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Literature / Hamish Macbeth

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The Hamish Macbeth Murder Mysteries are a series of detective novels written by M.C. Beaton (Marion Chesney) and set in the fictional Scottish village of Lochdubh. The title character, Hamish Macbeth, is the lazy village constable, who enjoys a quiet life until a murder happens, in which case he has to set about solving it and finding the real culprit before his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, Chief Inspector Blaire, arrests the wrong person.

Serves as the inspiration for a live-action television series which can be found here.

    Novels in this series 
  • Death of a Gossip (1985).
  • Death of a Cad (1987).
  • Death of an Outsider (1988).
  • Death of a Perfect Wife (1989).
  • Death of a Hussy (1990).
  • Death of a Snob (1992).
  • Death of a Prankster (1992).
  • Death of a Glutton (1993).
  • Death of a Travelling Man (1993).
  • Death of a Charming Man (1994).
  • 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 (2010).
  • 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) Short story.
  • Death of a Nurse (2016)
  • Death of a Ghost (2017)

Tropes associated with the books.

  • Asshole Victim: Just about all the murder victims.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Some of the Asshole Victims.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Hamish is an expert corner-cutter in his police-work (at least when it's not related to a murder). Rather than patrol the roads for drunk drivers, chasing them down, arresting them and filling in the paperwork, he simply pops into the local pub and confiscates everyone's car keys.
  • Christmas Episode: A Highland Christmas
  • Close-Knit Community: Despite all the murders and other dodgy deeds that happen, the people of Lochdub have been shown to have Hamish's back when it counts. Such examples include Death of a Nag in which the entire village attends Towser's funeral, when Hamish returns to bury him. Also in Death of an Addict Angela Brodie rallies all the local fishermen to rescue Hamish and Olivia from being dumped at sea by a powerful drug baron.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Colonel Halburton-Smythe claiming Hamish's idea to turn the castle into a hotel. Also, Blaire taking credit for all the murders that Hamish solves.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Priscilla, to an extent. Two fiancés she's brought home turned out to be criminals. One was the murderer of the novel and the other bankrupted her family. However, she averts this trope in regard to her friendship with Hamish. Her father, on the other hand...
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Death of a [Person who snuffs it].
  • Inspector Lestrade: Blaire. Sometimes other inspectors fill a similar role.
  • Jerkass: Colonel Halburton-Smythe. Also Blaire.
  • Jerk Jock: The victim in Death of a Macho Man.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Hamish is the oldest of seven children.
  • The Millstone: Blaire proves to be this in Death of an Addict. Hamish and Detective Sargent Olivia Chater are undercover to infiltrate a gang of drug dealers. Blaire leaks information to a criminal information dealer, just because he wanted Hamish to look bad. This not only ran the risk of wasting police time and funds, but also nearly got Hamish and Olivia killed when their cover was blown.
  • Rebellious Princess: Priscilla, sometimes.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Blaire
  • Smug Snake: Some of the victims, such as is Death Of A Traveling Man.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: For a short time in Death Of A Hussy, a more competent inspector is put in charge of the case. Hamish eventually realises that without Blaire's blustering, he doesn't have as much drive to solve the murder before him.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole: Hamish often finds himself investigating crimes in which the victim is someone who many people were glad to see go away. It's even right there in the titles — Death of a Snob, Death of an Outsider, Death of a Poison Pen, etc.