also published under the title "Death of a Greedy Woman" 9. Death of a Travelling Man (1993) 10. Death of a Charming Man (1994) 11. Death of a Nag (1995) 12. Death of a Macho Man (1996) 13. Death of a Dentist (199 Start at the beginning. Here is the chronological order: 1. Death of a Gossip (1985) 2. Death of a Cad (1987) 3. Death of an Outsider (1988) 4. Death of a Perfect Wife (1989) 5. Death of a Hussy (1990) 6. Death of a Snob (1992 ) 7. Death of a Prankster (1992) 8. Death of a Glutton (1993) Also published under the title "Death of a Greedy Woman" 9. Death of a Travelling Man (1993) 10. Death of a Charming Man (1994) 11. Death of a Nag (1995) 12. Death of a Macho Man (1996) 13. Death of a Dentist (1997) 14. Death of a Scriptwriter (1998) 15. Death of an Addict (1999) 16. A Highland Christmas (1999) 17. Death of a Dustman (2001) 18. Death of a Celebrity (2002) 19. Death of a Village (2003) 20. Death of a Poison Pen (2004) 21. Death of a Bore (2005) 22. Death of a Dreamer (2006) 23. Death of a Maid (2007) 24. Death of a Gentle Lady (2008) 25. Death of a Witch (2009) 26. Death of a Valentine (2010) 27. Death of a Chimney Sweep (2011) Also published under the title "Death of a Sweep" 28. Death of a Greedy Woman (2011) (note re-issue of No. 8, Death of a Glutton, from 1993) 29. Death of a Kingfisher (2012) 30. Death of Yesterday (2013) It is not always easy to find the proper order of a series, which one would think would be on the frontispiece of the book. Rarely so, these days. So, here we are with Police Constable Hamish Macbeth in Book #9. Much to his dismay, Hamish has been promoted. His rocky relationship with the woman of his dreams continues to yoyo. And a traveller pulls into the small town of Lochdubh, a man in a van and a foul mouthed woman. Hamish Macbeth smells trouble but finds little to prove. The town doctor is missing drugs, a steadfast woman loses money, tensions simmer along the familiar streets. Read on and enjoy this engaging mystery series. Even when I stray to other books, I am wanting to return to Hamish and his exploits.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Selah Pike

    Another one I missed earlier. Lots of red herrings, several villagers getting up to things that are "out of character" (seriously, they do this every book, does Hamish really know these people?). This one filled in some of the personal life stuff that I missed regarding Hamish, Priscilla, Willy, and Lucia.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Another delightful visit with Hamish Macbeth in the fictitious village of Lochdubh in the Highlands of Scotland. Hamish has to work hard in this one to solve the intricate murder of a Travelling Man - especially when so many wanted him dead. Quite complex events occurring in this remote location. Do enjoy this series!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

    Just when I’m sure I’ve paid my last visit to the charming albeit sometimes sinister Scottish village of Lochdubh, I find another of these little gems to take me there. There are lots of things that concern the lovable but lazy inspector Hamish Macbeth. He’s been promoted to sergeant as a result of his success in a previous case, and he’s not entirely sure he likes the promotion, since it carries added responsibility. One of those responsibilities is a new employee, Willy Lamont, who cleans and Just when I’m sure I’ve paid my last visit to the charming albeit sometimes sinister Scottish village of Lochdubh, I find another of these little gems to take me there. There are lots of things that concern the lovable but lazy inspector Hamish Macbeth. He’s been promoted to sergeant as a result of his success in a previous case, and he’s not entirely sure he likes the promotion, since it carries added responsibility. One of those responsibilities is a new employee, Willy Lamont, who cleans and tidies up far better than he engages in actual police work. Hamish is given to a more comfortable existence with less emphasis on having things super clean. Ah, and then there is the lovely and far-too-distant Priscilla. Is this possibly the book where that distance finally narrows? She’s actually helpful in the solution of the murder. As to the murder, the dead guy is Sean Gourlay, a traveller. Macbeth knows he’s a con artist, but many of the women in town don’t figure that out in time. As a result, money goes missing, the marriage of the town doctor is increasingly troubled, drugs are missing from the doctor’s cabinet, and what’s up with the local minister? This was a fun and somewhat hard to believe book in spots, but worthy of the short amount of time you’ll spend with it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Another day in Lochdubh, another murder. These folks need to watch their step. There is so much crime that Hamish finally got another copper with him, although he would rather clean than catch criminals. Hamish, you are the laziest copper with the smartest mind around. You are the only one who notices the details, even when you get on the wrong track. Priscilla needs to snatch you right up. This time, we have some early-times van dwellers mooching off the good people of Lochdubh. This bugs Hamish Another day in Lochdubh, another murder. These folks need to watch their step. There is so much crime that Hamish finally got another copper with him, although he would rather clean than catch criminals. Hamish, you are the laziest copper with the smartest mind around. You are the only one who notices the details, even when you get on the wrong track. Priscilla needs to snatch you right up. This time, we have some early-times van dwellers mooching off the good people of Lochdubh. This bugs Hamish, so he tries everything to run them off. They drive him crazy, then a vicious murder happens (particularly vicious for these books) and we are off to solve the crime. You know Hamish figures it out, because he always does. The ending was what I have been hoping for, but I know my hopes and dreams will probably be dashed in book 10. Or not. See you soon, Hamish! 3 stars, as usual.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    A very early (#9) Hamish MacBeth story has him battling wits with a "Traveling Man", a transient who has captured the interest of the villagers until things start of go missing and the villagers are fighting with each other. Along with this, his assigned policeman is a neat freak and always cleaning the station to Hamish's dislike. Its always fun to read one of these tales.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.A. Kahn

    A cute and very enjoyable detective tale with tones of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood. I loved the writing style and the description. The characters are vibrant and believable, and the sleepy Scottish setting perfect. Will definitely go through the rest of the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I never tire of this series. Quick easy read that makes you giggle and intrigued until the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Regina Spiker

    A cozy mystery romp borrowed through Hoopla...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Another fast, fun Hamish MacBeth story, this time drawing in several familiar village characters, all with motives to be guilty of the murder. Romance is on the scene throughout with a to-be-continued dialogue at the end. Now I'm going to have to read #10!

  18. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Marion McChesney, who goes by M. C. Beaton is the author of this series as well as the Agatha Raisin series (which I have not read). She write a capable male lead, and since she was born in Glasgow, renders him authentically Scottish. But had I not researched that, I would have felt (and did sometimes before I knew) that Hamish Macbeth was a little bit too Scottish at times, especially when he gets upset and goes all Higland on the reader. He's said to be lazy, but not in this book he isn't. We Marion McChesney, who goes by M. C. Beaton is the author of this series as well as the Agatha Raisin series (which I have not read). She write a capable male lead, and since she was born in Glasgow, renders him authentically Scottish. But had I not researched that, I would have felt (and did sometimes before I knew) that Hamish Macbeth was a little bit too Scottish at times, especially when he gets upset and goes all Higland on the reader. He's said to be lazy, but not in this book he isn't. We see him scurrying back and forth from his small town, Lochdubh where he is a police sergeant to Strathbane where his chief suspect has moved, a suspect which he had it in for all along and is, in the end, proved correct. The bad guys here call themselves "travellers." They are the new gypsies, people for which Hamish has no regard, but the town folk do at first, much to his ire. He's a bit pigheaded, surrounded by comical townspeople, several of whom (women, of course, so foolish of them) get taken in by the handsome male traveller who is the murder victim. But there is a clever woman who helps him out, one with whom he has an on-again/off-again romance. In this outing (9th out of 34 and still going) he finally gives in and the two of them get engaged by default when his under sergeant gossips misleading the local newspaper reporter in line behind him. This book has a publication date of 1993, so it's interesting that it does have a minor character (who of course has to be a drug addict) that is a trans person who turns out to be a key component of solving the crime. It's funny when one of the clues is that Hamish's suspect has died her hair orange. More than once it's stated how there couldn't possibly be another person with that colored hair in Strathbane. But what about the punks, new wave? That was all firmly established by the time the book was written. And also, ginger colored hair? Scottish people? But it's till a fun little cozy with funny occurrences that keep the reader engaged. I've read one other Hamish book and what I like about the character is he is independent and that he loves and admires Priscilla who often give him key assistance and helps him think in new ways about the crime. The policeman Willy (Hamish's under-sergeant) who lives to clean and wins the hand of the prettiest girl in town because he isn't going to make her his drudge after marriage is a hoot.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I like Hamish but there was a bit too much prejudice in this one for me (especially as, in the end, the layabouts living off everyone else's taxes weren't the villains after all!) Finishes on a high for everyone, apart from the baddie of course.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I love revisiting Lochdubh and the over the top characters there. Hamish Macbeth grows on me more and more. There is quite the scandal in this sleepy little town and it was interesting to follow the story. I love the way MC Beaton spends a good amount of time building the character of the soon-to-be murdered so we can get a real idea of the character before his/her demise. Then Macbeth goes against the rules to find out the true murderer....sometimes it seems like he is the only one who really c I love revisiting Lochdubh and the over the top characters there. Hamish Macbeth grows on me more and more. There is quite the scandal in this sleepy little town and it was interesting to follow the story. I love the way MC Beaton spends a good amount of time building the character of the soon-to-be murdered so we can get a real idea of the character before his/her demise. Then Macbeth goes against the rules to find out the true murderer....sometimes it seems like he is the only one who really cares about finding the truth. Typical Blare sabotage attempt for humor/drama. I also appreciate how much Macbeth cares about the people in his village and will do anything to protect them if he can; even the annoying people.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Harvey

    I bought the first ten books from the Book People for £9.99 and wasn't expecting much but loved the whole set.

  22. 5 out of 5

    The Flooze

    It's amazing the lengths Hamish will go to in an effort to protect his quiet village. In some ways, it's just as well that he doesn't get a major promotion and a move. I don't think he'd be able to follow the rules at all. He's forgiven (to some degree) because we understand where he's coming from. When a con artist comes to the village, Hamish sees trouble coming from miles away. The villagers themselves are not so quick on the uptake. With some chancey moves mixed with actual sound policework, It's amazing the lengths Hamish will go to in an effort to protect his quiet village. In some ways, it's just as well that he doesn't get a major promotion and a move. I don't think he'd be able to follow the rules at all. He's forgiven (to some degree) because we understand where he's coming from. When a con artist comes to the village, Hamish sees trouble coming from miles away. The villagers themselves are not so quick on the uptake. With some chancey moves mixed with actual sound policework, Hamish discovers all - as we've come to presume he always will. But can his good fortune really continue to hold out?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    This one was surprisingly gritty for a Hamish Macbeth mystery. I did enjoy this one, but at the same time I found it a bit more difficult to believe than some of the others in the series. Some of the previously established characters do some pretty surprising things. Also, Priscilla can really get on my nerves some times and this book had a quite a few of those instances.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This seems a bit heavy handed. Perhaps I've read too much of Hamish these days, but the plotting begins to feel overly contrived after too many coincidences. It feels too pat.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    I really enjoyed this book. First I've read in the series, I will definitely read more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Badseedgirl

    What!? (view spoiler)[ Hamish and Priscilla got engaged!!!??!! (hide spoiler)] Oh yeah, and Hamish solves another murder, but he learns some very troubling things about the women of Lochdubh in the process. What!? (view spoiler)[ Hamish and Priscilla got engaged!!!??!! (hide spoiler)] Oh yeah, and Hamish solves another murder, but he learns some very troubling things about the women of Lochdubh in the process.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I picked this up to expand my knowledge of cozy mysteries. The audiobook features fun accents and a light story. Why only two stars? (view spoiler)[The murderer uses another person to create an alibi. Seems harmless enough, no? It would be standard fare, except this time, it's a man who likes to dress as a woman who stands in for the female murderer. Quelle horreur! In the explanation, the terms for a "jessie" and "transvestite" are played for laughs. How absurd! Women dressing as men! I tried t I picked this up to expand my knowledge of cozy mysteries. The audiobook features fun accents and a light story. Why only two stars? (view spoiler)[The murderer uses another person to create an alibi. Seems harmless enough, no? It would be standard fare, except this time, it's a man who likes to dress as a woman who stands in for the female murderer. Quelle horreur! In the explanation, the terms for a "jessie" and "transvestite" are played for laughs. How absurd! Women dressing as men! I tried to explain it away. This was written ages ago (1993)! They don't know to use the right terms! And when Hamish and his fellow policeman laugh about how weird those crazy guys are, they are also the same characters who are described as passive womanizers, layabouts, and other negative descriptors. These are not unsullied heroes. BUT. This isn't Huckleberry Finn. This isn't a historic record and commentary on Highland life. There was no need to invest in creating the audiobook if the source material did not stand the test of time. No passcard for punching down. (hide spoiler)]

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beth Amy

    Hamish strikes again! Hamish has been promoted to sergeant, & now has an underling, a young constable who is absolutely in love with scrubbing everything clean repeatedly (whether or not its needed), cooking, & doesn't like Towser or caring for Hamish's sheep & chickens...plus, he's trying to get rid of several of the worst (in his mind) of Hamish's furniture. Hamish finds himself snapping at Willie (the clean freak constable), not just for the overly exuberant cleaning & the invasion of his own Hamish strikes again! Hamish has been promoted to sergeant, & now has an underling, a young constable who is absolutely in love with scrubbing everything clean repeatedly (whether or not its needed), cooking, & doesn't like Towser or caring for Hamish's sheep & chickens...plus, he's trying to get rid of several of the worst (in his mind) of Hamish's furniture. Hamish finds himself snapping at Willie (the clean freak constable), not just for the overly exuberant cleaning & the invasion of his own space, but for his constant malaprops that have to be corrected & retyped. Hamish simply ends up doing all the paperwork himself. One day, he sees a rusted old bus sitting in the middle of the village...quite the eyesore. Hamish tells them to move along, but not before both the man & the girl living with himnciss him out - esp the girl. They move, then they're found in the minister's back yard. Things go from bad to worse as far as the peace of the village, which coincides with the appearance of the rusted bus & its occupants. The owner of the bus is murdered. An interesting solution occurs with the odd twists along the way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Mischief abounds in this 9th Hamish Macbeth mystery. Hamish takes an instant dislike to Sean Gorlay, a well-to-do “traveler” who has decided to park his caravan on the church’s lawn. He and his companion, Cheryl, have an odd relationship. All of the villagers in Lochdubh appear to have been smitten with Gorlay, who seems to be an ever-present gypsy in the village. Strange things start to happen in the village and everyone seems to be avoiding Hamish at all costs. It seems that Gorlay is purposef Mischief abounds in this 9th Hamish Macbeth mystery. Hamish takes an instant dislike to Sean Gorlay, a well-to-do “traveler” who has decided to park his caravan on the church’s lawn. He and his companion, Cheryl, have an odd relationship. All of the villagers in Lochdubh appear to have been smitten with Gorlay, who seems to be an ever-present gypsy in the village. Strange things start to happen in the village and everyone seems to be avoiding Hamish at all costs. It seems that Gorlay is purposefully setting up Hamish to be made a fool of when Hamish cannot prove that he was responsible for crimes that have occurred in the village. Hamish also has a new policeman, Willie, to train now that he has become a sergeant. Willie is more interested in cooking and cleaning than in police work. When Gorlay ends up murdered, Hamish must try to find the murderer without tearing apart the community. But, as usual, Hamish finally puts all of the pieces together to save the day.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Msgadget

    As I prepare to start the 10th Hamish Macbeth it's time for me to admit to myself that I'm in it for the atmosphere and the characters. There, I've said it. Indeed, Beaton creates villains desperately in need of killing and killed they are, though most of the time their deaths don't always look like murders. Hamish, of course, susses that part out immediately teven though he never has a clue about the identity of the culprit. Add to that, the man is dead awful at compiling actual evidence that w As I prepare to start the 10th Hamish Macbeth it's time for me to admit to myself that I'm in it for the atmosphere and the characters. There, I've said it. Indeed, Beaton creates villains desperately in need of killing and killed they are, though most of the time their deaths don't always look like murders. Hamish, of course, susses that part out immediately teven though he never has a clue about the identity of the culprit. Add to that, the man is dead awful at compiling actual evidence that would stand up in court. Fortunately, one can rely on him either piecing together a timeline and getting a confession OR tricking (lying) the confession out of the guilty. I don't really care. It's a formula that works for me. Onward!

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