Monday, November 23, 2009

A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton

M.C. Beaton's 1999 A Highland Christmas is not a murder mystery.

It is a smaltzy Christmas story about how Hamish Macbeth investigates the theft of a cat and some Christmas lights.

Smaltzy is OK with me at Christmas.  This is a nice story except that Macbeth turns away the ideal love interest for someone who isn't even there.  That, and some people act in ways I can't believe they would ever act.  Abusive parents, for example, change their ways, and they do it without even having seen the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  (In other words, only Dickens can pull off that kind of a change.)

One element I especially enjoyed.  The story portrays the irrational prejudices religious groups have for one another.  That seemed very real to me.

So, if you are looking for a shortish, uplifting book, you will probably like this story.  But if you're looking for murder, go elsewhere.

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