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Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
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Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth #2)

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  3,992 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Murder Most Fowl When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, everybody in town is delighted...except for love-smitten Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet his affairs of the heart will have to wait. Vile, boorish Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla's engagement party, has just been found murdered-shot while on a grouse hunt. ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Warner Books (first published 1987)
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Best Cozy Mystery Series
78th out of 1,051 books — 1,212 voters
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475th out of 3,000 books — 673 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jonathan
These books are really quick, good, easy reads that are perfect for a lazy afternoon.

I loved the setting, first of all. i find some books set on the British Isles hard to follow, but this was quite easy to read. The characters experienced some growth in this book, though I really wish people would stop thinking of Hamish as simply a lazy person looking for freebies, he's actually a really good policeman.

Overall a great book that I finished in little time. Onto the next one!
Suzanne
The village of Lochdubh, Scotland is one of my current favorite places. Between the uppity landed gentry, the local game poachers, and the seemingly hopeless romance between the intrepid Hamish and the lovely Priscilla, I'm eager to read every one of these diverting installments in this series.

This particular story has some of my favorite elements - snarky humor, an older femme fatale, and the poor, dead, cad who is mentioned in the title. When you combine these into a weekend estate party, it
...more
Triss
I'm not sure what book is the first of this series, but this is the first one I read. Look, I am addicted. I have taken to calling people "ye auld pillock" rather than the usual names I call them. Hamish is kind of a mess, but I love him. I think I"ve read about 20 in the past month.
Eric_W
Beaton’s hero, Hamish Macbeth, is the town police constable, a rather lazy, unambitious, but happy man who often, because of his intimate knowledge of the community, manages to solve murders that have the more traditional CID inspectors baffled. It’s quite humorously written and makes fun of the English upper crust. The “Cad” is Peter Bartlett, who suffers a nasty accident while climbing over a fence with a loaded shot-
gun. Everyone assumes it’s an accident except for our hero, Hamish, the local
...more
Karen
Really fun mystery! I just wanted something light to read quick in the midst of reading some serious books, and doing some other work. This book was just what I wanted! I love British mysteries like these that are very well-written, clean, and humorous. I enjoy writing by Charles Todd, but those books which are written by two Americans are a bit darker. In this story, Hamish MacBeth gets involved in a murder that takes place in the home of the girl he is in love with, Priscilla...who has actuall ...more
Denae
Death of a Cad was a definite improvement on the preceding Hamis Macbeth mystery. M.C. Beaton seems to have found her stride in the genre and the characters are far more developed. We learn more about Hamish and his object of affection, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. We also receive further proof that both the Scottish Highlands and country houses are dangerous. Also dangerous are (view spoiler) and pushy fiances. (Naturally, as someone who has read many of the Regency novel ...more
Mary
In the midst of moving to a different country and all the stuff that goes along with major life events, I haven't had a lot of time to read longer books, but I've been able to squeeze in some Hamish Macbeth. These are light mysteries, fairly predictable but still enjoyable if you have happen to have a soft spot for Lochdubh and its quirky characters. This is the second book in the series, and Hamish is better developed and generally more likeable than in the first book. Plus, we get to meet Pris ...more
JulieLaLa
This would be considered a "cozy mystery", given that it's light, but it's such great fun (despite the murder!). Set in the Scottish village of Lochdubh, with the easy-going village Constable Hamish MacBeth in the thick of things, up against an inspector from a big city who despises MacBeth's quiet intelligence and amazing fact-finding and mystery-deducting abilities. Lovely characters, setting, language and a good read, all-around!
Luffy Monkey D.
The rating for Death Of A Cad is harsh. Or at least seems so, compared to my usual methods and standards. Part of my frustration is my inability to pinpoint the exact reason why the book was kind of meh, despite a great denouement. Adjectives! What use are they to me when I can only misuse them to try to gauge why I thought the book was pedestrian to a fault?

Reading this particular offering reminded me strongly less of M.C. Beaton's sibling franchise (the Agatha Raisin books) but more of Sue G
...more
Judy
Police Constable Hamish Macbeth is in love with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, but, unfortunately, she has come home to the village of Lochdubh with her fiancé. One of the guests at her engagement party is murdered while on a grouse hunt. Now Hamish has to sort through the high-roller guests to figure out who killed the revile Captain Bartlett. A fun read.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This is the second in the Hamish Macbeth series. Priscilla Halburton-Smythe takes her London playwright fiancee, Henry Withering home to Lochdubh. Her parents are thrilled and throw a party and invite people who want to meet the famous man. Unfortunatley, Constable Hamish Macbeth is in love with her and is disappointed in her choice. When the cad, Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla's engagement party, turns up dead shot while on a grouse hunt, the investigation initially is determi ...more
Kate
"When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, the whole town is delighted, save perhaps for love-smitten bobby Hamish Macbeth. But the morning after a tastefully posh engtagement party, one of the guests, Captain Bartlett--who so enraged everyone with his boorish behavior and caddish comments--has the bad manners to be murdered on a grouse hunt.

"Unfortunately, the prime suspects are the titled party guests, each with a decidedly unfriendly feeling toward
...more
C.J. Prince
Nov 04, 2013 C.J. Prince rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to C.J. by: Barbara Gobus
As we slip into a false sense of extended night, we might realize that we haven't saved a bit of daylight and we just need a good read.

So it was that a friend recommended M.C. Beaton to get me out of my reading doldrums. How can you go wrong with a murder in Scotland? But who and why?

Hamish Macbeth is the long legged local bobbie in Lochdubh who has an uncanny way of gathering evidence and getting himself in tight spots. After Book #1 ("Death of a Gossip"), I was hooked. If you've read any of my
...more
Jerry
We’re picking our way through this prolific charming mystery series about a small Scottish village and its constable Hamish Macbeth. “Cad” (1987) is just the second entry in what now stands (as we write) at a 29-book set, of which we have read well over half. As one of the earliest tales, some now familiar characters and landmarks have yet to appear – but the recurring themes of Macbeth outwitting his superiors and his lack of luck in affairs of the heart serve as precursor to the books that fol ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
I didn't like this book as much as the rest of the series. When the cad, Peter Bartlett is murdered, there are plenty of suspects. Just about everyone had a reason to kill this obnoxious man, but that is the least of Hamish' problems. His lady-love, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, is announcing her engagement to a London playwright and Hamish knows he is not right for her. He knows she is the only woman for him, and she would love to take hold of him and shine him up like a copper penny with more th ...more
Jules Jones
Second in the Hamish Macbeth series. In this one, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish's friend and object of adoration from afar, brings her new fiance home to meet her parents and assorted house guests, most of whom have cadged an invitation because Henry Withering is a successful playwright and thus has snob value. Unfortunately one of the house guests is Captain Bartlett, boor, ladies' man, and all round cad. Bartlett is found dead by shotgun on the morning of a grouse shoot, apparently having ...more
Elizabeth
I love Hamish. I wish he were real and I could move to Scotland and marry him :-)

This is an early Hamish book and is now one of my favorites in the Hamish series.

Priscilla brings home a play writer to meet her parents and her parent's friends. Her parents love him but the only reason Priscilla chose him was because she knew her parents would approve. The person she is most drawn to and likes best in the world is Hamish.... she just doesn't know it yet :-)

So during the weekend at her parent's cas
...more
Melody Condron
I am liking this series, although I started with #7 (and then #1) after picking it up at a thrift store. The second book was better than the first. I like Hamish MacBeth, the village policeman. I also like his ongoing "relationship" with Priscilla. Other characters have a familiar British-isles charm--my preference in mysteries being a British setting. The mysteries are as they should be: I did not figure them out but they all fit together in the end. I plan to read the whole series, as they are ...more
Nancy
Dec 13, 2013 Nancy added it
Murder Most Fowl When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, everybody in town is delighted...except for love-smitten Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet his affairs of the heart will have to wait. Vile, boorish Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla's engagement party, has just been found murdered-shot while on a grouse hunt. Now with many titled party guests as the prime suspects, each with a reason for snuffing out the despicable captain, Hamish m ...more
Meara
I am enjoying this series quite a bit. I call them cotton candy because they are light, fluffy, entertaining, and really don't last long. This is sort of the "t.v." of books.

I loved the television series with Robert Carlyle, which is why I picked up the books. If you are looking for the more in-depth story to the television series, I think you will be disappointed. It's more of a game of "spot what the series borrowed from the books" than a true one-to-one relationship. Still, if you like murde
...more
Cait
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Searcy
I like the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton. It's not a shiver-while-you-read scary mystery. The cast of characters in the small Scottish hamlet makes the book for me and I love the colorful descriptions of the people and the scenery. Each mystery is new and fresh. There are re-occurring characters, so if you have the option, read the books in numerical order. The books are well written and easily read in a long evening.
France-Andrée
I'm rediscovering Hamish Macbeth, I watched the telly series, but never read the books before. The first book of the series I liked, but I preferred this one (no 2). Okay, so the killer was easily guessed for me, I never thought it was somebody else, but I wasn't sure of my deductions. I like how the village life is described here... How Priscilla's fiance never quite gets it which proves he wasn't the right man for her.

It's not the kind of story that stays with you forever, it is light fare abo
...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? – 9781472105219

Publishing - 2013 by Constable and Robinson (first published 1987)

Genre? - Crime / Mystery

Characters? - Hamish Macbeth / Henry Withering / Captain Peter Bartlett / Prunella Smythe / Mary Halburton-Smythe / Priscilla Halburton-Smythe / Jessica Villiers

Setting? - Lochdubh (Scotland)

Series? - Hamish Macbeth #2

Title? - Captain Bartlett (the murderee) was a cad.

Character Analysis? - I really love Priscilla and Hamish together. I hated Henry - he just seemed like he was more for p
...more
Laura
I liked this book better than the first of the series, but I still can't quite give over 3 stars. I think the series has potential though. Hamish is an extremely likable character, as well as his love interest Patricia. The setting is enchanting and descriptive. The mystery was a bit muddled, but I enjoyed the conclusion. The books are quick and fun, so I'm sure I'll read another one.
Bianca van Willigenburg
This is the second in the Hamish MacBeth series and the main character, Hamish MacBeth, is much more likeable than in the first of the series. In the first book the story was told from the point-of-view of another character and it seems most characters seem not to like Hamish. Because this book is mostly told from his POV you understand that other characters misjudge him.

The story is very similar to the first; early on in the book it is obvious who will get killed, everybody who is part of the g
...more
Nancy
The Hamish MacBeth books are fun light reads for me. This is an earlier book in the series, and it mentions his large family, and that as the oldest child, he sends money to his family. The next oldest child is very intelligent, and is expected to go to University to study, which will leave Hamish more years of helping his family. This was a good read.
AnnieM
I really dislike this narrator, but Hamish is really coming into his own.

I love hanging out with Hamish the world he lives in is so nice and easy to deal with.

I started with some later titles in the series when the characters are fully developed. It is fun to see where they started even if the narrator is annoying as hell.
Georgene
SEX!! VIOLENCE!! MURDER!! Oh...wait, this is a Hamish Macbeth mystery. So, there's very little sex and violence and only 2 murders done out of sight of the reader.

As this is the second in the very long series of Hamish Macbeth stories, the plot is fairly tight and the book is not long and drawn out.
Carole
Hamish's sometimes girlfriend, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, is back in Lochdubh, with her fiance. The occasion is a party to introduce him to upper class friends and acquaintances. Of course there is a murder followed by another one, and Hamish is the only one to discover the real murderer.
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Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John
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More about M.C. Beaton...

Other Books in the Series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)
  • Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth, #3)
  • Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
  • Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth, #5)
  • Death of a Snob (Hamish Macbeth, #6)
  • Death of a Prankster (Hamish Macbeth, #7)
  • Death of a Glutton (Hamish Macbeth, #8)
  • Death of a Travelling Man (Hamish Macbeth, #9)
  • Death of a Charming Man (Hamish Macbeth, #10)
  • Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth, #11)
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3) Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (Agatha Raisin, #4)

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“emerald-and-diamond engagement ring Henry had bought her at Asprey’s.” 0 likes
“Mrs. Wellington was wearing a voluminous flannel nightgown when she answered the door. Hamish was glad Mr. Wellington had found God, because it certainly looked as if he would need to wait until he got to heaven to get his reward.” 0 likes
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