Hamish Macbeth - Lochdubh's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman - is back in his 32nd mystery.
There are many ruined castles in Scotland. One such lies outside the village of Drim. Hamish begins to hear reports that this castle is haunted and lights have been seen there at night, but he assumes it's some children or maybe the local lads going there to smoke pot, or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Hamish says to his policeman, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson, that they will both spend a night there.
The keening wind explains the ghostly noises, but when Charlie falls through the floor, Hamish finds the body of a dead man propped up in a corner of the cellar. After Charlie is airlifted to the hospital, Chief Detective Inspector Blair arrives to investigate the body, but there is none to be found. Dismissed as a drunk making up stories, Hamish has to find and identify the body and its killer before the "ghost" can strike again.
M C Beaton's Hamish Macbeth books are a delight: clever, intricate and sardonic. The flavour is reminiscent of Compton MacKenzie's Whisky Galore and I'm very glad to own a complete set
The much-loved Hamish Macbeth series... a beguiling blend of wry humour and sharp observations of rural life. - Good Book Guide
The detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status. - The Times
It's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh. - The New York Times