Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)” as Want to Read:
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death of a Cad

(Hamish Macbeth #2)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  8,707 ratings  ·  575 reviews
From the author of the Agatha Raisin television series...DEATH OF A CAD: A Hamish Macbeth MysteryWhen Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiancé 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 Pris ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Warner Books (first published 1987)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death of a Cad, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death of a Cad

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
1,874 books — 2,137 voters
The Quiche of Death by M.C. BeatonDeath of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. BeatonAgatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. BeatonThe Vicious Vet by M.C. BeatonAgatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham by M.C. Beaton
M. C. Beaton
109 books — 16 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,707 ratings  ·  575 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
Jason Koivu
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay, so that was a little better than the first book. Good enough for me to continue on with the series? Perhaps.

Small town constable, Hamish Macbeth solves another murder before the big boys at the bureau can suss it out. That seems to be an ongoing theme: seemingly slow-witted and ambition-free local bobby outdoes the top brass. A little bit unbelievable...except that I've worked under some really thick fuckers in my day, so yeah, I can suspend disbelief on this one for a bit longer.

The char
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, Ham
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant cozy mystery that made for an ideal lazy Sunday reading. I didn’t quite enjoy this Mcbeth mystery as much as the first, but it’s short page count helps to keep the reader engrossed and can easily be read in a day.

The mystery itself is fun, as the vile Captain Bartlett is killed on a goose hunt, Mcbeath is convinced that fail play is in order.
I found quite a lot of the secondary characters to be annoying, so this story didn’t click aswell for me.
I found the solution to very satisfying.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one just seemed off kilter to me. This murder mystery plot was driven mainly by conversation, more of a "telling" aspect than "showing." The character development was very little, and there was a large array of characters who were all mostly unlikable. I loved many in her Agatha Raisin series, and had hoped to love this one too. Hopefully this series improves as it goes. ...more
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!
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death of a Cad is the second book in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series. Macbeth is the village constable in Lochdubh, Scotland. He's got a bit of a thing for the daughter of a local wealthy resident, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. Imagine his disappointment when she brings home a fiance, a playwright from London with all the personality of a dead fish. Upper Class Twit basically. Priscilla's parents are glad to see their daughter not making goo-goo eyes at the local constable and settling down to a ...more
This series reminds me of a male version of the Daisy Darymple series by Carola Dunn. It's a cozy murder mystery series that my daughter has been reading & urging me to do the same. I've read all the Daisy's, so now we're switching.

Hamish is Scot who likes being the village constable. While he's quite intelligent, he not ambitious nor is he impressed by titles. His direct superior is just the opposite, so luckily they don't see much of each other & it makes for some interesting friction. His lov
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Julie  Durnell
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england-uk
Three stars for the whodunit (which I did not come to right conclusion as to who dunnit!) and 1 whole star for wonderful Hamish Macbeth-swoon! I love the setting of Lochdubh too!
Lady Delacour
Found the second book
more enjoyable than the first.
Hamish Macbeth uses his charm
to interview the suspects
and solve the crime.
Narrator Davina Porter
is one of my favorites.
Clean except for some
mild Foul Language.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-new-book
This series isn't for me. ...more
In Death of a Cad, Hamish Macbeth's life takes a turn for the unpleasant. Hamish has long been smitten with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe but due to the disapproval of her parents, has never been able to express or act on that. It's part of what created some of the romantic tension for Hamish in Death of a Gossip. Unfortunately for Hamish, Priscilla comes back to town with a fiance in tow. Some of the local notables are invited up to the Halburton-Smythe estate for the engagement party but when one ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5
More a 3.5

My first outing with both Highland bobby Hamish Macbeth and Glaswegian author Marion Chesney under the pseudonym M.C Beaton, Death of a Cad, is a wonderfully readable, intelligent and enjoyable murder mystery - Hamish Macbeth is an endearing character if there ever was one! He is amative, captivating and the perfect guy to get behind.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Poor Hamish. His wee heart takes a bit of a beating when when Priscilla brings home a fiancé. Of course, people die and Hamish is the only one who can identify the killer.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming murder mystery set in Scotland. My first read in the Hamish Macbeth series, but it is actually the second in the series.

It was short - I could have read/listened to this on a lazy Sunday.

Audio narration was very good, voices all done well. And having it read with an authentic Scottish accent was definitely a plus.

This was so much more risqué than the Agatha Raisin stories. Not all of it, just the bits that mentioned naughty business, mentioned it well! :) It was laugh out loud at som
Barbara Heckendorn
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first book from the Hamish Macbeth series for me and I will definitely read more books from this series.
Hamish Macbeth is a policeman in Lochdubh and in love with Pricilla Halburton-Smythe. Unfortunately, she came back from London to her parents' house to celebrate her engagement. It goes without saying that everything does not go smoothly. One of the guests, rather an unpleasant contemporary, is found dead. Macbeth is sure that it was murder and not an accident. However, his superi
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I found this book to be more engaging than the first in the series. These are light mysteries set in Scotland and unlike the Agatha Raisin books, here the focus is less on the life of the detective Hamish Macbeth and more on what happens to people associated with a crime that has taken place. This isn't very high on detection or the mystery quotient, but the series seem fun for a light reading. One of its charms is the old world feel that it has. ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good humour (maybe a bit less acid in comparison with the first), a murder mystery well told, and I like Hamish's equanimity

Priscilla is a bit irritating, but she's young and loves her parents.

Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Always a delight to either read or listen too. A great writer of mysteries, Beaton understands her characters and settings so well. Thoroughly research and just pure fun.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
Character List
(view spoiler)
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fun Hamish Macbeth mystery. In this tale, Hamish is heartbroken as his former love, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns to Lochdubh with a fiance in tow. Her snobbish parents arrange a house party to show off the prospective son-in-law, Henry Withering, a noted playwright. The guests are all part of the landed gentry in Northern Scotland, a small group that knows and despises one another. When the most disliked guest is murdered, Hamish goes on the trail of a clever murderer. Ms. Beaton a ...more
Oct 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death of a Cad by M.C. Beaton is the second book in her Hamish Macbeth mystery series. I've read more of Beaton's Agatha Raisin books, but actually I think I might prefer the Macbeth series (don't get me wrong, both are entertaining reads.)
In Death of a Cad, the Halburton-Smythes invite a group of 'friends' to their estate in Scotland to celebrate the engagement of their daughter, Priscilla, to playwright Henry Withering. At the party, boorish cad, Captain Bartlett insults most of the people the
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
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The setting and characters are so good Beaton doesn't really need to add a "Country House Weekend Party/Murder" but that's icing on a good cake. Perfect for a stay-at-home vacation from the real world. I'll be reading more in this series. ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
First sentence: Henry Withering, playwright, slumped down in the passenger seat of the station wago after another bleak look out at the forbidding landscape.

Premise/plot: Death of a Cad is the second mystery in the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton. Priscilla Halburton-Smythe has brought her fiance home with her. They'll be a country house party to celebrate their engagement, or, else it's to celebrate his success as a playwright. Most of the invited guests are a pain. Henry included. No wond
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’ve been an M.C. Beaton fan for years, but I’ve been increasingly disappointed in her later books (both Hamish and Agatha Raisin). So I decided to take a step back in time and read her earlier books in both series, as my library has them readily available via the Libby app. (I love the accessibility of e-books especially in an ongoing pandemic!)

This is the second in the Hamish MacBeth series and was quite satisfying — much more entertaining than later books in the series (which become much more
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a bit of a spoiler in this review – just a warning – so don’t read it if you’re not familiar with these stories. Then again, I haven’t mentioned who the killer is so…

Yet again Hamish lets the credit go to someone else after he solves the crime. And yet again, he doesn't get the girl. I have not read these in order so although this is only the 2nd in the series, I have already seen the inevitable trend. But I still like reading them. They are entertaining and the ways in which Hamish lose
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
I must say I enjoyed it a bit more than Agatha Raisin novels by the same authors. While some of the characters were written in a way that was too exagerrated, but they were a lot nicer than in Raisin novels. There was a bit too much focus on romance than I like, but it wasn't that bad. The main mystery and plot are quite good, though while the identity of the culprit is fairly easy to figure out the motive comes a bit out of left field. Still, a nice, light read and I think I'll be reading more ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
download-got-s7e7-game-of-thrones-season-7-episode-7-torrent-kat-full 1 2 Aug 28, 2017 01:37AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Date with Deceit
  • Snobbery With Violence (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #1)
  • Date with Poison
  • Our Lady of Pain (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #4)
  • Hasty Death (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #2)
  • Sick of Shadows (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #3)
  • Murder at Honeychurch Hall (Honeychurch Hall Mystery, #1)
  • Date with Mystery (Dales Detective, #3)
  • Date with Danger
  • Miser of Mayfair (A House For The Season, #1)
  • Miss Tonks Turns to Crime (Poor Relation, #2)
  • Lady Fortescue Steps Out (Poor Relation, #1)
  • 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, #2)
  • Blondynka w Tybecie
  • The Banishment (The Daughters of Mannerling, #1)
  • The Wicked Godmother (A House for the Season, #3)
  • The Winter Garden Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple, #2)
  • A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel & Pascoe, #5)
See similar books…
Like her on Facebook!

Learn more on her website!

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 34 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)

News & Interviews

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
244 likes · 26 comments
“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.” 1 likes
“like most thin-skinned people who have been snubbed, he could not leave the snubbers alone.” 1 likes
More quotes…