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Publisher's Summary

When Scotland is hit by the recession, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices that the Highland people are forced to come up with inventive ways to lure tourists to their sleepy towns. The quaint village of Braikie doesn't have much to offer, other than a place of rare beauty called Buchan's Wood, which was bequeathed to the town. The savvy local tourist director renames the woods "The Fairy Glen," and has brochures printed with a beautiful photograph of a kingfisher rising from a pond on the cover. It isn't long before coach tours begin to arrive. But just as the town's luck starts to turn, a kingfisher is found hanging from a branch in the woods with a noose around its neck. As a wave of vandalism threatens to ruin Braikie forever, the town turns to Hamish Macbeth. And when violence strikes again, the lawman's investigation quickly turns from animal cruelty to murder.
©2012 Marion Chesney. All rights reserved. (P)2012 AudioGo
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sylvia on 07-24-15


This is one exciting but chilling story! It has the light moments of all the Macbeth books, but the bad guys in this one are truly scary. I was surprised that the author wove so many different characters and sub stories together in such a way that I was able to keep track of all of them. I'm sure the excellent narration aided with that. Blair is still the consummate jerk. Hamish is even more genius and ingenious than usual. And romance takes a back seat in this book. Did you know that fairies are not like little Tinkerbells but are supposed to be little dark men who are not necessarily friendly? Do you believe in them? You may wonder if they are real after listening to Death of a Kingfisher.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Chablis from Seattle on 11-16-12

A delightful, tangled web of intrigue!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is delightful, especially for M C Beaton fans, who have learned to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy the odd characters that inhabit Hamish Macbeth's life and the author's amazing imagination. I expect her books to be fraught with plot twists and turns and unusual characters. The humor in this book revolved around the highlanders' belief in fairies, and I howled with laughter when listening to the description of the kingfisher's funeral.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot didn't exactly keep me on the "edge of my seat," but I was certainly fascinated by the crafting of the action and introduction of new characters and their motives. I've read other readers'/listeners' criticism of the personality and actions of the flat, amoral children, but I've seen that facial affect in the televised interviews with children of gang life. (I did think that the European escape was a bit "over-the-top", but I dismiss devices like this as part of M.C. Beaton's charm.) As usual this plot is a mixture of the familiar (Hamish's troubles with his superiors, the village characters, the desire by Macbeth to keep his beloved friends out of the murder investigation) with unusual devices that make the action complicated and interesting (the Russian who wants the nursery property as a site for his mansion). I loved it. I don't require M.C. Beaton to be believable at all could you possibly believe Nessie and Jessie with their verbal repetition and outlandish accusations about Hamish's love life? But it works.

What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Malcolm has a sense of timing..pausing between scenes, changing voices in a subtle manner so the listener always knows when the speaker changes, but effecting the change in an unobtrusive screeching or phlegmy voices. His voices add a sense of continuity and realism to the Scottish brogue.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I will never forget the hilarity of the kingfisher's funny and outlandish.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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