Occasionally, the rugged landscape of Scotland attracts dreamers who move north, wrapped in fantasies of enjoying the simple life. They usually don't last, defeated by the climate or by inhospitable locals. But it looks as if Effie Garrand has come to stay. When local constable Hamish Macbeth calls on her, he is amazed to find the small woman still in residence after a particularly hideous winter. Unfortunately, Effie is also quite delusional, having convinced herself-and everyone else-that local artist Jock Fleming is in love with her and that they are engaged. After a huge fight with Jock, Effie is found in the mountains, poisoned by antifreeze. Now, it's up to Hamish to find the dreamer's killer-before any more nightmares unfold.
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by M.C. Beaton
"Graeme Malcolm gives a nuanced portrayal of diverse characters inhabiting or visiting a remote village in northern Scotland. Various characters stride across the canvas, and Malcolm essays them all, including a grumpy American, and Englishmen and women from down south. Malcolm succeeds without going into falsetto or mumbling incoherently; it's all in the pacing and accent and cadence. His vaguely Scottish narrative voice binds the story together. Constable Hamish Macbeth, who has starred in 20 previous mysteries, must cope with a delusional female visitor whose fantasies lead to murder. The voice and the setting are so compatible that one settles back and enjoys the story, scarcely noticing the narrator's expertise. D.R.W. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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