Monday, September 16, 2013

Death of a Kingfishe

Death of a Kingfisher 
Death of a Kingfisher is the most recent addition to the Hamish Macbeth Mystery series by M. C. Beaton. This is only the second of her novels that I have read, but I am a HUGE fan of the Hamish Macbeth BBC Scotland television series.

M. C. Beaton is a pen name of author Marion Chesney, who also writes under the names Sarah Chester, Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Marion Gibbons, Jennie Tremaine and Charlotte Ward. She has a lot of devoted followers, especially for the Hamish Macbeth series.

Frankly, it's difficult for me to understand why.

If you like plodding prose, simple declarative sentences (subject-verb, subject-verb, subject-verb), and a writing style that reminds me of the worst of my elementary-school readers, then this is the book for you. About the best thing I can say about the writing style is that I didn't notice any spelling or grammatical errors. The plot, meanwhile, wanders all over the place.

Presumably, the earlier books in the series are much, much better. Some of her fans have hypothesized that she didn't write the most recent ones herself. I'm inclined to be a little skeptical of that idea, mostly because I find it really difficult to believe that anyone would pay a ghostwriter for such drivel.

My recommendation: read the earlier books, or watch the series, but definitely give Death of a Kingfisher a miss.

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