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A Highland Christmas

(Hamish Macbeth #15.5)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,780 ratings  ·  600 reviews
Christmas is an ancient Roman festival, not to be celebrated by decent folk in the Scottish Highlands. Police Constable Hamish Macbeth has always loved the festivities, but this year his family is vacationing in sunny Florida. He is stuck with the long, lonely Christmas shift in freezing Lochdubh. A cranky old lady kicks off the holidays by reporting her cat missing. Then ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Bobby Underwood
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Filled with charm, laced with dark but hilarious social comedy, and sprinkled with Christmas warmth, A Highland Christmas is one of the most endearing entries in the Hamish Macbeth series. Having already firmly established with readers the tall, redheaded constable of Lochdubh with little ambition, and the quirky villagers he must contend with in the remote highlands, Beaton focuses on giving fans of the series a magical novella as a Christmas gift. Reading this is like listening to a breezy Dav ...more
Gary Sundell
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was Just the sort of Christmas mystery shorter work I was looking for. I read the first of the Hamish Macbeth mysteries not long ago. Normally I would not jump this far into a series, glad I did. Missing cat and a stolen town Christmas tree and it's lights make up the crimes being investigated.
Hamish who seems to have his heart in the right place mist of the time helps spread Christmas cheer and along the way solves the crimes. Hope the characters Hamish helps out make appearances in the se
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of bleak Scottish cozy mysteries
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Gift from Santa
I got this book in my stocking, along with a lump of coal. The coal was the highlight… Sorry, sorry, let me start over. In the spirit of the generosity in which it was given, a proper review:
+1 + 1 + 1 + 1 ½ + 1 – 1 – ½ - ½ = 3 ½ stars

+1 SNAPPY DIALOG: “What’s up with you, Constable? Standing about like a great loon. Shouldn’t you be about your duties?” I got a kick out of how all the locals take it upon themselves to bully Hamish, almost like it’s their civic duty. I believe this is healthy b
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas, mysteries, own
So darling! Not a murder, but just a cute, cute Christmas story with our favorite Highland detective. Of course, there is a mystery here: who has stolen the Cnothan city Christmas lights? And there's the matter of a missing cat, a bitter old biddy, and a flirtatious new schoolteacher.

Reread, 2012: Love it when Hamish loses his temper with the Andersons! So great!

Reread, 2013: Such a fun way to kick off the Christmas reading!

Reread, 2014: Never fails to put me in the Christmas mood!

Reread 2015: E
Fiona MacDonald
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I know Christmas is over but it didn't stop me relishing in the festive feel of Lochdubh (or rather, the lack of it!). Hamish is roused from his relaxing break to search for a missing cat, missing Christmas lights and a missing Christmas tree - does someone have a grudge against Christmas?
It's always a joy returning to Hamish Macbeth's side, and we are introduced in this story to one of his very favourite characters which I was over the moon about!
Gary Sundell
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Did this reading by listening to the audio book. What an enjoyable story and listen.
As cozy as a book can get! Perfect for a Christmas holiday read. Hamish Macbeth, police constable in the Scottish Highlands is up to his ears in crime. The beloved cat of the local crabby woman crofter has gone missing as have a Christmas tree and lights intended to be put in the town center. Not everyone in the town is unhappy about the missing tree and lights because many of these strict Calvinists believe that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Not to worry, Hamish to the rescue. Christmas comes a ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Christmas lights are being stolen and cats are going missing. Christmas in Lochdubh is fighting bitter gray winter cold and parents who don't believe in Santa. Can police officer Hamish Macbeth make it all come out right?

And what about the pretty new schoolteacher? Can she make Hamish forget about his old flame Priscilla?

It's one of the lightest in the series but a perfect holiday treat.
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamish takes the time to find a missing cat, help a surly old woman, and comfort a frightened girl, all while arranging a Christmas concert at an old folks home in Inverness and catching some Christmas light thieves. Spend Christmas in Lochdubh with this short and wonderfully heartwarming story, which is especially enjoyable in this audio version, obtained via Hoopla from the library.
María Alcaide
4.5*s. Superb! Funny, witty and charming.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Christmas novella that has Hamish Macbeth solving mysteries of a missing cat and stolen lights.
He brings Christmas cheer to some residents in the area. Some local people do not want Christmas celebrated with lights and gifts. Hope several of the people introduced in this book will be in future books. It was a feel good read and Hamish shows himself to be special to the people who are in his policing district. Plus there was a new addition to his household.
Really really really cute. Found it while adding other Hamish books to read. Stocking up on books and ebooks in case they close the library. It’s a novella (?) and actually number wise is right after the last one i read.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit of charming, mildly mysterious fluff in the Scottish Highlands. I confess to never having read M.C. Beaton before but this was a lovely way to start. With thirty plus novels about the unlucky in love, dashing, much put upon detective Hamish Macbeth, under her belt Ms. Beaton has certainly been doing something right!

Not as long as Beaton's usually fare this was nonetheless a nice way to meet Hamish who's clearly kind, very capable at his job, and perhaps just a touch too moronic when it co
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice, easy read with all of your favorite characters. Hamish is investigating a theft this go round instead of a murder but it was the perfect Christmas in the Loch with Hamish at the helm ensuring his small town has the perfect holiday.
Charlotte Smith
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book talhat spread the Joy's of Christmas. ...more
Its Christmas time in the Scottish Highlands & Hamish Macbeth is all about making sure everyone enjoys this time of year in this Christmas instalment of The Hamish Macbeth series. Lovely very light Cosy mystery, with a missing cat, stolen Christmas lights & a new school teacher who takes a bit of a shine to our Hamish.
I really like Hamish & really must get around to reading more of this series.
My first experience with the Hamish Macbeth series. This novella is a good holiday read, with the rural Scottish policeman Hamish Macbeth not just solving some (minor) mysteries but also involved in his community. I think that I might have to add this series to my TBR...

Graeme Malcolm was a fine narrator for the audiobook. The Scottish accent heightened the experience.
Loved this Re-read for the Christmas Spirit Readathon 2016

December 20th 2012 first reading
A great introduction to this author's writing. Enjoyed the well described atmospheric Scottish Highland settings. Familiarity with locations mentioned added to my enjoyment and the reality of the story. Definitely could picture the Christmas attitudes resisting celebration due to religious heritage and loved the actions of our protagonist in bringing that feared celebration into so many lives. A fun, quick
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love a good murder mystery but I was pleased to find that this short Hamish story was a little different to the usual adventures. It was refreshing to see him over Christmas as his charitable self and really exploring the depth of the character. We see him in his normal duties and it was lovely. Favourite one so far!
Fredrick Danysh
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A delightful story featuring Scotish Constable Hamish Macbeth in a Christmas setting. While shorted thaan the normal Macbeth novel, it is well paced as he solves two minor crimes. There are no murders is this book that centers around the spirit of Christmas.
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful Hamish.

I love Hamish McBeth. This Christmas tale has him solving mysteries and turning miserable people into happy ones. A winner.
Now this was a cozy Christmas mystery. Loved it! I will add it to my personal Christmas advent reads list now.
Pam Baddeley
This really is cosy crime, with nothing more threatening than a lost cat and some nicked christmas lights and a tree. The hero, PC MacBeth, has more to worry about from his unreasonable and nasty boss than any criminals, apart from one near mishap when apparently his spectral dog comes to the rescue. Having dropped into this, not realising it was so late in the series and just a novella, I found it rather light though it was easy enough to pick up on the situation - the PC unlucky in love and st ...more
Katherine "Kj" Joslin
I am excited to read more of the Hamish Macbeth series, I enjoyed it. It was a light holiday romp but had fun characters etc.
Rebecca Hock
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A most delightful little book. It was a super quick read. The story was very pleasant. Strange to be reading a Christmas book in June but I really enjoyed this book. Really charming little story.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Hamish. Sometimes you really irritate me, but others you are so thoughtful it blows me over. In this book, Hamish's caring side is really highlighted. You can tell he cares about the people in his village; friends and strangers alike. (view spoiler) ...more
Angela Simmons
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, I’ve had A Highland Christmas on my shelf for a while now and decided to crack it open during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon.

Here’s what’s going on: As Lochdubh and the surrounding Highland villages are mostly made up of Calvinist, Christmas, much to Hamish’s disappointment, is off-limits as it’s still thought of as a pagan holiday. When Cnothan decides to put up a Christmas tree and fairy lights, the town’s in an uproar when they discover that they have been stolen, thus Hamish is sent out to in
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Cozy, fun. Sometimes it's nice to have a very gentle book in which nothing much happens, but what does is nice. This is one of those. The series of Hamish MacBeth (a show I never watched when it came on 20 years ago. Even now I may be at the young end of the demographic) isn't one I've ever read, and after this short, warm/fuzzy book I'd do so again. It's hardly dark or gritty - someone's cat has gone missing, and some Christmas lights have been stolen. There's still time for a few good digs at ...more
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Brace yourselves--my Christmas stocking overflowed this year with Christmas mysteries (thanks family and friends). In this charming little book, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth solves several mysteries in his little Scottish village with nary a dead body in sight. Pets are rescued and returned to their rightful owners, people come to understand how their behavior affects those around them, and Christmas lights "mysteriously" appear in the village. Now that's the way a Christmas mystery should pl ...more
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
5 years later, lol. I recognized this story but kept reading it because I liked all of the Christmas details. this time around I thought it was a sweet story. still simple and very un-demanding, which can be just right when you need it.


The story is simple and undemanding, the characters aren't particularly complex, and everything gets wrapped up neatly. It's a little bit too cute for me, but it's a good light read for Christmas; lots of Grinchy hearts grow three sizes etc.
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Around the Year i...: A Highland Christmas, by M.C. Beaton 1 12 Dec 17, 2016 02:47PM  

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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 Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Da

Other books in the series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 35 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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“Hamish’s family were unusual in that they had always celebrated Christmas—tree, turkey, presents and all. In parts of the Highlands, like Lochdubh, the old spirit of John Knox still wandered, blasting anyone with hellfire should they dare to celebrate this heathen festival. Hamish had often pointed out that none other than Luther was credited with the idea of the Christmas tree, having been struck by the sight of stars shining through the branches of an evergreen. But to no avail. Lochdubh lay silent and dark beside the black waters of the loch.” 1 likes
“The wind cut like a knife as he climbed into the police Land Rover. As he held the wheel tightly against the buffeting of the wind and drove along the curving road out of the village, he realized that he had never questioned Mrs. Gallagher’s bitterness. It had simply been one of those unpleasant facts of his existence since he had started policing in Lochdubh.” 0 likes
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