Those of you who know me know I love, love, love the Hamish MacBeth mysteries, so I was thrilled to see a *new* one on the shelf at the library. “Death of a Valentine” centers on Hamish and his new partner, Josie McSween, trying to solve the murder of a local beauty queen (who is much less pure than she appears). As Hamish seeks to solve the murder, Josie seeks to entrap Hamish into marriage. Soon our favorite Highland constable finds himself at the altar and praying for an escape!
Well, I thought I’d love this book as I’ve loved all the others in this series (I was also listening to “Death of a Dreamer” in my car at the same time). However, this installment was somewhat different. If you read the series, you should know, what follows are some SPOILERS!
My first problem with this novel was that Josie entraps Hamish by drugging him with rohypnol (aka the date rape drug) and basically sexually abusing him and then claiming to be pregnant. I have to say – this really bothered me. If I could speak to the author I’d say, “Marion – may I call you Marion? – Marion, no no no no no. One reason we read cozy mysteries is because they are not overly disturbing and “heavy”. And one reason we love Hamish is because we can trust that while folks may try to get him, no one succeeds. Bullets graze him. His superiors get frustrated with him. The women may chase him. But at the end of the day, it’s just Hamish and his pets in his little Highland home. Please remember this for next time, Marion. Thank you.”
I also didn’t find the character of Josie even remotely believable. Supposedly, she was obsessed with romance novels, but she also was a drug addict and alcoholic. It was a bizarre and frightening picture, especially for a cozy.
So – I won’t give this book a star rating as I just can’t. I’ll wait for Miss Beaton’s next installment.
And in the meantime I thought to myself that if I think I know so much what should be in a cozy mystery I should just write one myself. So I am. It’s about a murder taking place at a small community theater….he he he.