Aug 16

Series Saturday - Hamish MacBeth Mysteries

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 10:32 AM by Lindsey Schmidt

Hamish Macbeth LR(105of113)
I’m (Lindsey) getting married today and headed to Scotland tomorrow! So I had to choose whether to write a Series Saturday on a romantic series or a mystery series that takes place in Scotland… I chose Scotland! To be fair, the Scottish mystery series that I chose is also by one of my favorite mystery authors – M.C. Beaton. This series is closer to cozy mystery than say Sue Grafton, but there is the occasional curse word. The reader follows village constable Hamish MacBeth, as he attempts to stay under the higher ups’ radar and avoid promotion. Unfortunately for Hamish, he just keeps finding murderers!

Genre:

Mystery, Fiction

Location in Howard Miller:

Mystery, MYS BEATON

Meet the Characters:

Hamish MacBeth is an underachieving village constable who is content with his life in Lochdubh (Lock-due), a tiny village in the Highlands. Like many Beaton characters, he is deeply flawed character that you cannot help but like. He is lazy, (sometimes) freeloader, stubborn, caring, intelligent, and a romantic all in one stereotypically Scottish package. He is motivated by three things: 1. His love for Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. 2. His devotion to providing for his parents. He is willing to illegally poach on Priscilla’s father’s land to send them extra food and money. 3. Driving Chief Inspector Blair crazy. Whether the other villagers are fond of Hamish seems to vary. Some find him fair and easy to work around, while others see him as a waste of space. Hamish does not care about their opinions, however. He has the all the company he needs in his dog Towser and his friendship with Priscilla.

Priscilla Halburton-Smythe is a beautiful young blonde. Her family owns the castle in Lochdubh and do not share her affection for Hamish. She is adventurous and clever, but is often conflicted with her future role in higher society and the fun she experiences with Hamish.

Chief Inspector Blair is a jerk. He’s rude, hates Hamish, and mocks Highland villages. He is constantly trying to make a name for himself by undermining anyone who gets in his way. One of the reasons he detests Hamish so much is his inability to solve cases.

Jimmy Anderson is one of Blair’s men. He realizes he is never going to be promoted while working with Blair - so he acts as Hamish’s unassuming inside man. As long as Hamish provides the whiskey, Anderson prefers his company.

Number in the Series:

32! There are a lot of books in this series! It is why I did not make my own book cover collage for this series. We do not own all of these books so here is the link to place the first few on hold. To be honest, these books don’t need to be read in order. It can be fun, but the plots are rarely connected.

  1. Death of a Gossip
  2. Death of a Cad
  3. Death of an Outsider
  4. Death of a Perfect Wife
  5. Death of a Hussy
  6. Death of a Snob
  7. Death of a Prankster
  8. Death of a Glutton
  9. Death of a Travelling Man
  10. Death of a Charming Man
  11. Death of a Nag
  12. Death of a Macho Man
  13. Death of a Dentist
  14. Death of a Scriptwriter
  15. Death of an Addict
  16. Death of a Dustman
  17. Death of a Celebrity
  18. Death of a Village
  19. Death of a Poison Pen
  20. Death of a Bore
  21. Death of a Dreamer
  22. Death of a Maid
  23. Death of a Gentle Lady
  24. Death of a Witch
  25. Death of a Valentine
  26. Death of a Chimney Sweep
  27. Death of a Kingfisher
  28. Death of Yesterday
  29. Death of a Policeman
  30. Death of a Liar
  31. Death of a Nurse
  32. Death of a Ghost
  33. Death of an Honest Man (Feb. 2018)

Final Word:

This is a fun, light series that transports you to Scotland. It’s a good series to listen to on CD so you can get the full accent. Unlike other protagonists, Hamish is flawed and definitely not perfect – but you like him anyway! The supporting cast is fun and you’ll be drawn into their antics. Like I said earlier, there is some language but nothing scandalous. We hope you enjoy these Highland mysteries!  

Aug 16

Last Month of Summer - Don't Let Go!

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM by Lindsey Schmidt

Copyright Free Beach Reading
It’s hard to believe that we have just over one month of summer left in 2017! Where has the time gone?! For those of you who want to keep feeling the warmth of summer even as the days get cooler we have some authors to recommend. These are authors who typically set their books in warm places. This list is nowhere near comprehensive! There are lots of authors who take advantage of warm climates for their plots, but we just wanted to start you off a list! Each author’s name is a link to their books on our catalog so you can place any that interest you on hold. Also included in the list is the author’s genre and where their books often take place. We carry many of these authors on OverDrive and have created a collection of their ebooks and audiobooks for your pleasure – click here!

Stay warm! 
Aug 04

Series Saturday - Hannah Swensen Mysteries

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 4:59 PM by Lindsey Schmidt

HS Collage
This week's Series Saturday is another staff favorite - Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mysteries. In addition to being clean reads (no swearing, little to no violence, and no sexual situations), these books also provide easy and delicious recipes! Lindsey uses them often and brings the resulting cookies in for the rest of the library staff. It's a fun, light series that makes you chuckle and just feel good while you read.

Genre: 

Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Location in Howard Miller:

Mystery, MYS FLUKE

Meet the Characters: 


Hannah Swensen is a talented baker in Lake Eden - a small town in Minnesota. She is a smart, independent, sometimes blunt woman who does not go into shock when presented with danger. A good thing too, since she is apparently prone to finding dead bodies! Unlike many amateur sleuths, Hannah is not annoyingly pushy when she tries to investigate murders. Rather, she uses her ability to be invisible as she hands out cookies around town to gather gossip and ask seemingly innocent questions. She also has a strong team of detecting assistants:
Andrea - Hannah's sister and wife to one of Lake Eden's detectives. Andrea's skills as a real estate agent come in handy when Hannah needs to ask delicate questions. 
Lisa - Hannah's business partner. Not only does she take over the responsibilities of the bakery when Hannah investigates a murder, but she also collects gossip for Hannah from the customers. 
Sally - Similar to Lisa, but she owns the hotel/restaurant. 
Dolores/Mother - Hannah's overbearing mother. Their relationship makes you cringe, but also laugh. Dolores is a gossip and calls Hannah to nag her about everything! Often this nagging helps Hannah learn important pieces of information. 
Bill - Hannah's brother-in-law police detective, who often welcomes Hannah's help in investigations.
Hannah also has to juggle her two male relationships: 
Mike - The other detective in Lake Eden. He and Hannah butt heads over her involvement in murder cases, but he knows that he can't stop her when she decides to start asking questions. Their relationship tends to be more exciting and passionate than...
Norman - The local dentist. Hannah and Norman were originally set up by their mothers. They were dismayed to discover that they actually have chemistry and have continued seeing each other. Hannah dates both men socially, does not sleep with either. 
Through her successful business we're able to meet the members of this quaint community. 

Final Word: 

This is a fun mystery series with good characters! From the title of the books to the quirky characters these books are the perfect example of cozy mysteries. Hannah is likable and many women will be able to relate to her. Her friends are a joy and she's smart enough to (mostly) stay out of trouble. You'll love being an fly on the wall in Lake Eden!