Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 14)
M. C. Beaton
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HOLLYWOOD IN THE HIGHLANDS
With the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe away in London, Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth pines for company during the long Scottish winter. He gets his wish -- and more -- when a troupe of flashy, urbane filmmakers clamors into the nearby town of Drim. Before long bedlam erupts around their make-believe mystery ...and culminates in the sudden appearance of one very real corpse.
The initial suspect in the killing is one Patricia Martyn-Broyd, the aging mystery writer furious that her musty old cozies are getting a risque face-lift in their TV reincarnation. Yet, going behind the scenes, Hamish soon finds a town full of locals bitten by the movie bug and a cast of quarreling show business types, all harboring their own secrets, lies, and hidden agendas. And as the culprit strikes again, Hamish must quickly find the right killer -- or script the wrong finale to a show gone murderously awry.
coffee cups and a plate of biscuits. “Now,” he said comfortably, sitting down next to her, “what’s up?” “I can’t find Jamie.” To Sheila’s surprise, he looked worried. “That’s bad,” he said slowly. “Have you checked his hotel room?” “Yes, and all his stuff’s still there, including his car keys and toothbrush. I’m supposed to find him, but I don’t know where to start. He might be in some pub.” “He wasn’t in any of them at closing time last night,” said Hamish. “I did my rounds. I take away the
It’s odd, that. When Jamie was alive, she was very pleasant and subdued and only really came to life on the set. A hardworking actress, not all that great, but she has the looks. Now she seems to fly off the handle over every little thing and has to be coaxed back into a good temper.” There was a silence while the kettle boiled. Hamish put instant coffee in two mugs and then carried them to the table and sat down next to Sheila. “So were you surprised when you found out the murderer was Josh?”
standing on an outcrop of rock. “You’ll come to a stop right here, Penelope,” Sheila called back. “Then you stand and shield your eyes and look down the mountain.” “Wait there a minute,” Giles called. Sheila stood where she was. A shaft of sunlight suddenly lit up the village of Drim, standing beside the black loch. The air was pure and clean and scented with wild thyme. “All right,” she heard Giles shout. “You can come back now.” Sheila walked back. “So, Penelope, in your own time,” said
request, but the following day during a break in the filming, Harry instructed her to take a cup of coffee to Mary’s caravan. She almost felt like refusing and saying she was not a waitress, when she saw a way of asking that question for Hamish. Mary Hoyle was creaming her face when Sheila knocked and entered the caravan. “Good, put it down there,” said Mary without turning around. “Something’s been puzzling me,” said Sheila. “What?” said Mary absently. “I think I saw you in Drim on the day
giving folks a break.” Parry, his face grim, walked ahead of Hamish and towards one of the chalets. He knocked at the door. “Mr. Jarret, we’ll chust be having a wee word wi’ ye.” The door opened and a pleasant-looking young man stood there. He had a mop of curly brown hair and brown eyes in a tanned face. Those blinked rapidly when he saw Hamish’s uniform. “Can we come in?” asked Hamish. “Y-yes.” He backed away into the chalet living room. A word processor was on a table by the window,