When John Heppel, a visiting writer to Lochdubh, first proposes forming a writers' circle, the idea is met with much enthusiasm from local residents. However, once the classes get underway, attendance quickly falters due to one undeniable fact: John Heppel is a long-winded, consummate bore. But is dullness a motive for murder? Hamish Macbeth wouldn't ordinarily think so, therefore when Heppel is found dead, Hamish begins looking for deeper meaning in the writer's stories, including a strange, unfinished soap opera script that seems to suggest a more sinister motive behind its author's unhappy ending.
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by M.C. Beaton
"It is shocking how pleased one is when someone in Hamish Macbeth's Scottish village gruesomely murders the mean, pretentious, and self-obsessed writer who offered classes to the villagers and then mocked their hopes and their attempts to interrupt his song of himself. Hamish's former flame arrives to cover the murder story, her fellow reporter falls for a local school teacher, a visiting English television crew filming a script by the deceased offers multiple nutball suspects, and the new, overbearing female chief inspector is chronically drunk and sexually harassing Macbeth. What a joy. Graeme Malcolm's cool, dry chameleon voice moves from one well-thought-out choice for a character to the next, giving not just their many different lilts but also their personalities, with the deftest of touches. B.G. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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