Death of a Charming Man

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Incensed by his fiancee’s latest salvo in her campaign to make his life more civilized, Hamish looks for any excuse to avoid her. He sets out for the tiny town of Drim to visit its newest resident, Peter Hynd.

The gentleman is a most unlikely type to be settling in the dark, drab, insular hamlet, as he is not only British but also uncommonly attractive and sophisticated. Hamish finds him charming, but then feels an odd sense of relief upon leaving. There is something about him Hamish does not like.

It turns out that Hynd has played the Lothario and wrought havoc with the hormones of the women and the egos of the men of Drim. The once peaceful town is now in chaos, and Hamish worries that the emasculated Highland men will do something drastic.

Before anything happens, however, duty pulls Macbeth back to Lochdubh and his problems with his affianced, the cool, sophisticated Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, take his mind off the potentially incendiary situation.

After several weeks, Hamish learns that Hynd has suddenly decamped, but no one saw him leave. Sure that there has been foul play, Hamish heads for Drim to investigate. Knowing he will not get any cooperation from the men and that the women do not believe Hynd could have come to any harm, the constable must use his instinct and his wits to get to the bottom of the mystery.

DEATH OF A CHARMING MAN is a perfect book for armchair sleuths to read by the fire. It is a comfortable mystery, rich with Scottish brogue and humor, and spiced with the age-old battle of the sexes.