Sunday, 3 August 2014

Death of a Policeman by M. C. Beaton

The fact that all the police forces in Scotland were to be amalgamated into one large force struck terror into police headquarters in Strathbane.

This line has just a dash of conflict. What it does establish for certain is setting, which is nice in this case if you like reading stories about Scotland. We learn a little later that one detective is happy with this news and since it is terrible news we can assume this detective likes this news for nefarious reasons. He wants to wiggle a certain police sergeant out of his cozy station in a town that will give you laryngitis trying to pronounce it.

First thing said:

"Sutherland is a huge country and it is surely economical to have Macbeth cover all of it."

As this is a series book, those who have read others and are into this are hooked by default as this book probably begins were the last left off. I've read a few of them and they start to tire after a while, with the same character conflicts and behavior, book after book. Cozies aren't usually design to hook in the first sentence or paragraph for fear of giving the readers who adore them a heart attack. Cozies ease their readers into the conflict. So one really has to show a commitment to them before beginning. Fortunately, they are usually worth the time.

However, as this is a mystery novel, there needs to be a mystery sooner rather than later. All of chapter 1's 20 pages is set-up that creates the red herrings by establishing motives for suspects. Only at the beginning of chapter 2 do we get a body.

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Theodore Moracht

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