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Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth, #14)
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Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth #14)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  2,726 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
Scotland's lovable Hamish Macbeth -- the one-man village police force -- investigates the death of an actress and a television writer in the latest episode of M. C. Beaton's popular series.

In her day, Patricia Martyn-Broyd was a well-known writer of mysteries featuring the aristocratic detective Lady Harriet Vare. Now in her seventies, the author has settled in the village
ebook, 222 pages
Published June 22nd 1999 by Mysterious Press (first published 1998)
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Bobby Underwood
Oct 08, 2014 Bobby Underwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death of a Scriptwriter proved a very nice surprise even for a Hamish Macbeth fan such as myself. I've come to relish time spent in the Highlands with the quirky villagers of Lochdubh. I was a late-comer to this fun mystery series, and ended up reading them them in quite haphazard fashion, completely out of order. I'm delighted to say it never lessened my enjoyment of the series whatsoever, but rather given me an appreciation for how charming the series truly is.

This older Hamish mystery has poi
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 25, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy lovers
The titular character of Death of a Screenwriter, the 14th Hamish Macbeth mystery, is Jamie Gallagher, a boozy, incompetent whose ego is only exceeded by the dreadfulness of his prose. To no one’s surprise — especially not his fellow co-workers — Jamie ends up with his head bashed on Constable Hamish Macbeth’s patch while filming a mystery series on location. The novel is amusing without getting too cynical or preachy — both pitfalls that can beset the author M.C. Beaton — and it’s a pleasure to ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I want to read a light entertaining humorous cozy mystery, I select a M.C. Beaton book. There are many synopsis of this book so I will say what I enjoyed. First of all, there is Hamish a constable in the Scottish Highlands. He is perfectly happy with his position and the town he lives in. He is very good at solving crimes and he often gives credit to others as he does not want to be promoted. Of course, his boss has it out for Hamish but Hamish always prevails at the end. He has his qui ...more
Donna Radcliff
Apr 06, 2010 Donna Radcliff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to chuckle over this would have been written during the time that Beaton's own Hamish Macbeth was made into a tv series for BBC Scotland (1995-1998). That real life series, as with the one in the mystery, bore no resemblence to the stories they were based on, except for the name of the title characters. I have a feeling the scriptwriter in the book got exactly what Beaton would have liked to have done to the scriptwriter on her series. She poked fun at directors, producers, acto ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We’ve now read a dozen of these formulaic stories about a low profile village constable, Hamish Macbeth, set in the north Scotland highlands. We know the characters and what to expect, and Beaton consistently meets those expectations with a light-hearted, but frequently intriguing, low-violence mystery.

“Scriptwriter” indeed follows the pattern – when a TV company decides to film a new series, based on the now mostly obscure novels of author Patricia Martyn-Broyd, they give the new scriptwriter t
Apr 13, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to be given another Hamish Macbeth novel, the next in the sequence, every one has been a joy to read. This novel, is about the author, Patricia Martyn Broyd, who sells the rights to her book to a television company, who then turn it into something very different from Patricia's novel. The screenwriter has taken liberties with her work.

Before long a murder has taken place and Patricia looks to Hamish Macbeth to help her. Hamish, meantime, has fallen in love again (no not with
Anne Hawn Smith
This is another in the Hamish Macbeth books. The Scottish constable is left to sort out the deaths of an obnoxious scriptwriter and another member of the TV crew while trying to keep out of Inspector Blair's reach. Part of the plot centers around the TV production of a mystery book. The TV program so distorts the original book as to create many potential suspects. Since this is one of my pet peeves, it was a vicarious pleasure to read about someone wrecking havoc on the kind of people who perpet ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Badseedgirl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read-in
In this episode, a television company comes to Drimm, causing hostility and back-biting among the residents, and two murders.

At this point I think I should say something about Shaun Grindell who has been the narrator for this series of audiobooks. He makes the novels and the characters in it come alive. When I listen to the novels Mr. Grindell’s narration adds to the enjoyment.
Feb 09, 2017 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
It's a dream come true, a book she wrote years ago is going to be made into a television show, however things change when the scriptwriter gets his hands on her creation.
However Hamish soon realises that there are plenty of people who wanted to kill this victim, and it's fun trying to work out which suspect is the killer.
The Badger
I have an affinity for cozy mysteries. They generally aren't written in pursuit of a spot on the bestseller list; rather, cozies are written to give the reader a sense of comfort and calm (ironically, by way of murder).

My mom read cozies to escape her three eccentric young daughters and grumpy husband: one daughter, the artist, painted five-foot tall green flowers on the side of the freshly painted rental when she was four; the adventurous daughter asked which way north was, and was found by ne
Mary K.
Poor Hamish, a great detective but unlucky in love
The Flooze
May 21, 2016 The Flooze rated it really liked it
Another reviewer pointed out that at the time Beaton wrote this book, she would've already witnessed her own Hamish Macbeth become a television a series that apparently bares little resemblance to the original.

That adds a nice extra twist of humor to a book that's rife with big, clashing egos and heaps of vanity. The television cast and crew are all terribly ambitious, most of them blustering about and making power plays whenever they can. Even the most relatable among them forge
Sep 22, 2012 Syrdarya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, scotland
Hamish Macbeth is unlucky in love and under a cloud of professional disdain in Death of a Scriptwriter. It was the first book from this series which I've read, and I listened to it in audiobook format rather than reading it. The reader did a wonderful job, especially with the accents, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to the spellings of names, so I'm going with spellings I read in other reviews.

A film crew comes to the area of Drim and Lochdubh to shoot an adaptation of a horrible book by Patricia
Written by: M.C. Beaton
Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
Format: Unabridged

Off to a good start with Macbeth . .
Unfortunately for this one, 1/2 way through, but I couldn't finish -
vulgar language was ongoing and disruptive to any listening enjoyment
also alerting to nudity content of actors and script
disappointed to have encountered this in the series ...

Grindell's narration is seamless and descriptive in voicing characters, but harsh to hear the expletives repeated. I would
Apr 10, 2012 Grey853 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam Smith
The Hamish Macbeth series are set in the Highlands of Scotland and are traditional police stories about the village policeman, the locals and their life. This one was about a film crew filming a tv show in the village when 2 murders happen and Hamish goes about finding the murderer even though he has been taken off the case. This was an enjoyable story, easy to read but very basic. Probably not suited to everyone's taste as they are very tame - but myself, loving everything Scottish find them ve ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Sasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If anything I think this book offers the best view of the authors personality. I may be reading too much into this, but Death of a Scriptwriter was written around the same time the Hamish Macbeth series was being turned into a TV show and the authors own frustrations seem to shine through. In many ways this may be the most personal book in the series, yet that kind of passion for the subject seems a bit weighty.
Kelsey Hanson
Jun 12, 2015 Kelsey Hanson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
And this series is on the upswing again for me. I admit that I have relatively low expectations for this series because the books can be so hit and miss for me, but this one was pretty unique and the film-making aspect did make the story interesting. I didn't particularly enjoy the way it was wrapped up and I will admit that I'm getting a bit tired of the constant "women are sheep who are easily swept up in minorly exciting events" themes that run through this series.
Selah (abibliophilesstyle)
I usually enjoy Hamish Macbeth, especially with Shaun Grindell's narration (all the accents!), but this was better than average. Beaton pokes fun at herself, the TV version of this series, and writers in general.
Jun 26, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, fine. Kind of dull. I miss Priscilla. Why am I still reading these.....?
Usual formula, good quick read with humour (exaggerated picture of Highland manners but not completely fictitious either). This time the plot revolves around an elderly writer of detective fiction who does not like what a TV scriptwriter is doing with her story. Hmm, maybe not fiction after all then?
Lori Rader-Day
I should start to admit how thin and repetitive these books are and stop reading them. They're fun, though. Candy bon-bons that bulk up my reading for the year.
Leigh Koonce
Mar 15, 2017 Leigh Koonce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always enjoy her books, but this ending wasn't quite what I wanted. Still, fantastic details of place.
Mar 05, 2017 MaryAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a pleasant murder mystery...if there is such a thing :-) It's part of a series featuring Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth. A good audio book for taking a walk. But you have to be attentive--Scottish accents!
Cheryl Bradley
May 02, 2010 Cheryl Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highlands Constable Hamish Macbeth once again finds himself wrapped up in another baffling village murder, this one in the queer Scottish village of Drim.

Miss Patricia Martin-Broyd, whose mystery books have been out of print for decades, finds herself delighted to learn that Strathclyde Television Production company wants to film her book "The Case of the Rising Tides", with the hope of landing a spot on Scottish BBC. It will mean Patricia's precious - if dated - books go back into print, someth
"Patricia Martyn-Broyd was not an easy woman to like. The hawk-nosed spinster had retired to Scotland, unable to write another book since her 1965 mystery featuring the aristocratic Scottish detective Lady Harriet Vere. Local constable Hamish Macbeth, with the telepathic ability of the Highlander, thought Patricia must be lonely beneath her rigid pride. A bit lonely himself since the breakup of his engagement, he extended his friendship. But that was before fame and the movie people arrived ...

Sep 17, 2016 Krista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it. It was a little different from the other stories with not as much emphasis on the town's characters. Wonder if this was written at the time of the TV series?
Feb 04, 2016 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gift from a friend. This is my first Hamish Macbeth book. I understand they were made into a T.V. series in the UK, however I have not viewed them in America.

Story, a spinster writer, now in her 70's, moves to Scotland to write a new book. She is very snobby and class conscious, and her books were written in the 1960's. The books are out of print, she hated her Agent, and is feeling a bit down. Out of the blue a T.V. station want to take her books and make a TV series out them. She does not go t
Jan 14, 2016 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How many synonyms are there for "terrible" because this book was all of them.

I only finished it to find out whodunnit, so I guess it was successful there, but she inserted really uninformed opinions (of the characters) which really just turned the novel into a soapbox.

I enjoyed the Highland setting - one of the reasons I picked this book, as well as the film production themes - something I'd like to think I'm familiar with.

She made film production seem flighty and unrealistically easy and dramat
C.J. Prince
Apr 11, 2014 C.J. Prince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hamish Macbeth. Police Constable. Lochdubh, Scotland. Book #14

When an aging author retires to the Highlands, she doesn't leave her superiority behind. She's thrilled when one of her books will be made into a television movie and equally distressed when the scriptwriter changes her heroine into a voluptuous temptress.

The movie is to be shot in the dreary town of Drim, the scene of a previous Hamish Macbeth mystery. Of course things go awry. And everyone hates everyone else, especially the command
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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
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 a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • 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)

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