M.C. Beaton is most famous for her Agatha Raisin books, but her Hamish Macbeth series is just as prolific. In this article, we’ll cover all the Hamish Macbeth books in order.
Any time a series goes beyond the normal length (3-6 books) it becomes quite the juggling act to figure out what to read next.
My shelf of 30+ Jack Reacher books is a prime example.
I’ve read the first 8, but have to refer back to my own guide every time I’m ready to move on to the next one.
To avoid any confusion, here’s a list of all the Hamish Macbeth books in order.
Who is M.C. Beaton?
M.C. Beaton (born Marion Chesney in Glasgow, Scotland) is the original author of both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books.
She wrote a number of historical romance books under her maiden name and various other pen names, but since her success with the pseudonym M.C. Beaton, everything has now been attributed to that name.
M.C. Beaton died two days before the worst year in recent memory. Yes, she left this earth on December 30, 2019 at the age of 83.
The Hamish Macbeth series continues on, however, thanks to the efforts of author R.W. Green.
Green was a long-time friend of M.C. Beaton and the perfect person to continue on with both Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth.
Hamish Macbeth Books in Order
Below is a list of all the Hamish Macbeth books in order of publication.
- Death of a Gossip (1985)
- Death of a Cad (1987)
- Death of an Outsider (1988)
- Death of a Perfect Wife (1989)
- Death of a Hussy (1990)
- Death of a Snob (1992)
- Death of a Prankster (1992)
- Death of a Greedy Woman (1993)
- Death of a Travelling Man (1993)
- Death of a Charming Man (1994)
- Death of a Nag (1995)
- Death of a Macho Man (1996)
- Death of a Dentist (1997)
- Death of a Scriptwriter (1998)
- Death of an Addict (1999)
A Highland Christmas (1999) (Christmas Special)
- Death of a Dustman (2001)
- Death of a Celebrity (2002)
- Death of a Village (2003)
- Death of a Poison Pen (2004)
- Death of a Bore (2005)
- Death of a Dreamer (2006)
- Death of a Maid (2007)
- Death of a Gentle Lady (2008)
- Death of a Witch (2009)
- Death of a Valentine (2009)
- Death of a Chimney Sweep (2011)
- Death of a Kingfisher (2012)
- Death of Yesterday (2013)
- Death of a Policeman (2014)
- Death of a Liar (2015)
Knock, Knock, You’re Dead! (2016) (Short Story)
- Death of a Nurse (2016)
- Death of a Ghost (2017)
- Death of an Honest Man (2018)
Death of a Laird (2022) (Short Story)
- Death of a Green-Eyed Monster (2022)
- Death of a Traitor (2023)
- Death of a Spy (Expected: February 13, 2024)
Is there a Hamish Macbeth TV Show?
Long before Robert Carlyle played the enigmatic Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, he actually played Constable Hamish Macbeth on the BBC Scotland TV series of the selfsame name.
The Hamish Macbeth show ran from March 1995 to May 1997. The show was loosely based on the books by M.C. Beaton, both featuring Constable Hamish Macbeth in the town of Lochdubh, Scotland. The show, however, was not a direct adaptation of the novels.
The show had three series in total, with there being 6 episodes in the first two series, and 8 episodes in the final series. The Hamish Macbeth show was released in the UK and US on DVD in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Summary of the Hamish Macbeth Books in Order
Now let’s take a closer look at the first 10 Hamish Macbeth books in order that started it all. For a detailed description of the rest of the books in the series, please refer to the list above.
1. Death of a Gossip
When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers–or was it the fins?–of those around her.
Among the victims of her sharp tongue and unladylike manner was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane’s shrills–until her strangled body is fished out of the river.
Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must angle through the choppy waters of the tattler’s life to find the murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren’t ready to talk and dead women telling no tales, Hamish may be in over his head, for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers usually do strike again.
2. Death of a Cad
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, Hamish must smooth ruffled feathers as he investigates the case.
When the hidden culprit strikes again, Hamish will find himself trying to save Priscilla from a miserable marriage-and catch a killer before he flies the coop.
3. Death of an Outsider
The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fishes, or-more accurately-dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remain of the murdered victim are his bones. But after the lobsters are shipped off to Britain’s best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth.
Exiled with his dog, Towser, to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, his formerly beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, and his days of doing nothing but staring at the sheep grazing in a nearby croft.
Now the lawman has to contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the modus operandi hushed up, a dark-haired lass who has an ulterior motive to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his victim-and without doubt will strike again . . .
4. Death of a Perfect Wife
Hamish Macbeth, the laid-back constable of Lochdubh, Scotland, has a new Land Rover to drive and a Highland summer to savor, but as fast as rain rolls in from the loch, his happy life goes to hell in a handbasket.
The trouble begins when his beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns from London . . . with a fiance on her arm. His miseries multiply when clouds of midges (the diabolical Scottish mosquito) descend on the town.
Then a paragon of housewifery named Trixie Thomas moves into Lochdubh with her lapdog husband in tow. The newcomer quickly convinces the local ladies to embrace low-cholesterol meals, ban tobacco, and begin bird-watching.
Soon the town’s fish-and-chips-loving men are up in arms. Now faced with the trials of his own soul, Macbeth must solve Lochdubh’s newest crime-the mysterious poisoning of the perfect wife.
5. Death of a Hussy
About the best that can be said of wealthy Maggie Baird is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart. So when her car catches fire with Maggie in it, there are five likely suspects right on the premises of her luxurious Highlands cottage.
Lochdubh police constable Hamish Macbeth has to question Maggie’s timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for her husband.
All five are equally poor-with ample motive and opportunity to monkey with Maggie’s car. Now to find the killer, the astute lawman must apply his extraordinary insight into human nature. But when the evidence appears to point to the wrong person entirely, Hamish must dig down deep to stop the real murderer’s escape.
6. Death of a Snob
Believing that someone is trying to murder her, gorgeous Jane Wetherby asks Hamish Macbeth to spend Christmas with her and an exclusive group of friends at her Scottish island health farm.
With a cold in his head and no place to go for the holidays, Hamish accepts her invitation. He thinks the lady is a bit daft, but, arriving on the lonely isle of Eileencraig, he feels a prickle of foreboding. The locals are openly threatening; the other guests, especially a terrible snob named Heather Todd, are barely civil.
So when Heather meets an untimely end, Hamish knows he doesn’t have far to look for the culprit. The only snag in his investigation is that all the guests were in the house when Heather vanished.
Now, as mysterious events abound on Eileencraig, Hamish must work through the holiday sniffles to find the killer-or else it will be a very miserable Christmas indeed . . .
7. Death of a Prankster
Admittedly, there’s a touch of black humor in the case. Rich, old practical joker Andrew Trent summons his kin to remote Arrat House in the dead of winter for a deathbed farewell. They arrive to find him in perfect health and eager to torment them with a whole new bag of unfunny jokes.
But this time the body that falls out of the closet is Andrew Trent’s own. And nobody’s laughing.
Especially not Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is hard put to glean any information from Trent’s unappealing nearest and dearest. And when the lanky constable’s former flame, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, inserts her beautiful self into the case, Hamish must muster all his native guile to carry him through.
Fortunately, he has a few clever tricks up his own sleeve, which enable this most endearing of crime fighters to get the best, and last, laugh.
8. Death of a Greedy Woman
There’s not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth’s sky, just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in.
The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. The arrival of Maria’s gross, greedy partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance. And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door.
Peta soon slurps up her last meal, and Hamish is left with a baffling puzzle: Who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a big red apple in her mouth? Surely not of those singles…
9. Death of a Travelling Man
Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth’s life is going to pot. He has-horrors!-been promoted, his new boss is a dunce, and a self-proclaimed traveler named Sean and his girlfriend have parked their rusty eyesore of a van in the middle of the village.
Hamish smells trouble, and he’s right as usual. The doctor’s drugs go missing. Money vanishes. Neighbors suddenly become unneighborly. The tension only explodes after the itinerant Sean is found brutally beaten to death.
Suspicion quickly falls on his girlfriend, but with nobody willing to talk, the canny Hamish faces the tough task of worming the facts out of the villagers. As he uncovers a bizarre story around the murdered traveler, Macbeth knows he must find the truth soon, before the killer gets away for good.
10. Death of a Charming Man
All Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wants to do is fish and drink coffee with his fiance. Then a mysterious stranger moves into the neighboring village–a rich, unmarried heartbreaker, causing rivalry among the local women.
It is amusing until death threats, assault and murder shatter the tranquil countryside. Hamish must investigate the darker side of love and desire.
Looking for more books in order?
Check out this list of Tess Gerritsen books in order.